Jump to the following topics:
- What is attachment?
- Attachment is condemned by religion.
- How are attachments formed?
- The techniques for "managing" our attachments.
What is attachment? It is the energetic bond between a material object and an element within one of our archetypal fields. The material object might be a physical possession, a person, a viewpoint (e.g., an opinion, a belief, etc.), a circumstance (e.g., our occupation, our neighborhood, etc.). The energy which sustains attachment is the same energy which sustains "desire"; it is the energy which is created when spirit "fragments" into dualities (and thus it is somewhat analogous to the energy which is created when an atom is "split" in fission). The "dualities" are two reciprocal archetypes (e.g., Male and Female). This energy is then a bond between those dualities, drawing the two together (as in desire) and holding the two together (as in attachment) until the energy-charge has been resolved.
Attachment is condemned by religion. It creates the same dynamics (and the same behaviors) for which desire is condemned. Parallel to the list in the chapter regarding desire, we can say that attachment focuses our attention upon materiality, maintains our sense of duality, precludes emotional and mental stillness, precludes passionless objectivity, precludes contentment, precludes discipline and control of the mind and emotions, removes us from an experience of "living in the moment," is experienced as a type of pain, and can be viewed as a disruptive influence in a sub-culture which values passivity, complacency, and tranquility. As in the chapter regarding desire, each of these factors can be shown to be a distraction from "religious" ideals but they are actually (1) the natural, innocent dynamics of the material worlds, and (2) part of the spiritual process by which soul learns about its own nature and clarifies its relationship to spirit via spirit's fragmenting into archetypal aspects so that we can study spirit one-part-at-a-time. ("Spirit" is defined as the substance of which soul is composed, just as clay is the substance of which bricks are composed.)
How are attachments formed? Attachments are created when we have an archetypal field whose elements -- thoughts, images, and energy tones -- interfere with the free exchange of energy in our interaction with a material object. For example, an attachment to a person is created via the following process:
- We encounter a person for whom we have a desire; i.e., we sense an energy charge which draws us to that person for the purpose of satisfying our need for the type of energy and information that is available from that person.
- During the interaction, we attempt to exchange whatever specific energy and information is meant to be exchanged. The exchange occurs through conversation, physical contact, eye contact, and other means. Intuitively, we perform a "matching" process -- matching what we need with whatever she can give, and vice versa (i.e., matching what she needs with what we can give). We sense what is to be said, and what is to be done. If we allow this matching process to occur intuitively, there is an appropriate exchange of particular energy and information. When the exchange is completed, we part company.
- However, at some point, we might fail to use our intuition as a guide; perhaps we are simply unable to perceive that "inner voice." Then, instead of responding intuitively to the unique dynamics of this situation, we default to mere "decision-making" on the basis of logic, past experience, and the residual elements in our archetypal fields (which contain a record of our previous encounters with this archetype); those archetypes or constellations (and their dysfunctional thoughts) might include (1) Ego ("I will say some things that will make her believe that I am smart"), (2) Success ("I want to be more successful than my brother in creating relationships"), and (3) Female ("I should be maintaining eye contact, but I can't stop looking at her large breasts"). The encounter is now "polluted" by these alien thoughts, images, energy tones and actions; they are disrupting the exchange of energy and information in that we are, for example, saying comments to impress her (to solicit feedback which soothes our "inferiority complex") instead of the comments which would develop this relationship in this moment (i.e., would aid the purpose of exchanging energy and information).
- As a result of these energy blockages, two events occur: (1) the energy which was meant to be exchanged was not exchanged, and (2) we inserted those polluting elements into the fields which corresponded to the archetypes (i.e., we created "karmic residue"). Because of those two conditions, we are now karmically "attached" to this archetypal situation; the unresolved energy in the complexes will continue to bond us (i.e., "attach" us), via the same magnetism-like dynamic of "desire" by which we were originally drawn to the person. However, because our field-elements correspond to archetypes (and not to human beings), our attachment exists only incidentally to this particular person; if we try to escape from the task of learning to respond appropriately (i.e., intuitively) in the archetypal situations which that person evoked with us, we might seek a relationship with someone else -- but the same a-field elements will still be there, and they will lead us compulsively (through the force of their trapped energy) to re-create the archetypal conditions in which those fields were polluted so that we can try again to maintain a link to our intuition during our interaction with the archetypes such that we are generating the particular thoughts, images, and energy tones which facilitate (rather than impede) the flow of energy between ourselves and the person. Our a-field's elements stay with us even beyond death; they are the basis of the visions which are confronted in the "bardo" as described in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and they are entities whose magnetism-like force is the core around which material precipitates and solidifies into the conditions in which we will be reincarnated for another opportunity to learn about ourselves and our archetypes.
The techniques for "managing" our attachments.
- Parallel to the list for managing desires, we can manage our attachments in the following ways. (Refer to the list in the chapter regarding desires; the following list is shortened, to avoid redundancy. Also, because our attachments are essentially our "karma," we can acquire more attachment-resolution techniques from the chapter regarding karma.)
- We can accept the existence of attachments (so that we aren't denying their existence and having to fulfill them anyway but in an unaware and compulsive state); for example, we admit that we really are attached or "addicted" to a person, object, or activity. Although we have a natural distaste for the restrictions and discomfort which are inflicted by attachments, we know that they are an essential part of a process by which we are learning about the nature of spirit as represented by the archetypes; we accept not only the process but also the pain itself -- knowing that it is the prod which motivates us to attend to our lessons as we try again to come to terms with the archetypes.
- We can become more aware of our attachments (so that we are
able to manage them more effectively). We recognize attachments
by noticing (1) the persistent recurrence of similar
circumstances, and (2) our mechanical behavior (i.e., obsessive
thoughts and compulsive actions) in response to these
circumstances as the static elements of the fields assert
themselves. After recognizing the attachment itself, we try to
- The archetypal core of the dynamics (i.e., the fundamental aspects of life beneath the surface appearances). Which archetypes are dominant in this situation?
- The field's contents which we have created as a result of our previous encounters with this archetypal situation. Which thoughts, images, energy tones, and actions are we repeating from previous encounters with the archetype?
- The possibility that we are creating new attachments in this situation due to our inability or unwillingness to be guided by our intuition.
- We can change the field-elements upon which our attachments are based (by using archetypal field-work). As we struggle with a dilemma in our life, the true struggle is not with the material circumstance itself; the circumstance is merely an overlay (i.e, a "graphical user interface") to the archetypal dynamics. In every predicament, we are coming to terms with archetypes by developing fields whose contents allow a free flow of energy and information to and from the archetypes. If we have appropriate elements in our fields, the contents grant an objectivity and vitality which guide our problem-solving efforts toward a resolution (i.e., the completed exchange of energy and information), and then -- when the cycle ends -- we can truly detach from the circumstance (because there is no unresolved energy to bond us), and we can move on to something else.
- We can allow attachments to play themselves out (because we realize that they must run their cycle regardless of our resistance to them or our dislike of them). We are attentive to the cycle itself, so that we know when to release that object. We detect the end of a cycle through various means: (1) a message from our intuition, (2) a general sense that we are finished with the object, (3) an awareness that something new has come into our life such that the old object no longer has a place, or (4) the detection that the object is no longer charged with vitality (and thus we feel boredom, or lack of interest, or the degeneration of our interaction into meaningless "habits").
- We can transcend our attachments through disidentification
(so that we can study them objectively). Our true identity lies
in the wholistic "soul"; our circumstances (and the material
goods which are props in these temporary circumstances) are
here only for our education, not for their own sake. While
acknowledging the human fact that our thoughts, images, energy
tones, and physical possessions are (in a sense) a part of us,
we also see that they are ephemeral visitors which we
have adopted solely because they facilitate our life at this
moment. We can apply this idea to all areas of our life:
- Our physical possessions. The pleasure which we feel in ownership is due to the pleasurable flow of life-energy toward an object; it is not due to the object itself (except to the extent to which it elicits this flow). If we direct our attention toward this flow (rather than to the essentially lifeless and meaningless object), we find no reason to cling to any particular object; instead, we attend to the energy itself, and we notice only incidentally the object which is currently holding the charge that attracts our attention and energy-flow. In the acquisition of new objects, our intuition can tell us which objects to seek; intuition selects objects on the basis of two criteria: (1) the necessities of human life (e.g., a home, a car), and (2) the need to resolve residual energy of field-elements from previous archetypal encounters.
- Our "opinions." Viewpoints are not the same as opinions.
"Viewpoints" are our temporary perspectives from our
position in life at this moment; they are like the changing
scenery as we drive along a mountain road. "Opinions" are
created when we impose a personal attachment onto an
otherwise-impersonal thought; this is now my
opinion, and it is a permanent opinion, and it is a
better opinion than yours. Although we can defend
ourselves when someone else's viewpoint causes circumstances
which infringe upon us, we see no reason to fight for our
beliefs themselves because they are merely tentative
thoughts that we are testing in an archetypal situation
while other people are testing their own tentative thoughts.
Instead of squelching those people's viewpoints, we can
consider these alternatives:
- We can acknowledge the enjoyment and arousal which we find in the variety and spice which are presented in the potpourri of viewpoints.
- We can consider the value of every person's viewpoint as a thought which we could adopt and implant into our own archetypal fields to make them more effective.
- We can respect the right of people to experiment with
their own lives as long as they are not hurting us. We
observe the ways in which our own freedom of expression
is squelched whenever we try to limit that freedom in
- We are restricting our own life-energy by the distracting attempt to control the other people.
- We restrict ourselves also by the attempt to control ourselves to make certain that we aren't expressing whatever we have condemned in them while we are simultaneously compulsively driven to do precisely the activity which we have condemned because the condemnation itself is an inappropriate charged thought in the archetypal field corresponding to that activity.
- Our self-image. As we move from one archetypal situation to another, we need to adopt a different set of thoughts, images, and energy tones in order to maintain the flow there; for example, we obviously have to "change hats" when we come home from our job, i.e., we change from "employee" to "parent." As we constantly change from one circumstance to another, we are more effective if we are flexible in our self-concepts; instead of labeling ourselves as a particular type of person, and thus responding mechanically as that type of person, we can remain aware that all of our traits are temporary and conditional; in one sense, they are who we are (as human beings) -- but in another sense, they are merely field-elements which we have created in our attempt to manage archetypal situations. This distancing (i.e., detachment) allows us to be more creative in our experiments with archetypes; we become a "chameleon," changing our colors to respond to our changing environment -- not in a valueless, "spineless," manner, but instead in compliance with the "value" that the moment's intuition-guided fulfillment is more valuable (for all concerned) than is the rigid maintenance of any particular personal characteristic.
- We can develop self-discipline. Self-discipline is generally used to shut off our flow of life-energy toward an object; however, used rightly, self-discipline is simply the use of our will to direct our attention and life-energy toward a particular charged object with such intensity that we are not distracted by other charged objects which we will need to confront later.
- We can savor that to which we are attached (because savoring allows the exchange of energy and information for which this material object came into our life). In savoring, we look for the life within the situation, and we do not block this experience of life through the irrelevant imposition of judgmentalness (i.e., approving or disapproving by standards that someone told us would increase a particular valued quality within us but are instead interfering with the flow of life toward the judged object). We savor the liveliness of the object, even if we do not "like" the object itself.