UCAN Spirituality Catholic Church News

Detachment and Freedom

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Sri Chinmoy

From the body we get the message of attachment. From the soul we get the message of detachment. The body is limited, hence the body wants to bind us and limit us. It wants to bind and limit our outer capacity and our inner potentiality. The soul in its potentiality and capacity, is limitless and endless. Therefore the soul wants to free us from the meshes of ignorance and liberate us from the bondage night.

What is attachment? Attachment is the dance of our outer pleasure. What is detachment? Detachment is the song of our inner joy. Attachment ends in the prison cell of frustration and destruction. Detachment fulfils itself in the palace of Divinity and Immortality.

I am a fool if I consciously live in the physical. I am a greater fool if I constantly admire and adore my physical body. I am the greatest fool if I live only to satisfy the needs of my physical existence.

I am a wise person if I know that there is something called the soul. I am a wiser person if I care to see and feel my soul. I will be the wisest person if I live in my soul and for my soul constantly and soulfully, unreservedly and unconditionally.

When we are attached to the body, we become in no time, impulsive. When we are attached to the vital, we become, very soon, explosive. When we are attached to the physical mind, we ultimately become destructive.

But when we are in the body, detached, we consciously feel our aspiring consciousness. When we are in the vital, detached, we expand and widen our aspiring consciousness. When we are in the mind, detached, we fulfil supremely our unlimited consciousness here on earth.

Detachment is misunderstood. We feel that if someone is detached, he is indifferent. Spiritual seekers also make the same mistake in thinking that when we want to show detachment to someone, we must show him utter indifference, to the point of total neglect. This is not true. When we are indifferent to someone, we do nothing for him. We have nothing to do with his joy or sorrow, his achievement or failure. But when we are truly detached, we work for him devotedly and selflessly. The results of our actions we offer at the Feet of the Lord Supreme, our Inner Pilot.

From “Attachment and Detachment” (1970)


Oregon Jesuits

Ignatian spirituality places value on discovering what is most important in life, and then not getting tied down by anything else that is superfluous. By being a little more “detached,” or less fixated on, the stuff that doesn’t truly matter – like money, possessions or even technology – we can be free and open to deepen our relationship with God and well as with our friends, families and selves.

From “Ignatian Spirituality” (2014)