Spiritual Maturity


The Law of

Detachment

We have discussed Transcendence and Free Will, and now we are ready to link those two concepts up to a third spiritual law: the Law of Detachment. This particular one is otherwise known as “the Law of Letting Go”.

Why would detachment be classified as a spiritual law? Because we need to be free and clear of obstacles that prevent us from seeing and acknowledging our true state of being. We need to be aware of our true state of being so that we know what it is about ourselves that we need to enhance if we are to become more spiritually mature. The form that most obstacles take when it comes to seeing our true selves is emotional engagement in dramas — dramas created by ourselves or by others. When we are caught up in a drama, all of our focus tends to shift to what the other person is doing, saying or thinking, and there is little focus on what is behind what we are doing, saying or thinking.

So, detachment means not getting emotionally involved with drama, even though the drama is occurring all around us, and even though our loved ones might be insisting that we go through a drama with them. A person who can detach is NOT selfish, cold-hearted, or insensitive, but that’s what we feel they are when they won’t go along with our drama. Misery loves company, and when we can’t get company for our drama, we make the person’s lack of emotional participation a whole other drama to add to the one we’re already experiencing. So now we have two dramas to deal with — and the person is still detached! We judge that person as being selfish, cold-hearted, and insensitive, when in reality what they are doing is respecting our Free Will choice to feel what we feel, and their Free Will choice to determine for themselves what they will feel.    

What sort of accusations do we level at our loved ones who detach from our drama?

In the main, we accuse them of not “supporting” us by feeling the same way about our situation as we do. We tend to think that the best way a person can support what we are going through is by experiencing that thing alongside us. We take the viewpoint “united we stand, divided we fall”, and “we will all go down together”. We even send songs glorifying that principle to the top of the hit-parade charts.

But why do we want the person to go through all this? Why are we so offended when the person is emotionally detached from how we have chosen to respond to the situation? Why do we insist on company as we play out our drama, to the point that we choose to be devastated, let down, abandoned, betrayed by someone who won’t engage in it alongside us?

I ask you to consider the immense power than our first and second chakras have on the rate of our spiritual growth.

Detachment is a Lower Chakras Issue

The first chakra essentially is the house of tribal instinct. It is concerned with how we get along with the people in our families, culture, and social circles. A healthy first chakra gives us a distinct awareness of our personal boundaries and the right to make our own decisions, all whilst being in harmony with our tribe. A damaged first chakra leaves us unable to function independently of the tribe, and a refusal to allow others to be independent of the tribe. When we insist that others in our tribe share the emotional experiences that have resulted from the choices we ourselves have made, are we doing so because we are afraid of someone transcending themself and leaving the tribe behind? Do we sense a power-shift within the tribe’s hierarchy  — a shift that would unsettle the roles we require everyone to take up? Do we have a lower-perspective concept of what “abandonment” is, and mistakenly see respect for our growth process as abandonment of us and rejection of our tribe? Do we say to ourselves, “Who does that person think they are? What right do they have to leave us all behind?” These feelings are all classic indications of a first chakra requiring attention, and are the opposite of loving detachment. 

The second chakra essentially is the house of material power. It is concerned with our ability to sustain physical advantage over earthly elements, primarily intimate relationships and money. A healthy second chakra gives us the ability to set our own standards of and pace for success without giving in to external pressure to succeed quickly and at any-and-all costs. A damaged second chakra leaves us open to endless competition and power plays with others whom we see as a threat to our success. Could the thought of someone else transcending their state of being when we are not transcending ours be intolerable because we put ourselves in spiritual competition with others, even those we love dearly, and we want to come out “the winner”? Is it our view that someone in our circle transcending their state of being exposes our own refusal — conscious or subconscious, but it’s a refusal — to transcend? Do we thus seek to involve people in dramas so that we can control their rate of transcendence? These feelings are all classic indications of a second chakra in need of attention, and they too are not in line with the principle of detachment. 

In spiritual reality, the best “support” a person can give us when we are caught in a drama is to be there to love us as we make our Free Will decision as to how to respond to the challenges that have risen. They can pray for God to assist us in seeing a clear path through the storm clouds, and mustering the courage or strength to walk that path. They can hold us by the hands, look us in the eyes, and gently, adamantly or otherwise describe to us what that path is, if they have walked it before. If the path is new to them as well as to us, they can respect that we are on the journey that at the highest level is intended for our growth, and they will watch and learn from us, and remind us that we can chart a course of leadership that will be of service to others who later might be on the same path. But then they stand back, and give us the chance to take the test that, when passed, will initiate us into a higher state of being. This is not selfishness, abandonment, or insensitivity — it is a sophisticated act of respect for the process of spiritual growth.

The Masters Detach From Victory AS WELL AS Defeat

What about when we observe circumstances that strike us as an abuse of the vulnerable, and we find passion stirring within us to take action? Are we supposed to detach from an injustice we believe we are witnessing? No. Those of us who incarnated as Heroes, Rebels, Advocates, Mobilisers, Warriors, Pioneers, and Wise Ones did so for a reason. And the reason is: those archetypes are needed to give society a chance against archetypes that seek to suppress and exploit. But the Law of Detachment has very clear parameters for how to fight a just cause: Give a just cause everything you’ve got short of physical force — campaign for it, fight for it, throw the non-violent works at it — and if you experience victory, DO SO GRACIOUSLY.

A gracious victory involves honouring the Principle of Oneness by remembering that all humans are enrolled in the school of trial and error and therefore are permitted to make mistakes. A gracious victor will wish the losing party nothing but expansion out of the mindset that lead them to create the injustice that has just been overcome. They will watch their own ego and their second chakra like a hawk scanning for prey, acting immediately if they realise they are seeking glory for what they just accomplished. They don’t care if they are not getting a hero’s reception from others, because they know the victory was not about their ego or power over others, but about restoring the flow of the River of Life. They are humbled by, not proud of, the thought that they were able to act on behalf of spirit, and they say, “All glory goes to God”. They remember that self-transcendence is what they’re here for. And then they consign the experience to history and quietly get on with life.

An ungracious victory involves the winner flogging the loser over and over with the whip of their tongue as they gleefully tell of the loser’s humiliation to anyone who will listen. An ungracious victor tells as many people as they can about their own strength, their righteousness, their sheer cleverness in righting a wrong, in a manner that goes way beyond recording and teaching and which, rather, strays into boasting. They minutely dissect, micro judge, the loser’s actions out loud to each other again and again — again not with the intent of teaching and recording, but with the intent of ridiculing and crucifying. Although all of these actions are in perfect accordance with the Law of Free Will, certainly none of them are in accordance with the Law of Detachment, and therefore are unlikely to result in personal transcendence.

And so what if we give a just cause everything we’ve got within the bounds of non-violence, and we fail to get a change? Well, within the Law of Detachment, we acknowledge that there is nothing more we can do, and we walk away. We accept that under the laws of Transcendence and Free Will, the other person will experience the consequences of their actions, but just not now. We figure that maybe we were the cricket ball or the bowling ball thrown by God to get the other person’s attention, and that given that didn’t work, the wall is on its way. But the timing of that is between God and the other person. We regret the situation, we shake our heads sadly at what could have been, we pray to God for the other person to see the higher-perspective path, we tell ourselves matter-of-factually that Karma is going to come into play eventually — and we see the pitiful shame in that; but then we turn our attention and energy away from the situation, and return to focussing on the state of our own spiritual being.

If we fail, we can, of course, stay attached to the situation and choose to keep trying, which, assuming we’ve already given the cause every effort we’ve got, will mean re-trying tactics that didn’t work the first time, or resorting to violence. With regard to keeping on trying with unsuccessful tactics, it was Albert Einstein who said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It also is the same thing as stagnation, which will result in a move backwards sooner or later. With regard to using physical force, violence is a direct subversion of another person’s Free Will, and it will result in a karmic deficit that we will have to account for at some later stage. 

“Controlling” Others Is Attachment, “Leading” Others is Detachment

For those of us used to being in charge, the Law of Detachment has this to say: detachment forms the difference between leadership and control. A leader sets an example and leaves others to follow it; a controller forces others to follow commands. A leader does not force others to follow the example; if people follow it, well and good, if they don’t follow it – that’s a shame, but ultimately that’s their problem, not that of the leader. A controller is very attached to their command being followed; there will be consequences for anyone who doesn’t do what they’re told to. If we commit to living in accordance with spiritual law, we need to be leaders, not controllers.

Children and Detachment

Application of all spiritual laws to children should be gradual, incremental, gentle, and well considered. Needless to say, with the Law of Detachment there are obvious modifications and certain exceptions needed when it comes to children. Children depend on adult leadership, guidance, engagement, and commitment in order to reach adulthood in the first place, and we are not spiritually required to detach from our responsibilities and obligations in these regards. In fact, to detach from our children’s concerns would be disastrous for their emotional wellbeing, and a misapplication of the Law of Detachment.

The Law of Detachment can be honoured with children by the adults remembering that children are here for the same purpose that we are — to grow toward spiritual wholeness. Because we transcend ourselves through trial and error under the Law of Free Will, after we have engaged in committed leadership in guiding them to morally and spiritually wise decisions, children need to be allowed to experience the consequences of the choices they have made in terms of behaviour and actions. When they falter and fall and experience pain as a result of choices that don’t work, under the Law of Detachment we may soothe them, counsel them, discipline them, hug them to our hearts, wipe their tears, guide them to a better choice — and let them make their next choice. With an eye on the future adults our children will become, and all the skills that we know they will need to navigate the non-negotiable process of expansion and contraction as adults, we train them to view their mistakes as nothing more than a God-given signpost to a different choice, and how to choose and manage their emotions constructively.

“Detachment” Does Not Mean "Neglect"

It is neither spiritually wise nor morally acceptable to use the Law of Detachment as an excuse for negligible abandonment of leadership or failure to lend material assistance to others in need of it — such as pushing a car that has broken down after you repeatedly warned its owner that was going to happen (the fact that the owner has to fix the car is the consequence of their choice not to take care of it. We don’t need to add a log to that fire). Detachment is not to be interpreted as a licence for not caring. It is not a free-pass for psychological and physical remoteness and inaccessibility to those who have a right to our attention. To willingly cite the Law of Detachment as a reason for mistreating others through neglect is abuse of a God-given tool for transcendence. And good luck with the Karmic Board of Directors.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, but do not stay in those shoes. Get out of them quickly, consider what would be the most appropriate action within the Law of Free Will, and then act accordingly with tenderness. 

Yes, This Law's a Toughie!

The Law of Detachment is one of the hardest spiritual laws to follow. Committing to it is easier said than done. We love our family and friends so much that watching them live out a needless drama can be frustrating at the least and agonising at the worst — and frustration and agony that won’t go away are both signs of attachment. Those people in our lives who don’t know of or understand spiritual laws will make an even bigger drama of our detachment than the drama they want us to attach to. So that’s two things to detach from. But behind the Law of Detachment is the ultimate respect for our loved one’s growth toward spiritual wholeness. There is nothing but Unconditional Love behind it — love for our self, and love for those close to us. The onus is on us to learn how to live according to the Law of Discernment. It is perfectly okay to do it slowly — drama by drama, bit by bit. Perspective is the key, and is what will keep us calm. The perspective we are after is commitment to growth.

And so I leave this rather hard-hitting piece at that. Whilst I have accepted responsibility for making available to you a piece of universal law that I have come to understand well, and attached myself to making sure I engaged you as I spoke, I now detach from what you do with the information from this point on — that is entirely and utterly up to you, and God wouldn’t have it any other way.


 

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