The Bliss of Detachment

Happiness is in acting without acting. There is neither happiness nor salvation in inaction. If the Principle became inactive for a moment the whole universe would collapse instantaneously. Acting without acting is acting without attachment to the fruits of the action. So one must be as detached from the world as a theater screen is from the images displayed on it.

In the plane of multiplicity, to which human action belongs, this disinterested action amounts to the effective coordination of the faculties in response to one’s duties, i.e. harmony within and without the microcosm, or what Plato has rightly called “Justice.”

But justice within microcosm cannot be attained without detachment. A sentimental person, and a sentimental society much like we have in the west, cannot possibly approach justice, let alone realize it, for sentimentality is precisely the glue by which we are attached to things, to names and forms.

You must learn to see with the same eye a mound of earth and a heap of gold, a cow and a sage, a dog and a man who eats the dog. There is another intelligence beyond the mind.” Krishna says to Arjuna in Mahabharata

Names and forms veil the nature of things; and justice is in the nature of things. Illumination is an unveiling of the Real, a negative act. Manifestation is “finding the Real in ecstasy,”* a positive act. The latter projects the experience-of the universe; the former shuts its down, or more precisely it shuts down experience as such altogether. While the positive acts is the production of experience, the negative act is the cessation of experience, or what in various traditions is called Nirvana, Fanaa, Brahmanubhava, Sakina, Godhead, etc.

A man is happy when he is closer to that supreme state, when he has become all-inclusive and universal by transcending his individuality. And this man cannot help but be just and act justly.

So the attainment of justice, which is in the nature of man, is the negative process of purification, of peeling away the many layers of narratives until the Truth shines by itself, until justice becomes one’s permanent station, and only then true bliss ensues. This is the path of maximum action and minimum resistance, keeping in mind that contemplation is the most exalted form of action.

*Ibn Arabi

5 thoughts on “The Bliss of Detachment

  1. Tomaj is correct. There is a bias in the west towards “Action.” What is often branded as “Inaction”, things like meditation or mindfulness, are often the very stuff of lifting the veil, as the Celts put it to Reality; so, in Inaction, there is much Action, but of a kind not often supported or seen to be so by modern society.
    Yogananda put it well when he said life as we see it with its emotions and attachments, is nothing but a false world projected, like a movie, an illusion, and it is up to us to see the Source behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. You can be surrounded by negativity but it doesn’t have to affect you, and by that I mean your consciousness. But this is not possible like you flip a switch. You can’t just decide it to go away and it will. But it is possible to achieve that state with practice, and that practice can be meditation, etc. or anything that helps you keep your concentration. Young children are usually happy regardless of circumstances. It is all about consciousness; the same way that through constant identification we lost the detachment and happiness of childhood, through constant practice of detachment we can regain that state of bliss regardless of negativities around us. There is no one who has not achieved this state after putting some effort in it., or you can pretend you’re just watching a movie; none of it is real. This too can be done with practice.

      Liked by 1 person

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