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[Lesson 5] Wary of attachement

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22 Feb 2018 16:42 #316347 by Twigga
In the 16 teaching's there's this chestnut:

4. Jedi are wary of attachments, both material and personal. The obsession over possessions and people creates the fear of losing those possessions and relationships which can cause ourselves to be trapped in a state of depression and loss.

My question is, do we think there are "right" attachments, and should we celebrate them, rather than be wary of them? When I wrote on this in IP, I actually concluded there was a need to create attachments, as long as they are "right attachments".

An example might be that we should have a "right" attachment, for example to our bodies. That would been a cultivation of my relationship with it - I should feed it, exercise it, wash it; which I see as active processes. That means I can't just "be wary" of being overly attached to my body. I have to be active it promoting a "right" attachment/relationship there. Doctrine, indeed, seems to be prompting "right" attachment:

12. Jedi believe that love and compassion are central to their lives. We must love and care for each other as we must love and care for ourselves; by doing this we envelop all life in the positivity of our actions and thoughts. We are providers and beacons of hope.

... So I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Are there "right attachments" of which we should not be wary; but rather be cultivating? Have I instead just been using attachment here as a heuristic (mental shortcut) and have yet to extend my process of thinking to allow for a care of my body without risk of attachment to it?
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22 Feb 2018 17:00 #316349 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic [Lesson 5] Wary of attachement
There is a saying. You become most like the five people you spend the most time with.

Taking that into account, who do you spend the most time with? Those are attachments. They can be bad (toxic friendships, abusive relationships, people that make you doubt yourself, ect), or they can be good.

A good attachment, imo, would be like the ones I've formed here with good friends and my training master. They build me up, they're there when I'm down, and they inspire me to rise above.They remind me who I am and what I've committed my life to being, a Jedi.

Besides interpersonal relationships, we also have attachments to inanimate things. Food, for example. I LOOOOOVE burgers, but my waistline does not. So I had to sever that attachment (I still treat myself once in a while, but much less than before).

Another example would be my lightsabre. I am attached to it, I love using it. It is a healthy attachment, however, because it's helped me lose weight, get active again, and has shown me that I'm capable of things I've didn't think was possible and that I could continue to accomplish things I currently find impossible through training, practise, and patience.

Then, if we really wanna go into it, attachment to self. The ego, for example, likes to put us down, or boosts us to a point where we become destructive to those around us. Sometimes an attachment to an ideal body can be unhealthy, people injecting harmful substances into their bodies to get their dream bod. Yes, be healthy and as active as you can be, but remove the "perfect body" from your mind. Chances are you can't achieve it. If you can, go for it, but it can be discouraging and unhealthy if obsessed over.

Hope this helps. :)

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22 Feb 2018 17:54 #316360 by User22414
As Jedi we aspire to love , but not get too attached to people loving us back , there is nothing wrong with love , but there is something wrong with demanding reciprocity. We can demand reciprocity in a lot of things , we can demand people to forgive us when we did wrong because we forgive so easy , and that way get too attached of what we think others should behave like , or a more recent example , my Master got insulted , i got mad , i was outraged that said individuals did not apologize to him , and them my Master put me swiftly in my place, i was behaving to attached to my idea of etiquette, not only does he not care for their apologies , he as long moved on and forgiven them , he is not attached to incidents , his focus is elswhere , his focus is on being a Jedi in all things , and that means that he is not attached.does that make sense Twigga?

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22 Feb 2018 18:05 #316361 by Carlos.Martinez3
I personally used this idea as I identify things in my life . Identification and attaching feelings to them can - for me - lead to stagnation. The attaching feelings when identifying is what I'm talking about here. We can all go back and find things we lack and things we didn't or identify moments where there was a change for the ... "worst" in our own eyes and it's easy to attach - blame - hate - anxiety and even fear to these moments and never move past them. To practice non attachment in this sense here is a Jedi treat. There is a freedom you can have when you notice or identify things without - an attachment .
A even more difrent approach I use is to not attach ownership or possession to things- I'm not attached to it . A very powerful and very possible " selfless" practice we can coin as a Jedi. Just the robe on my back. . . There are a number of ways Jedi use this simple teaching and each way can be as benifishal as the next. Keep seeking friend and keep finding !

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22 Feb 2018 18:08 - 22 Feb 2018 18:22 #316364 by Twigga

Arisaig wrote: Another example would be my lightsabre. I am attached to it, I love using it. It is a healthy attachment, however, because it's helped me lose weight, get active again, and has shown me that I'm capable of things I've didn't think was possible and that I could continue to accomplish things I currently find impossible through training, practise, and patience.[/color]

Ha ha - I can 100% connect with this - I have a pair of pyjama trousers with birds on - they are the depths of ridiculous; not the kind of thing a sensible person would wear out of the house. Anyway; I Love 'em because they're stupid. I was doing a job today that I was dreading, real "I am your father, NNNnoooooooo!" style dreading; and I needed to be sure I wasn't taking myself too seriously.... So I stuck them on. Bingo - day worked a charm.

Arisaig wrote: Taking that into account, who do you spend the most time with? Those are attachments. They can be bad (toxic friendships, abusive relationships, people that make you doubt yourself, ect), or they can be good.
A good attachment, imo, would be like the ones I've formed here with good friends and my training master. They build me up, they're there when I'm down, and they inspire me to rise above.They remind me who I am and what I've committed my life to being, a Jedi.

This bit, I can see where you are coming from; but I have a conflicting philosophy which I'm possibly "more attached to" than any bit of Jedi doctrine. I am currently sticking it under my microscope though; because I even MORE strongly feel that we have a responsibility to revise our beliefs in the face of conflicting evidences!

Arisaig wrote: Remove the "perfect body" from your mind.Chances are you can't achieve it. If you can, go for it,

That is VERY interesting... I have no idea if I have a "perfect body" concept that I am I unwittingly aiming at... but it WOULD be good to have an explicit idea of a healthy and attainable strength/flexibility/endurance for a person my age/gender/neurology - I suppose that's why I got doctors on board after Jediism Essay 7! I'll ask the Neuro when he's done with measuring everything!

Thank you so much for your insights Arisaig; they were indeed helpful :)
Last edit: 22 Feb 2018 18:22 by Twigga. Reason: Readability
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22 Feb 2018 18:31 #316367 by MadHatter
I do not believe there are any attachments of which one should not be wary. Any attachment no matter how beneficial can be taken to far, can become an obsession, can lead us to fear of loss or letting go. It's not that the attachment is bad. It is merely that if we fail to be mindful of its risks we can become blind to walking down the wrong path. Basically, its when we fail to be wary that is precisely when its likely to be an issue.

For example attachment to a healthy body is well and good. But what is health? Are we attached to one idea to the point of over-exercising, or under eating, or failing to enjoy a snack now and again? Does it get taken too far to the point of making us feel bad because we are not where we want to be?

Attachment to family is one of the most nurturing and wonderful things in the world. But we all have seen the overly attached parent. The one that cant let their child be their own person, who seeks to bubble wrap the world and never let them face risk. It can lead to a toxic and unhealthy dependence on the part of the child or it can lead to resentment from one or both parties later on in life.

Heck, even attachment to something as good for you as meditation can become a problem. Do you become so attached to your meditation times that you are in a poor mood if you miss them? Do you fail to develop other tools for centering yourself due to this attachment?

In short anything no matter how good can be taken too far or blind us to other paths if we are too attached to see past the attachment or let go when the time is right. Failing to recognize this or "be wary" as the teaching reminds us to is exactly how you run into trouble.

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23 Feb 2018 14:40 #316404 by Twigga
Having considered the responses here I feel that the concept of "right attachment" I presented is simply being discussed as "attachment". This looses something of my meaning; and makes the second question I brought forward more difficult to discuss. But I will take the liberty of making a statement about attachment itself, which you should feel free to disagree with; and then press on to discuss the second question.

Statement: In answer to my question, "do we think there are "right" attachments", I would say the consensus is "yes"; under the premise that there must be some attachments in order for us to be wary of them; and we would make none at all if wariness was the only attitude we held towards attachments. But for my second question, having accepted that attachment is a necessity, and "right" attachment, under that umbrella, is also possible, let me provide an example which draws on the points made here, so you know I have indeed been reading your writings. My intent is not to misrepresent anyone; though this may occur. My example is about attachment to people.

Partner and I have committed to working our happiness out together, forever, with no qualifiers. This is a common decision made by people who marry; but it's not always an easy decision to stick to - health, mental or physical, can lead to instances of toxicity and abuse (Arisaig). Disloyalty may occur (Serenity). Blame, hate, and anxiety are indeed not infrequently seen, even in the best of relationships (Carlos). Instances of resentment can occur because dependence is frequently necessary. (MadHatter).

In "being wary" I am taking care to avoid mishap or harm; dangers or problems; with thought and attention. However these things come to relationships simply because they "are"; and also essentially because they "are dynamic" - I can't consider myself into a state where problems won't occur in a relationship. I can reduce some by being wary; but I can't prevent, say and accident which would leave one of us disabled.

I suppose the question is perhaps better phrased as a statement which I am currently exploring; then no-one will feel I am attributing it to them or that I am speaking for the temple: "I believe certain "right" attachments (i.e. we've already determined that attachment can be ok; we've done all our being wary of it within this moment, and the attachment itself is "sound") should be cultivated; developed; as it takes an active effort to maintain an attachment to one who is momentarily being spiteful, abusive, or disloyal". A further statement; "I believe a community should honour or praise publicly "right" attachment" - this being on the basis that it's not always an easy road to walk; and it's positive to be able to walk it together.

The alternative I can see is that I should "Be wary of your attachment to wariness", which might well be right! :laugh: With an eye out for danger all the time, we're going to see it! http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1068/p7290 There's a need to separate the act of being wary from any fear that might cause to arise!
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23 Feb 2018 15:15 - 23 Feb 2018 15:38 #316406 by User22414

I suppose the question is perhaps better phrased as a statement which I am currently exploring; then no-one will feel I am attributing it to them or that I am speaking for the temple: "I believe certain "right" attachments (i.e. we've already determined that attachment can be ok; we've done all our being wary of it within this moment, and the attachment itself is "sound") should be cultivated; developed; as it takes an active effort to maintain an attachment to one who is momentarily being spiteful, abusive, or disloyal". A further statement; "I believe a community should honour or praise publicly "right" attachment" - this being on the basis that it's not always an easy road to walk; and it's positive to be able to walk it together.


That kind of attachment , which i consider more a commitment , is only possible when there is trust. You cannot expect someone to hang on to something , toxic , damaging , disloyal , disabling. When you commit to something you have to have trust you will survive this and that you are able to contribute in a way that is building up that trust that is needed. When you said yes to your partner , you did expect it to be forever , you know you can trust it , you see it every day , its face , the way it moves , the way it looks at you , the things it does for you. You cannot possibly compare that to an online enviroment as this or other forum based communities where you never even speak to some individuals in my opinion. But maybe i completely am missing the point , please enlighten me?

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Last edit: 23 Feb 2018 15:38 by User22414. Reason: punctuation
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23 Feb 2018 16:37 #316407 by Atticus

Serenity wrote: That kind of attachment , which i consider more a commitment , is only possible when there is trust. You cannot expect someone to hang on to something , toxic , damaging , disloyal , disabling. When you commit to something you have to have trust you will survive this and that you are able to contribute in a way that is building up that trust that is needed. When you said yes to your partner , you did expect it to be forever , you know you can trust it , you see it every day , its face , the way it moves , the way it looks at you , the things it does for you. You cannot possibly compare that to an online enviroment as this or other forum based communities where you never even speak to some individuals in my opinion. But maybe i completely am missing the point , please enlighten me?


I don't think Twigga was comparing an intimate relationship sort of attachment with an attachment to a community, much less to a specific sort of online community such as ours. The two serve very different needs in a person's life. One would hope that levels of commitment should be very different between the two. I haven't responded in this thread because I haven't come up with a sufficiently clear way to state my sense that when we talk about "wariness" in this context, we may be talking about "expectations" instead.
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23 Feb 2018 17:26 #316412 by User22414

I don't think Twigga was comparing an intimate relationship sort of attachment with an attachment to a community, much less to a specific sort of online community such as ours. The two serve very different needs in a person's life.


Hence my request to Twigga to enlighten me , the specific request to tell me if that was what she meant , the commitments serve different needs in a persons life indeed. If you dont mind i await her answer before i go into how you interpret what i said to her, no offense..

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