I have often made the statement that "All suffering is the result of attachment. All attachment is the result of a mistaken notion of who and what we are and of why we are here upon the earth.'
I often then go on to say, "It is not easy to stay away from attachments." And it isn't... unless it is.
What makes it easy for us to detach from the people, places, and events filling our lives is a deep awareness of Who We Are and what our purpose is in living this life. Conversations with God has made this clear to me. In no uncertain terms it was brought home to me that I am not my body. My body is not something that I am, it is something I have.
I want to tell you that I am very attached to my body, and that it is not easy for me to understand that I am something other than that. This idea that I exist -- the "I" of "me" that "I am" -- quite apart and separate from the body is a notion that feels completely foreign to my experience...except when it does not. I have had moments in my life when it has been remarkably clear to me that my body is nothing more than a tool that I use in the creation of my in-the-moment experience. Yet these moments have been the exception rather than the rule. In most of the moments of my life I have walked around thinking that the body I have is the "I" that is Me.
When I am residing in a place of sufficient wisdom to understand that this is not true, other people who live with me and near me tell me that I have shifted to an altered state of consciousness. This is exactly what we have to do if we wish to move to a place in which we are less attached to things that are exterior to the Self. We must shift into an altered state of consciousness. We must move to a place of higher awareness. We must elevate and expand our experience of who we are.
When I know who I really am and when I deeply understand what I am doing here, I find myself more and more detached from the people, places, and events of my day-to-day physical life. The life that exists outside of my Inner Self is magnetic. It pulls and draws me to it. It vacuums me up and sucks me into it. Soon, I get lost in the labyrinth and I cannot find my way out.
Until I can.
What causes me to see what is true and to emerge from the maze is the elevation of my observation. I literally rise above the landscape of my present moment, looking down on it from a far and distant place, seeing myself in it but not of it. To be "in the world but not of it" is the goal of every spiritual seeker. It is the place where every spiritual mastery resides.
I will use any device at my disposal, any tool within reach, to achieve this elevation of observation. I will read. I will write. I will talk. I will listen. I will walk through the moment. I will sit still within it. I will pray, I will meditate, cogitate, ruminate; I will chant, I will sing, I will dance, I will laugh, I will cry; I will do whatever it takes to send myself to a new place, a place where I can be free of the fear that being human has foisted upon me.
Now here's the thing...
I like my attachments. So I've got to find a way to be selective about the things that I detach from. At least at the beginning. At least at first. I think that if I try to become detached from everything all at one time I will put myself in a very bad place. I will either distance myself from the heart of who I am, or I will fall apart with grief at all that it feels as if I have "lost."
So I've got to make a list of all the things that I'm attached to -- and that is going to be a very long list, indeed. And I've got to decide what it is that I want to detach from first. To be honest, I think I've already decided. I think I want to detach, first, from all of my dramas, all of my "stories," all of my false thoughts about life and how it is, and, most of all, from all of my need to stay hidden -- and to use fibs and lies as a means of doing so.
Put another way, I think that I have to become totally transparent. This is about complete visibility. This is about living in integrity. What I have to detach from is my manufactured "story" about who I am and what I want, then begin living life from a place of absolute authenticity. What I'm discovering is that I have been unbelievably attached to my "idea" about myself, and anything that runs counter to that idea or contradicts it in anyway I rush to hide or to cover up with a "little white lie."
So for me detachment begins with the promise of authenticity. For I must not only be detached from the idea that I have about myself, but also from the idea that you have about me. I said that this was the beginning of detachment, but it seems to me as I hear myself thinking about this that it is actually the ultimate in detachment. So perhaps, in this sense, the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. And, as with everything else in life, the entire process is a circle.
In any event, that's where I need to begin my process of detachment. I've got to detach from my dramas, detach from my stories, and, most important of all, detached from my Manufactured Self... so that I can reveal my True Self to the "me" that is Me, at last.
Shakespeare said, and he was right: "To thine own self be true and it shall follow as the night, the day, thou canst then not be false to any man."
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.