Excerpts from Chapter 8: Non-Attachment

Excerpt 1: “There are, in fact, two key problems with having attachments to people, things, and outcomes. First, if the object of a given attachment cannot be obtained, the result is unhappiness and perhaps downright misery for some folks. Second, even if one is able to obtain whatever or whoever to which they are attached, the result is not long-lasting happiness, but rather some fleeting amount of satisfaction followed by anxiety about losing it or them.”

Excerpt 2: Our culture’s fascination with romantic love is really quite pervasive. If you have any doubts about this, just listen to many of the most popular songs during the past fifty years or more, and you will hear all kinds of lyrics about how badly someone needs someone else. For example, “Baby I need your lovin’,” or “If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me,” and so on. We are literally bombarded with this type of programming in music, and in films, books and TV shows as well. In view of these messages, it is not surprising that so many people develop the belief that they need a romantic partner in their life. The reality is that whenever you approach a love relationship from a position of need, you are actually putting yourself into a very uneasy position.”

Excerpt 3: “Perhaps most importantly, it is necessary to leave behind the age-old teaching that competition is required simply because there are only so many opportunities in this world. As we learned in Chapter 7, this world by its very nature is abundant, so there really is no need to compete with anyone unless you believe that you must. According to the renowned spirituality author Emmet Fox:

God never repeats Himself, and so He has never made two people alike, and it is for this reason that no two people could ever do the same work, or express themselves in quite the same way. That is why, rightly understood, there really need be no competition. There need be no such thing as, say, two thousand people struggling for the same place in life. Whatever the place may be, there can be only one person who can fill it perfectly; and there are one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine other places somewhere waiting for the people if only they will find them.92

[92 Emmet Fox, Your Heart’s Desire, (Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Co., 1933) p. 2-3]

Excerpt 4: “It is actually very true: people are attached to the ‘known’ because, as a rule, none of us really like change. We all tend to prefer the status quo because it’s predictable and therefore theoretically safe. This is the case even if we are not content with our present situation, for in a very real sense it is preferable to have the certainty even at the price of unhappiness.

There is however, a big problem that arises from attachment to the ‘known’: it may well prevent us from experiencing all sorts of wonderful and positive things out there in the ‘unknown’. As Joseph Campbell was heard to say, “nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be,” and yet most people continue to crave predictability and certainty instead.”

Read Excerpts from Chapter 9: Forgiveness