Thursday, September 25, 2008


There is not enough time to take for myself. It sounds selfish and reclusive, but sometimes I can feel myself becoming detached from my insides. It's unsettling and unnerving, it makes me anxious and panicky. None of these feelings are healthy for a busy girl with too many priorities. But I have taken time lately to assess, to sit down and take a personal inventory and try to do a preemptive strike on detachment from my guts.

He thought detachment was a tool of the little devils who pull us away from what we know is right. To make progress, the devil wants to detach us from ourselves. How does this happen? It happens through the mundane, day-to-day tasks that absorb us. Uncle Screwtape says, "The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two-pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forearmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack." And so we get too busy. We bet too self-absorbed. We get too incumbered with life that eventually we become non-thinking, non-feeling machines, entangled by a compulsive need to do things constantly. (I am far too often guilty as charged).

But yet another form of detachment from the self is good, even godly. There is a sort of innocence and humility and self-forgetfulness that is healthy and wholesome. A perspective beyond the bridge of your own nose. A caring for people who don't share your blood. Willa Cather said, "At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." And I think this is true. The unassuming moments when we find ourselves dissolved, we become detached from everything that binds us down, and that is when we allow ourselves to feel a closeness to God.

It seems paradoxical that the remedy for detachment from ourselves is just that: a detachment from ourselves. But the subtleties lie in the undulating fabric of humility and pride. Self, this sense of choice and individuality, has the potential of being the greatest trap, but it is also one of the greatest gifts we have been given. The trick comes in learning to harness and balance ourselves.

A challenge: Detach. Correctly.

1 comment:

Beetle said...

I've been taking a Buddhist philosophy class this semester and a lot of us are getting stuck on the fundamental Eastern idea that there is no "self". Our teacher has gone through this series of questions a few times: Where are you? Who are you? If you cut off your leg would there be less of who you are? Is your soul inside your skin? Does it extend beyond there? It must not be a physical thing. It must not exist. Blah.
The Buddha has said that the cause of suffering is attachment. You can't be attached to something unless there is a self that becomes attached. So that's how to avoid being attached. As soon as you desire something you start to experience pain because you might lose it. It's a rough realization.
In Phillipeans somewhere, the Savior is described as emptying himself. It is a godly quality and one that is good to think about. We need to remain aware, but not too connected.
Take time for you, Ardently

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