Saturday, November 28, 2015

Letting go of Attachment

What am I on about? Letting go of attachments is a concept that is repeated in the Stoic tradition and in the Buddhist tradition but does not show up in Christianity. It is the difference between ownership and stewardship over land and estates. It is the root cause of suffering in the Buddhist four noble truths, and with virtue, detachment is necessary and sufficient for the Stoic sage. It is freedom from condenser for those things beyond our control or influence.

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist researcher, suggests that love and attachment can be separated to produce a loving kindness toward all without attachment. It is the other part, the lack of attachment, that is the key to letting go of all the hassles of life. Freedom, in its true sense. Serenity. Tranquility.

Attachment is one of the emotions that Christianity and Islam push for. The opposite is found in the philosophy's that bring tranquility. I think that I need to look to the philosophies on this one. Attachment is the problem, not the solution. This is a subtle difference, yet big in effect. Ideas exist outside of us, and those who do not subscribe to the same idea are just not looking at the same concepts, like rigorous honesty.

Consider our wonderful NDP government. They have a revenue  shortfall due to low oil prices. So they do not want to bring a sales tax, but bring in a carbon tax instead. It is intended to "clean up our environment". It is all semantics. They are importing foreigners, yet the real problem is overpopulation, because that is what we should do for humanitarian reasons. Detachment is what we need to resolve many things. Attachment, as promoted by Christians or detachment as promoted by Stoics and Buddhists; that is the question of the day. 



  1. The big struggle having to do with detachment, as i see it, is how to care about suffering in the world -- compassion is EASY, but it "don't feed the bulldog." Sure i can be detached and float through life myself, but when one sees evil, and especially evil aimed at the most vulnerable members of society, how does one detach from THAT? How does one not actively hate the mean, selfish, greedy bastards who enjoy inflicting pain on other?

  2. Thanks Tess. That deserves a full post.


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