Effortless Detachment - The Puzzle of Spiritual Awakening

Dr. Purushothaman
October 5, 2013

True detachment results from understanding how we gather a lot of unnecessary mental accretion that hangs heavy on us preventing us from discovering higher dimensions of our spiritual existence. Dropping off the accretion takes place when we understand what it means to embark on an inward journey, with effortless detachment as its content.

Many people are unhappy because of the vicissitudes of life. It is true that circumstances bring in hardship. Strangely, we see only one side of it, as if one hand can clap. We forget that the other side is provided by our own state of mind. While we cannot be in absolute control of the circumstances, it is possible for us to pay attention to the way we respond. This needs a deep interest in understanding our mind and its reactions. Theoretical knowledge in that direction, such as the one from a college degree in psychology, cannot help because that kind of study is verbal and adds to the accretion. Verbal knowledge is a kind of burden that effectively thwarts direct awareness.

There are also other items of accretion that we gather as we grow. The mediocrity in life is primarily because of this unnecessary mental load we carry with us. By the time people come to their middle age, the mental burden they carry is indeed awesome. Some success here and there can make a change, but the dullness soon returns pushing us back to square one. A lot of mental accumulations can be dropped off by taking an inward journey that is not dependent on any Dos and Don'ts or on religious preaching.

So, the question is, How can one drop off the accumulations? The interesting thing about it is that this question itself asks for a new effort and so adds to the burden! Once we see the intriguing nature of this puzzle, we embark on an inward journey of discovery that begins to dissolve the burden. To unravel a puzzle, it is necessary to understand all its grains, texture, and elusive nuances. In fact, we may safely say that understanding the puzzle in its entirety is the solution, for after all the solution is hiding in the makeup of the puzzle.

To substantiate the above assertion, let us look at a simple puzzle. A church bell takes 30 seconds to complete 6 gongs. How long will it take to complete 12 gongs? The answer of 60 seconds is wrong! When we understand what is happening in the process involved, we will see why that answer is wrong and also discover the right answer. For a clue, the answer is more than 60 seconds. The answer is not given here because the fun is in finding the answer, not in just knowing it. Further, when you do strike the right answer by rubbing with the puzzle, there is a strange surety about it. That firsthand feeling is what is purported here as the non-verbal awareness associated with understanding oneself.

It is to be noticed that detachment cannot be practiced as a means to an end. This is so because such a detachment is profit-motivated. As J. Krishnamurti points out, it would only mean attachment to the ideal of detachment! True detachment is a byproduct of the inward journey which is the 'all-curer'.

So, coming back to the issue of mental accumulation, the key is not in exerting effort to get rid of it, but in understanding how we are unaware of gathering the burden. The social pressure around us is pushing us all the time to be somebody and we fall prey to that demand. The image that one has about oneself slowly gets hardened and begins to gather the burden. Just as understanding the puzzle solves it, understanding oneself dissolves the burden. On our becoming interested in it, many things in life move us towards spiritual awakening. We come to understand that life is a friend and is sedulously moving us towards the Ultimate. All that is needed is the affectionate acceptance of the vicissitudes of life and patience in understanding the power of the inward journey.

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