Kasya Sukham na karoti Viragaha
(How will you not get happiness from detachment)
A couple of weeks back a college-mate died in a road accident. I was not very close to him, but I felt really sad that day. I was especially sad for his parents and how they must feel. I began to think again of life and its purpose and so on and so forth. But this time atleast I seem to have found some sort of an answer or at least I seem have made some progress. Atleast I have an impression of certainity, however temporary.
All sorrow comes out of attachment. This is no new discovery. Wise men have said this several times. And it is very true. People are attached to money, position, way of life, to themselves, their own capabilities and successes, and of course, to other people. In some people this attachment is scary, so scary one wonders how these people will be able to cope if for some reason they were to lose the object of their love.
But it is not easy to rid oneself of attachement. Most of us are not made - by God or Evolution, as you please - that way. We need some means of humouring ourselves through life. From there springs attachment.
Perhaps the viable solution lies not in renunciation. Be attached if it makes you happy, for you are meant to be happy but always keep it in mind that the source of your happiness might disappear suddenly and you might have to find new sources of happiness. The faster you find new sources the lesser you will waste your time, your energy and your self, the happier you will be. So happiness perhaps lies in always being prepared to lose anything - anything. It also helps you to put all your energy very quickly into finding another, similar source of happiness. So you can continue your life as if almost nothing changed. Maybe a journey in this direction would lead to the implausible state of detachment in action.
Not wasting your time grieving is a probably a doulbe saving, because it helps prevent future regret that you wasted your time grieving and the further wastage of time involved.
There is a Anton Chekhov story called 'The Boor'. Its about a lady who has been mourning for months over her dead husband and what happens when her husbands creditor, a boorish but rich farmer, comes to her house to collect his dues.
There is a kind of duplicity to this, some kind of self conning. But this is a ok price to pay it seems.
Perhaps a tool towards a joint preparedess towards losing 'anything' is Insurance - health insurace, life insurance, general insurance. Money cannot replace everything but you cannot deny that it empowers. And it can definitely help distract you into happiness. Take the money, spend it, use it to travel, to learn something you always wanted to, to take a break from work. Insurance companies are as valuable to human kind as doctors perhaps. Make sure that the objects of your attachment are insured.
And another tool is to put your eggs in many baskets - spread your attachment energy among several objects. The one child norm, for example, might not be for everyone.
This semi-detachment is not for society or for betterment of mankind etc. its for our own future happiness. Its perhaps like investment, forgoing some happiness now so that we will continue to be happy in the future. I am not talking propriety here; just good sense.