We are attached to so many temporary things in our life. This stops us from seeing the truth about the nature of our existence.
It has always amazed me the amount of energy and sacrifice people will put out for something they want because they think it will make them happy.
They will get up early, drive through traffic and work hard all day at a job they don’t like–for what? A measly paycheck. They live a life that they hate, day in day out, just for a few dollars. No wonder they need to escape with intoxicants or some other diversion.
If we work hard our whole lives for a few dollars, what do we end up with at the time of death? Nothing. When we leave this world we can’t take anything with us. The only thing we take is whatever our minds were attached to at the time of departure.
We are attached to so many things in this world. Reputation–people wanting others to think they are a good person–this is very important to most people. This keeps them going from one day to the next. They will go through all kinds of gyrations to try to make people think they are good, generous, and kind when in reality we all have our shortcomings–anger, vindictiveness, frustration, envy, greed, miserliness, etc.
For instance, a man gets yelled at by his boss at work. He can’t show his anger to his boss or he will be fired from his job which he needs to pay the bills. He drives home and maybe shows road rage to other drivers (people he will probably never see again). Then he arrives home and kicks the dog because there’s not much a dog can do about it. When he goes in the house he yells at his wife and children. They have no idea what is wrong, so they cower in the bedroom afraid of what he might do. The whole time he is presenting a picture of himself to others outside his immediate family as a good person.
People are so wrapped up in family life that if someone in their family dies, they are completely devastated. Most people live in a projected fantasy that their family members will never die. We all have a measured amount of time on this planet and when that is over we are forced to leave, whether we want to or not.
Just recently a man was swimming with his 6-year-old daughter and a wave pulled her out to sea. He tried to save her but he got pulled out also. They both died. Now the mother who thought she was going to raise her child to adulthood and be married to her husband for years is left alone to lament. Because we project into the future what we think will happen, and treat that as a reality, we are devastated when it doesn’t turn out that way.
I’m not saying that these attachments are bad or that people are bad, it’s just that we really must get to the reality and the truth of why we are here in this world. First, it’s practically impossible to go in the right direction if you don’t know who you are or where you want to go. Most of us are just reacting to the desires that arise in our minds and the demand that we satisfy them.
There is evidence that we are not these minds nor are we these bodies. On the contrary, we are actually eternal spiritual sparks of the Supreme Spirit. Therefore, we do not have to follow the demands of the mind or the body. In fact, if we do, we will be ensnared by a web of unending grief and misery.
What we must do is realize who we are and become self-realized, and act according to that reality.
We must try to be introspective and go deep within to see our shortcomings and then work to rid ourselves of them. We must observe and see if we are getting too attached to temporary relationships based on our temporary identity i.e. our body and possessions which will be taken away from us at some point. If we are, and they are taken away, we will lose the plot and won’t be able to function or maintain our lives.
We must be strong and know that, because we are eternal, our relationships & attachments need to be with the eternal Supreme Being.
We must become sincere seekers of the eternal truth. There is a quote in the ancient scripture “Sri Isopanisad” that states,
“Modern civilization is a patchwork of activities meant to cover the perpetual miseries of material existence. The aim of real education should be self-realization to realize the spiritual values of the soul.”