Sunday, June 10, 2018

Attachment, the Buddha and the soul mate

Emotions just happen. 

At least, for me they do. I can try to cajole an emotion into being. I can try and ‘be’ an emotion, but if that emotion does not then manifest, it’s not real.

It’s false, the pretense of a feeling, and that’s inauthentic and empty. I need to really feel it. So for me, emotions are not something turned on and off like a switch, but things to manage. I’ve had a number of people in my life tell me that they can turn their feelings on and off, whenever they like.

Which would be great. I can’t imagine how awesome that would be.

But they aren’t like that for me. They occur of their own accord, when they feel like it. And then I have to manage the damned things.

And this leads to the issue of attachment. 

I came to Buddhism many years ago, and joined (briefly) a cult. But that’s another story. Anyway. A formative experience I had, which taught me how painful attachment can be, is what ultimately led me to Buddha.

Buddhism crystallized things I already knew on a subconscious level but could not articulate in a clear, concise, conscious way.

There were emotional truths that I kenned without knowing, or fully understanding. 

Buddhism delves into why we suffer. Why life can be so agonzingly painful. Why our own emotions betray us.

It’s all about The Wheel of Life, or in more contemporary terms, how our genes us emotion to try and control our behaviour, often to the detriment of our conscious selves. How we try to hold on to things that are illusory and ephemeral. Everything changes. We can enjoy in the moment, but if you try and hold on to that moment? It’s not meant to last. 

Trying to hold on will only lead to pain.

Buddha knew the selfish-gene eons before Dawkins. 

And so Buddhism teaches non-attachment. 

We can become attached to all kinds of things: success, wealth, power, beauty, fame, sex, love, excitement. Drugs. Whatever. 

Jim Carrey muses that he had to find success in order to give up. 

The evolution of ego. Never thought I would be looking to a guy who has talked literally out of his butt for wisdom, but (haha) there you go.

He’s endorsing non-attachment. He’s moving beyond extrinsic to intrinsic value. He found the material empty. 

And I agree with that, while at the same time having issues and doubts. But I understand the thinking behind it, and the wisdom of the concept.

And then I go and develop attachment.

One that defied logic and reason, that I couldn’t understand.

It did, however, teach me valuable lessons and spur growth, which, ultimately, is why it had to happen.

And that leads to the idea of soul mates.

Soul mates are people who come into our lives to wake us up, to make us grow and change and face things we’d rather ignore. Truths we don’t want to face.

The process isn’t pretty, it isn’t logical, and it isn’t easy.

And the teacher may not even know they are teaching us, at least not on a conscious level. But they provide us with an invaluable service, nonetheless.

Surface events that don’t seem significant can connect us to our past, triggering old wounds, surfacing issues. Like toppling a domino.

Or butterfly wings in the South Pacific.

That’s the service. Everything else is on us. It’s internal, all part of our journey.

So let me say this to my teachers in life (and one in particular): I will always be eternally grateful. Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment