Chapter 48 - Detachment - Strength for the Journey
What Plato Wrote About
Detached Love is not distant. It is not cold. Detachment enables deeper connections, and safe authenticity. It's fairly safe to remark that we really don't understand the concept. This is illustrated well by our common misconception that flat affect is a sign of a decreased emotional state. Repression does not equal low levels of emotional energy, quite the contrary.
Stoicism is often maligned, eyed cautiously as perhaps leaning towards the psychopathic end of the spectrum, when in Truth, it shares the middle path with Taoism & Zen, to drop a couple of names.
Honest Detachment is carefully cultivated over the course of a lifetime, requiring a diligent & conscious practice of letting go of (naturally) attachments. We can comprehend its value in the small things, we agree that letting go of cravings often leads to greater health, and in general, letting go of emotional excesses results in calmer states of living.
The moment we approach the murky world of personal relationships, however, we quickly lose sight of our objective, rational outlook. As an aside, this is stark evidence of the extent of our attachment to our beliefs in this sphere of life. To be fair, there's a great deal of shame, guilt & fragmentation beat into us, at a societal level, in the realm of personal relations, both sexual & emotional.
What are often touted as 'detached' (open) relationships, are often fraught with an excess of attachment-related complications. We cannot get ahead of ourselves, and this is a good example. Similarly, monogamy need not involve attachment. Emotional Detachment means we do not need others, but the definition is not complete there. Detachment means we do not need others, because we are whole inside with Ourselves.
Freedom from 'need' does not invariably lead to the hermitage. One is at liberty to Love others precisely because of this lack of pressure. True Love forgives as a conscious choice, an external outpouring of inner abundance, overflowing & overcoming all lesser situations.
True Love is never 'stuck', never under the gun. It need not stay, so it is also never forced to leave. It chooses actions with absolute freedom, no coercion, no feelings of entrapment. Detachment means you can walk away at any moment, which often, paradoxically, leads to sticking around.
To the heart/mind yet mired in attachments, the concept of granting others freedom of choice / movement feels like the worst idea ever! This comes from an inner Fear of loss (abandonment), and is the consequence of seeking external validation, all resulting from (drum roll): Fragmentation.
The Detached individual no longer retains the capacity to feel trapped, no matter what other parties may believe. If one acknowledges one's personal sovereignty, one is ever at liberty to reassess personal choices. However, there is no pressing motivation to do so, he/she has the leisure of near unlimited time to decide. Detachment brings emotional peace & stability, eliminating 'emergencies' & 'crises'. This cannot possibly lead to psychopathic behaviors, and actually represents the best possible insulation from such tendencies available!
One becomes free to feel, speak & live one's Truth at all times, having no reason to act otherwise (unlovingly). The pressure entailed in the constant maintenance of external attachments creates fragmentation, leading to erratic, and often cruel behavior.
This is all perceived backwards in our world, but I encourage you to test my words for Truth. I trust you will find them of great comfort in times of trouble.