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Hurt by conflicts with attached ones? || (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
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Questioner: Acharya Ji, whenever any conflict arises between myself and the ones I am attached to, why does it hurt me?

Acharya Prashant: It is because we don’t comprehend the nature of duality, so we want to have one side of duality while trying to avoid the other side. And that cannot happen.

One is attached. And just as one is attached to her opinions, one is attached to her family members, friends, relatives as well. The central quality is – attachment. So, one is attached to her opinions, and one is attached to her friends.

Now the friends say something that hurts her opinions. The opinions are important because one is attached to them, and because the opinions are important and one’s opinions are being hurt and violated, so one decides not to talk to her friends and create a little more distance.

But the same quality of attachment that holds her to her opinions also holds her to her friends, so now hurt in another direction rises. You create distance from your friends because they are hurting you, but when you are distant from your friends that itself starts hurting you. And now you are stuck – “What to do?”

What one doesn’t see is that in both these relationships – the relationship that one has with her thoughts, ideas, opinions, the relationship that one has with her possessions, her past, her memories, and the relationship one has with those around her – are all being governed by the same, central principle.

And the central principle is often not of Realization, or Wisdom, or Love. The central principle is of attachment.

Now, what is ‘attachment’?

Q: It comes from incompleteness.

AP: Yeah.

The ego is a little, incomplete thing – both little and incomplete, desperate to somehow complete itself.

So desperate that in its movement through life, in its movement through time, space, and inexperience whatever it comes across, irrespective of the merit of the object it comes across, it just clings to it.

That is ‘attachment’.

Like a thirsty man who also happens to be blind, and he is so overpowered by his thirst, that he just gropes, gropes, gropes, and he is so desperate, he is so thirsty that he tries to drink it blindly. He won’t exercise caution; he won’t exercise discretion. He won’t try to know what is there in this.

He is both thirsty and blind. He is both desirous and desperate. So, he will just cling to it and take it in. All that is required is a coincidence that one comes across this.

That’s how it happens in attachment. It proceeds mostly on coincidence.

Just coincidentally you happen to be living in a room, a particular room for three years. It was a mere coincidence. But when you have to leave that room, you find a convulsion rising inside your heart. You say, “Oh, this is my room. I have been here so long. My memories are attached to it.”

A mere coincidence becomes something valuable because the ego is constantly looking to cling to something.

Something, anything.

Just anything, just anything.

(Pointing at the glass of water kept on the table) You know, this glass of water, if it is left on the table for a period long enough, will get physically attached to the table. You won’t be able to pick it up. That’s the nature of attachment – purely incidental and material. It’s just that the two bodies were in proximity for some reason, and now they are attached to each other.

Often attachment is misunderstood as love, which it obviously is not.

If your opinions are proceeding by the grace of Truth, by all means, stick to them. Who can reject the Truth? And if there are people who are rejecting the Truth, let them be.

And if your relationships are founded on Love, then by all means, stay with the ones you are related to. Don’t care for your opinions.

But there must be some value somewhere.

Either your thoughts must be emerging from something profound, and then they are valuable and worth keeping, and worth paying the price for. Or your relationships must be founded on Love, and therefore they are worth paying the price for. Otherwise, it’s a strange situation in which there is worthlessness on this side and worthlessness on that side, and both these are together haranguing you.

And you know, when there is one thing precious in one’s life, then decision-making becomes very easy. The decision is obvious and already made. You keep that one thing and everything else is negotiable.

That’s a decision.

Whereas when there is hardly anything valuable, then there is a lot of conflict in decision-making. A lot of vacillation.

“Do I keep this? Do I keep this?”

“Which direction do I choose?”

“Who do I listen to?”

All relative things competing with each other.

Life becomes very-very easy when there is something Absolute in your life. When there is something Absolute in your life, it defeats all the relatives. The Absolute is to be had, and the relatives, well they can wait. Either they can align themselves with the Absolute, or too bad for them. Begin with something in your life that is worth dying for, and then you will see how smooth life becomes. How absolutely smooth!

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