By John Samsen
Forming attachments is one of the most natural things we do. Animals bond with family groups, and become attached to their habitats, their kinds of foods, and their territories.
Babies bond with their caregivers, and quickly become attached to their thumbs, their blankets, and their toys.
All through our lives, we form attachments to people, our bodies, our minds, our “looks”, our religious and political groups, and many other things.
Sometimes attachments become addictions. In extreme forms, they can become our masters, our prisons.
Through the ages, the teachers of transformation have told us that the way to freedom from the fear and suffering of the Egoworld is through surrendering our attachments. The very old Vedas and Upanishads taught the principle of non-attachment. As did the Chinese Taoists.
Jesus of Nazareth told his disciples to relinquish all they had, and leave their loved ones behind; “let the dead bury the dead”. “It would be easier to pull a camel through the eye of a needle, than to get a rich man into the Kingdom of Heaven”.
I am amazed that Jesus could find twelve people who were willing to give up everything. This also includes attachments to ideologies, and concepts of divinity (idols). Above all, one must surrender one’s self – one’s ego consciousness.
Very few people are willing to make such a sacrifice; it’s no wonder that so few individuals have reached liberation despite the millions who have strived for it through the many disciplines designed for that purpose.
It is easy to become attached to particular gurus, schools, or methods. Jiddu Krishnamurti, a 20th. Century teacher, warned about becoming attached to a particular guru, technique of meditation, or belief. I think that most people who reached liberation were forced to surrender by circumstances.
It is almost too much to expect that the ego will willingly abdicate its place of (imagined) power. It may think that it will acquire powers, admiration, etc., from enlightenment, but the reality is that enlightenment is only realized when the ego is not.