“Attachment is blinding; it lends an imaginary halo of attractiveness to the object of desire.” — Sri Yukteswar Giri
I am reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Inside it are timeless truths that resonate deeply. Most recently, the wisdom of Yogananda’s guru, Yukteswar, on attachment has caught my attention. It’s not a new truth; many people have written of it.*
But the descriptive phrase “imaginary halo of attractiveness”, gripped me in a new way. When I am attached, I whole heatedly believe that it [whatever “it” is… could be anything] is the thing I want. It is shiny, attractive, exactly what I am desiring… I am blind to the truth that it is actually only attractive because I’ve glued myself to it. I’ve claimed it as my own — a possession, a thing to hoard and cling to.
Attachment is the siren pull, the temptation to indulge in illusions. It’s the decision to live in blissful ignorance, choosing fantasy over reality. It stifles all that is real and has us pursuing the wrong thing.
I don’t want to be distracted by attachment. I want to be free from the lie that comfort and security exists only in certain things, people, or lifestyles. Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk who lived during 5-6AD, said, “The essence of the Way is detachment.” And I think about the Way of all of my spiritual “role models” and have to agree. Reality, the Fullest Life, can only be found if I am detached.
*Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached. — Simone Weil
Attachment is the source of all suffering. — Buddha
If you purify your soul of attachment to and desire for things, you will understand them spiritually. — Saint John of the Cross
He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment. — Meister Eckhart
Attachment prevents the growth of one’s true being. — Lao Tzu