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Soul Master Handbook – Detachment Part 1

Submitted by on January 12, 2014 – 11:59 pmNo Comment

letting-go-3 Article #632

Author: Joleen (Bridges) Halloran

Finding Blissful Freedom from Letting Go!

During the course of spiritual and personal empowerment, one of the principles that came up over and over that I struggled with was attachment. There were two main reasons I struggled with “living” within a principle of detachment, where detachment can be described as the ability to let go of just about everything I own, believe and think about. And those two reasons where the past and the future, or the basic unconscious tendency of human nature to attach ourselves to everything from the past and to the future in order to feel that we matter, that we are somebody. Why in the world would I think it would be a good idea to detach from those? Everybody needs to matter, right? Well in order to understand why detachment is a basic principle of total spiritual and personal empowerment and freedom, let me first share a couple of other words that are synonyms to attachment that may help: clinging, obsession, ownership, idealism, attraction, devotion, weakness, addiction, infatuation, hording, idolize, longing. Somehow these words seem worse than the word attachment, but nevertheless describe the condition we submit ourselves to in order to unnecessarily exalt our beingness in this big old world we live in.

Attachment is the condition of feeling that we “need” a person, place, thing, experience or whatever, in order to be who we are. It is extremely common in all of us because of the nature of our ego development from our time as an infant until now. As we begin to experience the world through our physical self, the things that we experience outside of the self begin to seem like they are affecting us, our life condition and even our feelings/emotions. But really what happens as we experience these things is that we process the information through our physiology and the brain and our ego (self determined identify) put a little place in our head that says – this is something that I do want because it makes me feel good, powerful, strong, etc. so therefore I need more of this. Our brain and ego tell us that without this thing, person, experience or emotion, you are not whole – you must have this in order to be whole. Or it may say something opposite, about what we don’t want because it does not make us feel good or it may take something away from us. Jesuit priest and spiritual teacher Anthony DeMello says in his book, Awareness, “When we were young, we were programmed to unhappiness. They taught us that in order to be happy you need money, success, a beautiful or handsome partner in life, a good job, friendship, spirituality, God – you name it. Unless you get these things, you’re not going to be happy. Now that is what I call attachment.”

As someone on a path to spiritual and personal empowerment, it was easy to see the attachments I had developed related to those things that I “did not” like or that I had fears about. Clearly if I had a fear about something, I must have an attachment to the idea about that fear. My fear of being unloved for instance, which due to this attachment caused me at times to be controlling in my relationships or to project an overconfidence in my relationships that I did not truly feel. The work I did to detach myself from the “idea” that I could ever be unloved took a great deal of courage because in order to detach myself from the fear, I had to accept the possibility that I might have to let the “objects” of my love go in order to live from a place of total freedom of the fear. I realized that I cannot objectify my fear of being unloved by the love I feel that I am getting from others. When we view love from others in this way, through the lens of attachment to fear, then our relationships can never truly be real, lasting or fulfilling.

So I had to be willing to face the possibility that the relationships might go away in order to free myself from the fear and this was soooo difficult, because I didn’t want that. I had to bolster myself with the promise of freedom and a true release from a conditioned fear that binds me to people and behaviors that continue to cause suffering. I had to remind myself that love is not something that can be negotiated with to myself or others. It just IS. It is not something that can be lost, it is always available.

I can’t overemphasize how challenging this detachment was, and frankly I still work on this particular detachment as new challenges come up all the time to expand my sense of total divine love towards myself and others. But the point I was really trying to make regarding the difficulty in this particular detachment, is that once I crossed over the bridge of thinking that I could ever be separated from love and was willing to allow my loved ones go to experience their own sense of love, the easier it became to detach myself from the originating fear. It is the honest awareness of the attached behavior behind the fear that loosens up the stranglehold of the fear and makes the objects we cling to so much easier to let go.

In my case, no one really went anywhere. I still have the same relationships I had when I started the process. Turns out that my willingness to let go of them, actually strengthened them. This may not always be the case, sometimes the items, people or experiences we attach ourselves to will physically go away, but so then does the attachment to them, so there is no suffering attached, only freedom.

Many of us cling to our thoughts and ideas about love, truth, perfection, goodness, virtue, ethics, politics, ideologies, behaviors and so on, as a way to benchmark ourselves against others. I have this belief, you have another. I don’t know how you came up with yours, but obviously your view is flawed. I can empathize with how you came to your beliefs because of your “conditions” in life, but now, how can I help you change to right thinking? Our thoughts about these ideas are correct, others are not. Taking this even further and making a very controversial point, even our thoughts about our spiritual path and who and how we worship are subject to attachment and therefore a platform for us to create judgments and barriers to others.

These attachments, like in my case, to others, in order to control my fear of being unloved, create behaviors in us that are disingenuous to our divine and authentic being. Sometimes in our quest to be free of them, we attach ourselves to other, what we might feel, more worthy attachments, such as religion or deep rooted beliefs about “correct” behavior (i.e. organization, time management, devotion to spiritual concepts, purity and many others). We must be very careful and extremely aware that we are not replacing one attachment with another one.

There is a famous Buddhist saying that personifies this mentality, “If you meet the Buddha out walking on the road, kill him.” This means anything outside of the self, even our image or personification of God, Buddha, Jesus, Creator, Source, and so on, is just an image, or a new thought that we may fool ourselves is a more correct one to attach to. Put another way, everything we need in every moment is already always available to us. These spiritual truths or new ideas about freedom do not need to be sought after or found, they already are us. We must allow ourselves to question any belief that we have that is outside of the self, that is not a part of who we are already. When we truthfully believe something is who we are, like love or peace, then that is what we will project because it is what we are. On the contrary, when we feel we are unloved or anxious and chaotic, then that also will be the nature of our experiences.

Sometimes our unwillingness to detach is because we can’t detach! What I mean is the thought of being without the things we cling to is more fearful than the idea of us being a prisoner to them. The key to begin to loosen this stranglehold of attachment to these things is awareness and an understanding that on the other side of the door of attachment is true freedom and healing. As you become more aware of the attachments you may have in your life, the more likely you will be to begin the process of letting them go. This process may not happen overnight or may require many iterations of experience to help us see how these attachments are not serving us, but being aware is the key component to this kind of work.

In Paths to God Living the Bhagavad Gita, Ram Dass, philosopher and spiritual teacher says, “The game isn’t to see how little food we eat, or how little sex we can have, or how few clothes we can wear – that’s nonsense. The point of the game is to be free, not attached to having, not attached to not having, but free.” Detachment is not loss! This also is an idea we need to detach ourselves from. Detachment is not suffering, pain, sacrifice or austerity. These are also nothing more than attachments in beliefs.

Seeing the attachments in our lives and realizing the truth about them is one of the most freeing and enlightening aspects of true authentic and boundless living. But I’m not going to lie, it is one of the most difficult human conditions to deal with. We have spent a long time building up and believing in these attachments, even if we knowingly can see the suffering they may cause us. These attachments are so deeply ingrained into our self defined identity, we cannot image the “I” without them. To begin, know that you are much bigger than the self defined image of yourself and allow the process of awakening to point to these attachments. The awareness will direct your paths to your next steps to letting go.

Since the topic of detachment is a fundamental element to spiritual and personal empowerment, I plan to continue to add on to this blog article with some additional insights. That is why I called this article Part 1. There are many other aspects of detachment that can be explored to offer the Soul Master perspective on this topic. Many sages and spiritual masters before you have contemplated and shared their insights on this important topic. When we can begin to develop an awareness about attachment in our own lives, then new and exciting possibilities begin to open up for us, including freedom from some long held fears and habitual behaviors.

As we go forward in our personal paths to empowerment, I encourage each and every Soul Master to keep the following thoughts in your mind:

I am not my thoughts, ideas, beliefs or habits. I am so much more than these.

I live in wonder and appreciation of the amazing grace in this world. Each day I will embrace a new and mystical quality in myself, my relationships, my belongings and my universe.

When I can begin to see myself as my infinite self, with no beginning and no end, then I begin to feel the freedom of the infinite universe.

I Am Free Now!

Many Blessings – Joleen

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About the Author

Joleen Halloran is the author of Finding Home – Breaking Free from Limits under the pseudo name of Joleen Bridges. This book represents over 10 years of research and inspiration in personal and spiritual empowerment and provides readers with a pathway to overcome limits and discover authentic divine qualities in their lives and to live a life of unbounded freedom. .

Additionally Joleen is the owner of ZoomIT Marketing, a social media and internet marketing coaching and training company. Joleen’s business background includes extensive experience in project management, leadership, specializing in motivational techniques and corporate culture.

Beyond Joleen’s professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books and other materials related to her profession, but also to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. You can find out more about Joleen’s book at her books website, Additional articles of a spiritual and inspirational nature can be found at the book’s website as well. The book is available for purchase at Amazon and at a discounted price directly from the books website.

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