Question: About two weeks ago, we were talking here about attachment and detachment. We think that we are attached only to somebody whom we like. But Sudhha told us that we can be attached to somebody we dislike. How can we detach ourselves from a person whom we dislike?

Sri Chinmoy: First let us speak about attachment in the positive way. You like someone and you are constantly trying to please him. You are trying also to be pleased by that person. This is the positive way. The other way is that you have an enemy. He is jealous of you; you are jealous of him. In spite of this, your mind is constantly on that person. You are all the time thinking of how you can surpass him, how you can make him feel that you are superior to him. In that way there is a kind of challenging attitude you have. You are thinking in a negative way, but all the time that person is on your mind.

Either you are thinking of your friend or you are thinking of your enemy. When you think of your friend, at least it is in a positive way. You are trying to bind him or you are allowing him to bind you. In the negative way, you are hurting the person, but at the same time, you do not want to be hurt. In the previous way you are binding someone and you get joy that the person is also thinking of you. But here in the negative way, you only try to hurt the person whom you decry and at the same time, you want that person to remain silent. You don't want him or her to strike you back. It is one-sided. You will strike him, for you know better, but you won't allow him to come near you. You will put a solid block in front of you the moment that person wants to attack you back. Only you want to attack.

In every possible way, you want to stay on the top of the tree and you want your enemy to remain at the foot of the tree. But the very fact that you want to be something and you want him to be something else shows that this is a negative attitude. In the positive way, when you want to be something, you want your friend to be that also.

But again you have to know what you want and what that person wants. If you want anything from that person, on the physical plane, you are only binding him. And if that particular person wants something from you, he is binding you. On the physical plane, it is always like that. On the spiritual plane, on the other hand, it is all a devoted feeling. You may ask, "When I think of the Master, then is it not attachment? " Far from it. Why? When you deal with a spiritual person, it is not attachment but a devoted feeling of your inseparable oneness. When you deal with ordinary, unaspiring, unrealised people, it is total attachment. You are binding them with your desire and they are binding you with their hearts' desire. It is all attachment. But in the spiritual life, you are not binding. Here you are trying to throw yourself into the vast consciousness which your soul feels.

In your aspiring moments, you feel that this consciousness is boundless. So when you throw yourself into it, that means that you are going to be free. But when you are ready to throw yourself into someone who is unillumined and you want the other party to throw his or her existence into you, since both of you are unillumined, naturally there is only a sense of limitation. Where there is darkness, there is limitation. Wherever there is Light, it is limitless and infinite.

So you have to know, all of you, that when you devote yourselves to the spiritual life, to your Master, it is not attachment; it is your devoted feeling of inseparable oneness, where you can be in the Vast, with the Vast and for the Vast. That is to say, you can consciously dive into the Infinite and act with the Infinite and for the Infinite.

The positive type of attachment is binding because there you are entering into darkness consciously or unconsciously, since that person is not illumined and you yourself are not illumined as an individual. Two blind persons going together can never offer light to each other. But one who is strong, powerful and mighty stands in front of both of you and he strengthens both persons.

In the spiritual life, when it is a matter of unaspiring beings, unillumined beings, unrealised human beings, then you are bound to be fettered. This is in the positive type of attachment. And in the negative type, it is always destruction. You want to destroy and at the same time, you don't want to be destroyed. You want to attack everybody and make them feel that they are no good; they are useless. This is when you have an enemy. Then at the same time you are well protected, shielded and guarded so that the enemy cannot come. But the mind is all the time thinking: sometimes, how to attack and the next moment, how to escape because you are afraid that you yourself will attacked, You are playing a game of tit for tat.

In the positive kind of attachment, you are thinking of someone and you want him to think of you. If he does not think of you, you are miserable. So both the positive and negative attachments are both useless when the attachment is directed towards an unaspiring and unillumined person. But you can direct your thoughts, ideas, ideals and aspiration, your sense of inner duty, towards your Mission, your Goal, towards your Master. Then I wish to say that you are safe, you are illumined, you are fulfilled.