Part I: Emotion, detachment and attachment


There are two types of emotion. One type of emotion is in the gross physical. This emotion is aggressive. It only binds and finally drains our physical, vital and mental energy. The other type of emotion is divine emotion. It tells us: "I came from God, who is Infinity, Eternity and Immortality." This kind of emotional thrill helps us to enter into our highest and deepest self. The emotion that expands is always welcome, but the emotion that binds us to our limited, gross physical body has to be overcome and thrown aside.

Now let us think of detachment. Detachment has to be seen in its proper light. If we know the meaning of responsibility, then automatically we will know the meaning of detachment. Who is responsible? Not you or I. Not the outer self or the outer body, but the Divine in us. If we can throw our responsibility sincerely, genuinely and devotedly to the Supreme, to the Divine within us, then automatically we will learn the meaning of detachment. Detachment does not mean indifference. It does not mean, "I do not belong to him; he does not belong to me. So let me forget him. Let us have no connection with each other." True spiritual detachment comes only when we feel that we have given to the Supreme what we have and what we are. We have friends, children, a husband, a wife, relatives and various belongings. Also we have our own existence: body, vital, mind, heart and soul. If we can offer what we have and what we are at the Feet of the Supreme and say that He is responsible and that it is He who has to look after us, then only can we learn detachment. Otherwise, just by negating and separating ourselves from others' consciousness, we cannot practise detachment. Detachment can be practised only when we feel that the Divine within us is equally responsible for us and for others. Then our inner aspiration will tell us how far to go, where to stop and when to stop in our relationship with others. Our aspiration, if it is sincere, is bound to tell us where the limit of detachment is, because the Supreme is constantly speaking through our aspiration.

When we have a child, we have to take care of the child. We have to bring him up and give him all the necessary things for his existence. During his childhood we have to help him. We have to feel that for a few years the Divine is acting in and through us to help the child. Then, when he grows into a youth, at that time our help must stop. If we go on trying to interfere with his personal life, we are making a mistake. He has to enter into his own world. He has to make direct contact with the Divine and fulfil his own life.

It is not at all difficult to detach oneself from one's environment. But true detachment should be detachment from ignorance, not from a particular person or thing. Ignorance has to be separated from our existence. Then we will see that there is nothing else to be detached from; it is all Wisdom and Light.

Sri Chinmoy, Four intimate friends: insincerity, impurity, doubt and self-indulgence.First published by Agni Press in 1977.

This is the 332nd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


If you are displaying what you've copied on another site, please include the following information, as per the license terms:

by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Four intimate friends: insincerity, impurity, doubt and self-indulgence, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

Close »