Many spiritual traditions, as per timeframe, culture and interpretation, advocate non-attachment. Non-attachment is part of the spiritual awareness, when we are asked to distance ourselves to material possessions, sensual pleasure, and thought forms. Ideally this attitude is to foster the ability to observe and become aware of the observer, helping us to realise what we are not – thoughts, senses, material body. We are to observe but not invest in or attach any emotional energy to the observed. Effectively we are distancing ourselves from aspects of human make up that point to a wider understanding. Has somebody proved the thoughts we are thinking are ‘ours’?
To the careless or the over-zealous non-attachment might become a trap leading to isolation or an excuse not to engage with what hurts and heal. Many of us come from troubled childhood where the primary attachment had never been formed, is it to our benefit and health to detach from Life even further? Detached we cannot be fully present to ourselves let alone to another. I observe that in many ‘spiritually’ inclined people or even whole communities – their spiritual practices are a very mind and goal oriented activity. Thinking they are transcending the mind they bypass, often painful, truths of the heart, unaware this is the only gate to Grace, the source of true illumination.
For not all desires are wants. Some desires are born (or rather have always been alive), at the centre of our heart. Whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, they shape our life. They burn and will forever ask our attention. These desires will ask us to surrender everything we have ever known about ourselves, the world, others. They will challenge everything we ‘know’ about non-attachment, until we become dedication, wholly in service of what’s beyond our imagination yet present as a seed in our hearts.