attachment and detachment

Is Attachment and Detachment a Negative Trait in our life?

Our life revolves around two deep concepts which are attachment and detachment.  The concept of Attachment and detachment is extremely relevant in our day to day lives and affects how we think, act, and react to things. But what is Attachment? Attachment is portraying a sense of affection towards anyone or anything. You can be attached to somebody or some materialistic object. The Attachment provides us with bundles of joys and pleasures and can be our source of happiness. We can extract these pleasures from our family members, friends, or any object towards which be are affectionate or attached too.

 Asakti is a Sanskrit word for ‘attachment’ in Bhagavad Gita which is the holy book of Hindus. As per Hindu Mythology and ideas of renowned Yogis, the concept of Attachment is negative and toxic for humans. When we tend to attach ourselves towards someone or something, we get dependent on them for our happiness and derive satisfaction and pleasure from their existence. In their opinion, a person who is extremely attached to someone or something will have a consumerist approach towards everything and everyone. This will eventually lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction and result in various mood swings, Euphoria, and create a door for mental disorders like anxiety, depression, etc.

You will find happiness in external objects or people and will never search for the sense of happiness within ourselves.  A very relevant question that one can arise here is, Humans should never get attached to anybody and never express their real emotions and feelings with anybody, in short, should humans should become emotionless? The answer to this question is learning the art of Detachment. Now, you might be completely tangled with the idea of attachment and detachment and how it correlates. Let me simplify this for you, Detachment or Anasakti is the act of isolation or indifference. According to Yogis, Detachment is a powerful concept as it makes you the master of our own universe. You don’t depend on other people or materialistic objects for our happiness and expect the same from our self.  The concept of Detachment is a much more practical and realistic approach towards life.

But Detachment does not mean complete isolation or going into the woods leaving our family or society behind or being insensitive towards the people around you, rather Detachment makes you more sensitive and warmer towards people. When you can let go of people or materialistic obsession at the right time, you become warmer and make the most out of the situations. In short, the combination of attachment with detachment on free will and with the same amount of energy as of attachment keeps you out of miseries and sufferings. Sigmund Freud also explains the concept of attachment and detachment by stating that the ego has to be more dominant than both the id and the superego to maintain the balance between the two and keep them from becoming overly powerful. But the yogis don’t approve to the perspective of Sigmund Freud. They say when ego becomes the most powerful, human acquires the state of ahankara or immense pride. Hence, they derive a sense of superiority over others and outcast maladaptive behavior. They gather feelings of anger, pride, and portray aggression and hostile feelings towards others.

To explain this further let’s understand Attachment Theory by John Bowlby in early 1960. This theory talks about the concept of Attachment and how it is necessary for the infants in their early developmental stages. The new-born usually gets attached to their primary care worker, which is usually their mother. Attachment in these early years makes them have strong moral values and thus influences a child’s idea about trust, security, and love. Bowlby said in his theory that children who are high on attachment tend to take more risks and try out new things as compared to the children who are detached from their parents, as they are usually more dependent on external sources. To proof his theory, he performed a case study on 44 juvenile delinquents in a clinical setting. He found that more than half of the thieves had been separated from their mothers for a minimum period of six months in the first five years of their life. Thus, he concluded that attachment is very vital in the forming of moral values and personality of a child at the beginning of the developmental stage.

On the other side of the spectrum, yoga psychologists believed that the child could become loving and passionate without getting attached to anybody. Gita also sees attachment as a step to proclaim our desires which ultimately drags us from attaining self-enlightenment and self-actualization. One should focus on their good deeds and expect nothing in return and leave things on Karma- which highlights the ideology of karm, our acts. You deserve as per our acts. Buddhism also highlights how attachment makes our life full of pain and miseries and distracts us from understanding the real meaning of life.

But the modern-day world has extracted a much more practical and evolved idea about Attachment and detachment.  People need to get attached, express their emotions and feelings with others. Humans are social beings who interact with people, form relationships, and get attached to them. Attachments with people help you form better connections and share our emotions, feelings, and ideas. It is normal to like materialistic objects. Everybody has an obsession with some of the other materialistic objects. Rather having attachments and affection makes you more normal. But you should clearly understand the concept of detachment as well. Sometimes the art of letting Go creates the most beautiful outcomes. One sad reality about life is, that everybody dies at one point in their lives. Human beings are mortals. Therefore you need to understand that nothing is permanent in our life. Learn to make the most of every situation like it won’t last the day after. The more familiar you are to this concept, the fewer miseries you have to encounter in our life. Even Pain is not forever.

Growth is the main aspect of life, our day is not going to be the same after a few days, months, and even years. There is always a ray of sunlight waiting for you. It’s absolutely normal to get attached to people, but remember they are not always going to stay, they have to leave someday or the other, so why not live every moment to our fullest and let them go when required. When it comes to the attachment to materialistic objects, remember again what if one day this is not available, and then smile and remember about the other products in the market. Our attachment should never turn into an obsession. Summing it up, remember to make the most out of our days, remember to smile harder each day, get attached to people but also note down that sometimes, letting go has its own beauty, to get attached to something much more precious.


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