Letters to Jesus (Attachments and Detachments) -10
Detached people are not the easy victims of good or bad events. Truly it would seem sadness results from earthly attachments. Detached people have the knack of maintaining a certain perspective about everything taken in by their senses. There is, among such people, an aura of being unimpressed. It is not a cynical nihilism but rather a steady perception of no-frills reality. Yet it is not cold, heartless stoicism either.
The art of detachment is not in the surgical severing of our being from our senses and emotions, but rather it is the art of properly placing them. The center of our being has no kinship with good or bad events that befall us on our journey. There is, in that center, no kinship to human relations, to famous or infamous people, to glorious or inglorious accomplishments, to farsighted projects or nearsighted prejudices, to magnificent possessions or dire poverty, to dazzling talents and abilities or a total lack thereof. None of this, in perspective, matters to our center. But we are creatures who carry in us the flaw of easily allowing all of these things, and more, to pull us away from our center. This, inevitably, will make us sad.
Our center is invisible to us, but our center is what You see when You behold us. Our center is our soul - a spiritual entity where the only attachment is to You because our center is You. I envision the primal “pre-sin” nature of our being as unaware of and nonconforming to anything outside its center. The only way our state of being could have cracked would have been for us to have relocated its center somewhere else – and that’s what happened!
Attachment to another center began the avalanche of off-centered attachments that continues on and on. We easily and even unconsciously work our ways into these positions without concerted attempts to work our way out of them and return to our center. Our humanity, which is the path of this avalanche’s destruction, cannot be avoided. We are separated that much from our center. But the emotional and sensual hallmarks of our humanity can, with effort and persistence, be redirected back to our center by cultivating a “holy indifference” to that which we perceive as good or bad events in our lives.