Question: We usually think that we are attached only to someone we like. But we can also be attached to somebody we dislike. How can we detach ourselves from a person we dislike?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two kinds of attachment: positive attachment and negative attachment. Positive attachment comes when you like someone. You are all the time trying to please that person and you are trying also to be pleased by that person. Negative attachment means that you have an enemy. He is jealous of you and you are jealous of him. At the same time, your mind is not at all free from thinking of that person. All the time that person is operating in your mind in a negative way. Constantly you are thinking of how you can surpass that particular person and make him feel that you are superior to him. There is a kind of challenging attitude that you have.

Either way, you have no time to think of yourself. Either you are thinking of your friend or you are thinking of your enemy. But when you are thinking of your friend, it is in a positive way. You are trying to bind that person or you are allowing that person to bind you. You get joy by thinking of that person and you get joy if that person also thinks of you. The negative way means that you want to hurt that person and, at the same time, you do not want to be hurt. You try to hurt the person whom you dislike and, at the same time, you want that person to be silent. You don't want him or her to strike you back. You want to stay on the top of the tree and you want that person to remain at the foot of the tree.

But in both cases you have to know that you are binding the other person and being bound by him. If you want anything from that person on the physical plane, you are only binding him. And that particular person wants something from you, he is also binding you. On the physical plane it is always like that.

But on the spiritual plane we have only a devoted feeling towards someone. It is not attachment; it is only the devoted feeling of oneness, inseparable oneness. When we deal with ordinary people, unaspiring people, it is all attachment. We are binding someone with our desire and that person is binding us with his desire. But a spiritual person, a spiritual Master, we do not bind. Only we are trying to throw ourselves into his vast consciousness, which our soul feels. When we throw ourselves into his boundless consciousness, that means that we are going to be free. At that time we want to be with the Vast, in the Vast and for the Vast. We consciously dive into the Infinite and act with and for the Infinite.

But when we throw ourselves into someone who is unillumined and we want that person to throw his or her existence into us, naturally it is all darkness and limitation. Where there is darkness there is limitation. We are entering into darkness consciously or unconsciously, since the other person is not illumined and also we are not illumined. Two blind persons going together can never show light to each other. Two sick persons in the hospital cannot offer strength to each other.

So whether this attachment is positive or negative, it is always destructive. When our thoughts and ideas are directed towards an unaspiring and unrealised person, then they are useless. But if we can direct our thoughts, ideas, ideals, aspiration and sense of inner duty, towards our mission, towards our goal, towards our spiritual Master, then we are safe and fulfilled.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Four intimate friends: insincerity, impurity, doubt and self-indulgence, Agni Press, 1977
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