“One day you will disappear on a funeral pyre — just into nothingness, as smoke. Don’t get attached to anything. This attachment takes you away from your real being; you become focused on the thing to which you are attached. Your awareness gets lost in things, in money, in people, in power. And there are a thousand and one things, the whole thick jungle around you, to be lost in. Remember, non-attachment is the secret of finding yourself, then awareness can turn inwards because you don’t have anything outside to catch hold of. It is free, and in this freedom you can know your self-nature.” – Osho
Attachment is the root of suffering. Learning to live without attachment not only alleviates unnecessary suffering it has the potential to liberate us also. We are able to gain freedom by which we are able to recognize our true state of balance, tranquility, and happiness. Note, a distinction exists between living without attachment and living detached, which is a topic on its own that requires extensive and thorough examination and discussion. To continue, through diligent practice reducing and eliminating craving and desire is possible according to Buddhist teachings. Consider attachment to material objects and people.
First, attachment to the material encompasses more than the vehicles, homes, gadgets, and wardrobes. It also relates to anything that has the potential to compromise our identities. The potential to compromise our self-worth is contingent upon where we attach value. In short, the material relates to the external world and its influence upon us. So, if we choose to attach our self-worth to our careers, titles, and ranks, then our self-worth is controlled by not only us but by other external forces, which is a precarious state. Wanting and desiring leads to suffering, because every want and desire derived from the external world is hollow. Since we adapt, those desires offer instant gratification, temporary pleasantries, and fleeting happiness only. The term used to describe the phenomenon is the “hedonic treadmill.” If any individual seeks happiness and prefers to avoid all kinds of pain, then the answer is not in accumulating the material, since the material is susceptible to change and collapse.
Then, attachment to others is as equally harmful. If nothing else externally separates a bond, then death will inevitably play its role. Death is a fact; we all pass away. It contributes to the balance of life. An individual is better equipped to withstand death’s reach, when one understands deeply. We know of others who have lost loved ones and we think the loss is a part of life. Yet, when we encounter the loss, we lose sight of the truth. Mixing our identity with others is a risky choice, since none of us are immortal nor do we have control over the other person’s freewill. If an individual chooses to place their meaning, purpose, and significance in another person other than themselves, then they are relinquishing control over their happiness. Avoid placing happiness on something or someone that is susceptible to loss.
What we are able to cultivate and use to combat attachment is our internal path development. Our effort to exist in harmony and mindfully with oneself and the external world offers invaluable rewards for the soul and spirit. Individuals are able to build identities without external attachment by building character, moral code, kindness, and compassion.
Nothing lasts forever and individuals are to question, investigate, and decide whether or not that is a fortunate or an unfortunate truism. The level of happiness and fulfillment one attains is dependent on discovering the truth.