Inspired by the Buddhist philosophy I was finally able to abandon attachment and desire. Not completely, but to a great extent. I mean, I still have my life, I go on studying and one day I expect to be a well succeeded person. Though I no longer try to hold to people, or to the necessity of things being in a certain way. The inner turmoil that used to accompany me seems to have almost disappeared.
I know this kind of behaviour is totally the opposite of the attitude that western society would incite. My family and friends don’t seem to get me. They probably think that my “lack of drive” is depression or some other type of syndrome. But I don’t see it in this way. This change of behaviour made me see everything from another perspective and made me rethink what is really valuable to me.
Sometimes wishes appear in my mind, but I know they are fleeting. And that one moment later I’ll be wishing something else. Thinking that this new thing would make me happy. To hold onto wishes is like chasing an illusion. But sometimes our illusions serve as consolations to us. What do you think is preferable: a life of illusions in which you still can try to realize your wishes, or the sober certainty that in the end everything is vain?
I think striking a balance is possible and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can still try to realize your wishes (what’s the point of being human and having these desires if you ignore them all?) while taking it all lightly and realizing it’s an illusion. The trick is just to stay aware and not take the game too seriously, and not to let your peace of mind depend upon fulfilling said wishes.
I find that there is a feeling of spiritual responsibility to fulfill your potential (if that is even a thing) as well as a poison in having extravagant desires. I think where most people find balance is in the idea of selflessness because anything you work towards is for the good of the world and you are able to commit to it without the ego gratification. But that backfires all the time from the way things aren’t truly selfless and all that. It seems dumb to want anything other than health and loving relationships because you could never do any of the extra stuff without those. And people get soo upset about not having the extra stuff.
My advice would be to give it up. Forget about it. If you’re wanting to stop wanting things, all you’re doing is leaving yourself wanting. If that’s what you truly desire, it will come. But you trying to force it won’t do you any good. So forget about it. Be you, do you, what you seek will come.
I too have believed for a long time that the Buddhist way of life, where they are preaching no attachment etc., is the way of living. I have tried it for a while, but what I have come to realise is that it is simply their way of living. Yes, there are good qualities that I can apply in my daily life, but I have been born and raised in a totally different culture, with totally different values.
Have you heard of the term spiritual bypassing? I believe a lot of Westerners succumb to that once they get sucked into Buddhism. I believe 90% of the Westerns who do practice Buddhism so intensively are running away from problems they cannot deal with in the Western society. It’s a simply and quick escape not to deal with the difficult things in life.
Well, they have difficulties with it over there too. Another popular religion is Taoism. However, they realize society demands certain things for the individual, so its as if they don’t expect people to ‘get it’ until they retire. Taoism is just a more extensive version of Buddhism in my opinion. Ive heard it been stated that ‘buddhism is for the young, taoism is for the old’
You are right though- it’s more conducive to their lives and lifestyles to live without attachment, whereas that may be a bit more beneficial in some areas for us in the west. These religions along with Hinduism helped keep some peace in many ways actually. It ‘gave’ hope to someone unfortunate enough to be born an untouchable or low-class.
Are you talking about the state of desirelessness? If so you are still making a choice, an attachment to something. Even the simple single cells that make up our bodies have desires. Even now you are desiring Oxygen, you’re just not desiring it on a conscious level. I perceive what you are saying as “this not that”. To me I’ve chosen to see things as “this AND that” not “this OR that”.
For me desirelessness is being in a state of awareness where you recognize that everything is already yours. Therefore I don’t have to be in a state of want, desire, need, stress, etc… because everything is already mine. To me this is desirelessness because you already know its yours, therefore you don’t have a desire. I am not proficient with this awareness because I am always reminding myself of this state of being but with each moment it gets easier. Of course this is my perspective and not the only way, just perception.