Letters to Jesus (Attachments and Detachments) - 1
My letters to You are no more than personal expressions of what has been expressed over and over again by others. In my readings I jot down pithy sayings or capsule summaries of something illuminated by another that catches my fancy and upon which I wish to expand to You. I have discovered that in doing this I challenge and enrich my own thinking and expand the boundaries of any potential I may have by which You might work in me. I am comfortable with this and, in limited ways, I grow from it. I eagerly look forward to writing You on each new idea and I truly believe that You speak to me through this vehicle.
Today I ran across something from Meister Eckhart that caught my attention. He speaks convincingly of how he holds “detachment” as the single greatest virtue; greater than love because love forces me to love God, but detachment forces God to love me. Love forces me to suffer all things for God, but detachment makes me receptive of nothing else but God. Eckhart also says that detachment is greater than humility because it contains it.
What’s apparently at work here is a peeling away of every possible layer of concern to nothing more than “being.” For a human to reach this plateau is not possible, but to strive for it and, with Your grace, move in various ways toward it, is possible. Such detachment clears away everything that is not You, and , therefore, concern for anything else becomes superfluous.
In this world of relationships, commitments and responsibilities, we are attached with various degrees of adhesion. Even if one was locked in a lightless room with no diversions whatsoever, the mind, which is a world unto itself, would not become detached.
So, what Eckhart is talking about is an unachievable ideal. Maybe the best we can do in approaching this pinnacle of virtue is to adjust our focus in each instance of those things to which we are unavoidably attached. With effort, both spiritual and mundane things can be conceived and commingled with the ground of our very being. In doing this we uncouple ourselves in snatches from the profane. We touch momentarily the essence of our being and, for that moment, nothing else matters. For that moment we are utterly detached from everything.
Inexplicably then, You subsist in these letters when, in writing them, all else drops away and isolated points of union embrace me in detachment. Such unannounced moments also come in times of prayer and meditation – although never sustainable for long. Knowing my limitations, this may be the best I can hope for.