Detachment

In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty... in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe. 

 

 

Deepak Chopra

One online dictionary defines detachment as the state of being objective or aloof.

Detachment Disorder can prevent abused and neglected children from ever forming normal human relationships.

But there is, I think, a certain spiritual detachment that is necessary for healing, grow, and enlightenment.

I often see the need for it when I read for people.

In the setting of a reading, some people will begin each sentence with “I want.”  Not “I want to know,” or “I want to be” or even “I want to do,” but simply, “I want.”

It’s good to know what you want.  In fact, sometimes you need to know what you want in order to achieve it.  Goals are important.  Visualization is important.

Sometimes (especially, maybe, in dating) it is important to know what we don’t want.

But sometimes we get so focused on wanting that we can’t get out of our own way.

It is especially bad under a few circumstances.  One is when what we want is simply impossible.  Another is when what we want isn’t in our best interest.  Still another is when what we want conflicts with what is best for another person. 

Sometimes we base our unhealthy wants on greed and materialism.  Can we reach some measure of spiritual peace and enlightenment and still have the Jimmy Choos?  Of course, but only if we value the peace and enlightenment more than the awesome shoes.

Sometimes we base our wants on an obsessive need to be compensated for something we should have had in the past, and didn’t.  Yes, we all deserve good things.  No, we aren’t entitled to every good thing we deserve.  There is a difference between being deserving, and being entitled.

Obsessive wanting can make us prey to those who want to take advantage of us.  A typical Gypsy fortune-teller scam-artist begins with, “Not every psychic reading can be good news.”  They follow that up with an offer to fix the problem and magically create the outcome you want, for a price.

A legitimate reading, on the other hand, may reveal that you will not get what you want, and you need to be okay with that.  You need, in fact, to detach yourself from the thing you want in order to find peace.

Perhaps another word for the spiritual sense of detachment might be “acceptance.”  There is a series of cards in the Major Arcana of the Tarot that I can the “Cards of Acceptance.”  It starts with the Wheel of Fortune, continues to Justice, the Hanged Man, and finally, Death.

The Alcoholics Anonymous Serenity Prayer says it best: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

In a world where we must be proactive to survive, detachment is a hard balance to strike.

Want is not the only thing to which we attach ourselves.  Fear and anger are also unhealthy attachments.   

Tarot, prayer, introspection and spiritual evaluation are all good tools to help us detach, and give the Universe some room to work on our behalf.

Sometimes I call it the “Rolling Stones Philosophy.”  If you can detach enough to get out of your own way, you may not get what you want, but you’ll get what you need.