Internal And External Attachments

Attachment can be on two levels – either internal or external.

Some common examples of external attachments are attachments to:

* people,
* objects,
* your physical body,
* your position or role in your family, society or in your professional field,
* money,
* places,
* physical comfort/comforts,
* the way you look or dress up or carry yourself or your physical personality in general,
* a particular skill/skills,
* a particular interest or hobby like watching movies, online social networking, etc.
* your routine or a certain way of working at home or at the workplace,
* respect from others,
* how people see you or behave with you or what they think of you, etc.

Some common examples of internal attachments are attachments to:

* your ideas,
* your beliefs,
* your opinions or viewpoints,
* your memories,
* a certain way of thinking
* a particular virtue/virtues or specialty/specialties,
* a particular power/powers,
* a particular sanskar/sanskars – either positive or negative, etc.

Whether the attachment is external or internal, the act of attaching is always internal. e.g. if you attach yourself to your job, you will say “my job”. Your job is something external, but you hold on to it inside you – inside your consciousness.

Each time we attach ourselves to anything which is external or internal, we create fears, amongst which the main one is the fear of loss of what I am attached to. The attachment not only gives rise to fear but also brings with it emotions like anger, ego, sadness, jealousy, greed, comparisons, hatred etc. All these emotions have their roots in attachment, which gives rise to insecurity.

Any type of attachment out of the ones mentioned in the last two days’ messages or some other is a sanskar that is so deeply embedded inside us that it seems normal to us. It is just a sanskar but it has immense amount of power and it manages to imprison us completely, but most of the time we do not even realize we are imprisoned. The negative emotional states connected with this kind of attachment create a state of internal mental pressure or an inner emptiness and make us feel absolutely helpless at times. Over a period of many births, we have become so accustomed to these attachments and the various forms of suffering connected with it that we have started believing that these are an integral part of the human personality and human life since the beginning and are, therefore, natural. And so we continue with the sanskar and even keep strengthening it, never ever thinking that it should be removed. We do this with internal stress and unhappiness to the point that even our health gets affected adversely. The natural state of the self is free and not attached in this way to anything. Attachments, whether external or internal, are acquired at different points of time in birth-rebirth cycle and are not natural or there from the beginning. All the things mentioned in the last two days’ messages have existed from the beginning but attachment to them has not. The present suffering indicates to us that these types of attachments are something abnormal or not natural.

Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

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The True Self And The False Self

Meditation is an attempt to find the true self. It is this self which holds the identity of what I am, an identity which, when realized, gives fulfillment and direction to our life. This is what we call the consciousness of * I am, which emerges in meditation when there is concentration on the present and we focus on the now of * I am, rather than the past, or the future (* I was, or * I will be).

To remind us of this state, we use the word Om, which means ‘I am a soul’, the spiritual identity that acts as a key to human consciousness. As we find and realize the true self through meditation, we become aware of the false self and how deeply embedded it is in our lives, both in our way of thinking and being.

When we understand this illusory (false) self then we can begin the process of dissolving its negative effects on the original or true self.

The illusory (false) self is made up of desires that, even when fulfilled, fail to add value, or a sense of worth to the self. In fact, quite the opposite process happens.

Let us examine some of these illusions and how they give us a mistaken sense of value.

Illusion (False emotion): Ego
Thought: I know, I am
Result: Arrogance, inflexibility, controlling others

Illusion (False emotion): Anger
Thought: I expect
Result: Force, aggression

Illusion (False emotion): Attachment
Thought: I own, It’s mine
Result: Insecurity, possessiveness, jealousy

Illusion (False emotion): Greed
Thought: I want, I need
Result: Emptiness, wanting, dissatisfaction

Illusion (False emotion): Lust
Thought: I desire
Result: Exploitation, misuse, emotional dependence

These are the five fires that burn away the quality of human life: uncontrolled emotions that once, in their original pure state, gave happiness and peace to the individual but now create only emptiness and sorrow.

Shedding Off The Attachment To A Positive Past

A very powerful mis-identification (incorrect identification) that each one of us indulges in, to different extents, is identifying with our positive or glorious actions of the past. This identification is so strong that almost every day it comes to the surface of our consciousness when we switch on the movie of this story of these actions on the screen of our minds. By rehearsing this story repeatedly we love experiencing the same emotions and feelings that we felt at that time, emotions that we had enjoyed very much. We not only re-experience that pleasure but we also love to share the pleasure by persuading others to see that movie by broadcasting that movie in front of whoever we come across. This is normally done in the form of words by speaking about our professional or personal achievements, our educational qualifications, our experiences, actions for which we gained recognition, our history, etc., all a thing of the past. But this is not talking about the real self, this is just a story, thus it is a false identification with something we are not. Every time we indulge in this type of identification, we strengthen the incorrect belief that we are talking about our self. We believe the past is us. This is the incorrect identification.

If someone were to ask us to describe ourselves in a few words, instead of talking with humility about our spiritual self, our virtues, powers, strengths, etc., which is the real self, we quickly mention all of the above features of our past, thinking this will give the other an impression of our credibility. Even when we communicate with people over email or some other mediums, we are quick to mention all these things in our signature, etc. believing this is our story and portraying that we are in love with it and other people should identify us with this story as we do and love us for the same. To remember and identify with any memory of action that we created yesterday is to identify with what we do. And we are not what we do.

Excessive attachment to a glorious past is a subtle shade of the negative emotion of ego which colors my present perception of external events and which affects my present actions and responses, as a result of which not only present but my future is also affected.  As I hold on to it, my creativity is reduced and I do everything with a limited perspective, not letting myself grow and shape up a glorious present and future. There are some people whose goal is to achieve something so great in their lives so as to ensure they will gain recognition and respect by others in time to come. This is again a subtle shade of attachment and ego.

But shedding off this type of attachment is not easy and first requires the realization that this attachment is incorrect and damaging. The next step is sitting in silence and becoming aware of how you lose your identity in a story of past thoughts, feelings, emotions, attitudes and actions and then disassociating or detaching yourself from that story. You do not need to suppress or deny or fight with this story; otherwise its memory gets stronger and more overpowering. You just need to simply see and realize deeply that your past is just a record of a particular set of actions, which you committed at a particular point of time, it is a series of images of previous events that you witnessed and that you were a part of, all of which have left a record in your memory, and in the memories of others, but they are not what you are. This type of practice of disassociation with spiritual understanding fades the excessive memory of the story in your consciousness over a short period of time and these actions then cease to influence you in any way in the present. Here we are talking about an influence, which we have for long deceived ourselves into believing to be a positive one, but which in reality is not.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Different Shades Of Attachment To Opinions And Ideas

Very often in a group or team, whether social or official, while moving towards a common goal or objective or purpose, different people in the group or gathering give their opinion to make the objective of the team possible. While giving their opinion, one very commonly sees two different categories of people. The first category contains type of people who are attached to their ideas (to different extents) while presenting them to the group and the other contains type of people who are extremely active, positive and authoritative in giving their ideas, when they are required to do so, but are able to keep a relationship of detachment with their ideas.

If someone is attached to his/her idea and it is not accepted, he/she might react emotionally (internally) or even physically (externally). He/she:
* might even start creating disharmony in the group by talking against or creating ill-feelings for the person who objected to his idea or
* might stop co-operating with the remaining members of the group or
* sometimes may just disassociate or distance himself/herself from the group,
 which is a quiet way of non co-operation and can cause ripples of negative thoughts and feelings in the others.
These and others are some of the common reactions of someone whose idea/ideas are not accepted.

So the right balance of authority (while giving the idea) and humility (while accepting the result of the idea, the result could be rejection or even acceptance of the idea) has to be maintained. Humility comes very naturally to someone who is detached to his/her idea.

The attachment or detachment to one’s ideas not only comes into play while giving an idea or opinion, but even when accepting or receiving or listening to an idea from another person from the group. The more the attachment to one’s own ideas, the more will be the tendency to resist or reject the other’s idea. A particular person, with the objective or resisting or rejecting the idea:
* might try to do the same through different means like putting up a seemingly valid or even an invalid objection to the idea in front of the whole group which may seem very reasonable to the group and may be taken or accepted by the group or the person objecting may try to ensure that happens or
* he/she may quietly disassociate from the group if the group begins showing interest in the idea (sometimes the influence of the position of the person is such that this kind of disassociation very easily manages to reduce the energy of interest of the group in the new idea) or also
* might present a new idea to the group, which manages to divert the attention of the group, etc.

Sometimes the person rejecting the idea is aware of the fact that he/she is rejecting the idea because of the inner attachment to his ideas, but will not admit it in front of others and sometimes he/she might not even be slightly aware of the fact; the attachment is too subtle to realize. Others might realize their attachment, but they might not themselves. And if someone to point out their inner attachment, they might even react, because where there is attachment, there is fear that the other’s idea will be accepted and yours will not. Attachment to one’s ideas fills the energy of ‘I am right’ in any situation. Overcoming all sorts of attachment to ones ideas is one of the foremost steps that we can take to bring about harmony in all types of relationships.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.