Posted by Alkkarin on behalf of Jamie Stick, we thank her for her contribution!
So what the flippity-flap flappin’-jack are attachments? A quick survey of the relationship status of the Temple membership reveals we are not talking about celibacy of mind and body like our fictional counterparts in the Star Wars universe. I’m definitely not telling you to sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, though I’m not exactly sure I’d stop you either. Attachments are those bonds we form with things, situations, and people which prevent us from seeing the truth of the Force.
When I think about attachments in my own life, I think about how much caffeine I consume. I’ve been drinking Mountain Dew and other caffeinated drinks for years without a thought or real care for what it does to my body and what it means to be so attached to such a substance. Attachment is not simply addiction, because there are plenty of non-material things I struggle to not get attached to: political ideology. I’m deeply immersed in very polemical literature both for academic and personal reasons. It is a constant effort to avoid allowing myself to get completely gridlocked into one framework of thinking.
Why should Jedi care about attachment? Attachment gives a person tunnel vision. When you are attached to something, you can’t see that thing from a different perspective. My attachment to caffeinated beverages causes me to ignore the damage to my health. I am constantly overlooking the damage to my teeth, my joints, my heart, and my liver in favor a little pep in my step. When I allow myself to become politically situated, comfortable in one way of thinking, I am closing myself off to the possibility that there may be truth outside the boundaries of my affiliations. As Jedi we seek peace, knowledge, serenity, harmony, and a better understanding of our relationship to the Force; we hinder our own ability to do so when we allow ourselves to become attached. That is what is meant by “seeing the truth of the Force”. Attachment creates an imbalance that makes it hard for us to see our relationship to the Force.
What things are you attached to you? What things cause you to lose perspective of our connection to and part in the Force? I have found the the things I’m least willing to give up: caffeine, video games, political ideology, toxic friendships; these are the things that I can identify as attachments. It might be a good idea to grab a pen and paper, perhaps make a note on your smartphone (if you’re the type to do it that way), or however you prefer and start writing down things that might be giving you that tunnel vision. If you wish and are able to, take it step further and talk to those who are closest to you and ask them about the things in your life that you’re attached to