Question: With deepening meditation, one becomes more and more sensitive to objects, events and persons. But due to this heightened sensitivity one feels a sort of deep intimacy with everything, and this usually becomes a cause of subtle attachments. How to be sensitive and yet detached?
Being sensitive and detached are not contraries, they are not opposites. If you are more sensitive, you will be detached; or, if you are detached, you will become more and more sensitive. Sensitivity is not attachment, sensitivity is awareness. Only an aware person can be sensitive. If you are not aware you will be insensitive. When you are unconscious you are totally insensitive—the more consciousness, the more sensitivity. A Buddha is totally sensitive, he has optimum sensitivity, because he will feel and he will be aware to his total capacity.
If you are alert, the bridge suddenly disappears. When you are alert there is nothing to relate you to the world. The world is there, you are there, but between the two the bridge has disappeared. The bridge is made of your unconsciousness. So don’t think and feel that you become attached because you are more sensitive. No. Attachment is a very gross quality, it is not subtle.
Attachment gives a feeling of being complete
For attachment, awareness is not necessary; rather, awareness is the barrier. The more aware you become the less you will be attached, because the need for attachment disappears. Why do you want to be attached to someone? Because alone you feel you are not enough. You lack something. Something is incomplete in you. You are not a whole. You need someone to complete you. Hence, attachment. If you are aware, you are complete, you are a whole; the circle is now complete, nothing is lacking in you—you don’t need anyone.
That doesn’t mean that you will not love; on the contrary, only you can love. A person who is dependent on you cannot love you: he will hate you. A person who needs you cannot love you. He will hate you because you become the bondage. He feels that without you he cannot live, without you he cannot be happy, so you are the cause of both his happiness and unhappiness. He cannot afford to lose you. This will give a feeling of imprisonment: he is imprisoned by you and he will resent it, he will fight against it. Persons hate and love together, but this love cannot be very deep. Only a person who is aware can love, because he doesn’t need you. But then love has a totally different dimension: it is not attachment, it is not dependence. He is not dependent on you and he will not make you dependent on him; he will remain a freedom and he will allow you to remain a freedom. You will be two free agents, two total, whole beings, meeting. That meeting will be a festivity, a celebration—not a dependence.
Both friends and enemies have invested in you
So remember that if you feel that through meditation you have become more sensitive, then automatically you will become less attached, more detached. Because you will be more grounded in yourself, you will be more centred in yourself, you will not use somebody else as your centre. What does attachment mean? Attachment means that you are using someone else as your centre of being, Majanu is attached to Laila: he says he cannot live without Laila. That means the centre of being has been transferred. If you say that you cannot live without this or that, then your soul is not within you. Then you are not existing as an independent unit, your centre has moved somewhere else.
This movement of the centre from yourself to something else, to the other, is attachment. If you are sensitive, you will feel the other, but the other will not become the centre of your life. You will remain the centre and out of this centring the other will receive many gifts from you. But they will be gifts, they will not be bargains. You will simply give because you have too much, you are an overflowing. And you will be thankful that the other has received it. That will be enough and that will be the end.
Sensitivity means an alertness which feels everything that happens around. And you can feel only when you are not attached. Remember this: if you are attached you are no longer there to feel, you have moved out of you. So if you want to know the truth about someone don’t ask his friends. They are attached. And don’t ask his enemies. They are also attached, in the reverse order. Ask someone who is neutral, neither a friend nor an enemy. Friends cannot be believed, enemies cannot be believed; but we believe either the friends or the enemies. Both are bound to be wrong because they don’t have a neutral witnessing, they don’t have a detached view. They cannot stand aloof and look because they have an investment in the person. Friends have an investment and enemies have an investment. The moment you feel you are attached, you have taken a viewpoint. The totality is lost; only a fragmentary thing is in your hands. And fragments are always lies because only the whole is true.
Meditate, become more sensitive, and take it as a criterion that you will go on becoming more and more detached. If you feel that attachment is growing, then you are erring somewhere in your meditation. These are the criteria. And to me, attachment cannot be destroyed and detachment cannot be practised. You can only practise meditation—and detachment will follow as a consequence, as a by-product. If meditation really flowers within you, you will have a feeling of detachment. Then you can move anywhere and you will remain untouched, unafraid. Then when you leave your body, you will leave it unscratched. Your consciousness will be absolutely pure, nothing foreign has entered into it. When you are attached, impurities enter into you. This is the basic impurity: that you are losing your centre and somebody else or something else is becoming your centre of being.
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