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    Thread: Being Emotionless and Detachment

    1. #1
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      Being Emotionless and Detachment

      What do you think about this? Is it depression? Is it not normal to be too calm and patient and not care when bad things happen or to be unaffected. Is it lack of empathy?

      Maybe too much serenity and patience is just boring? No passion...no life...

      Or is the whole point for empathy to be voluntary...a choice

      Discuss.
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    2. #2
      Finding the way... Arch's Avatar
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      Maybe you've had it all before, and don't want to get hurt again.

      Only you truely know.

    3. #3
      Sleeping Dragon juroara's Avatar
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      I'm a believer in the middle way. But once people start preaching that you should be completely detached and strive to raise above emotions, then theyve fallen into one of the dualistic extremities that just leads no where.

      That extremity in my opinion raises from the fear of experiencing, the fear of existing, the fear of living and the fear of being human.

      I dunno why I was thinking about this at work today, but I was! And I thought, that being detached serves no one but yourself. Not that that's wrong. Being detached frees you from unnecessary pain from things you can't control. However, that doesn't mean you can't also strive to love another with all your heart and being.

      When I think of relationships, even the chance encounter of meeting a stranger, I think of ripples rippling endlessly towards the future. You can't ever truly separate yourself from all those relationships. Any buddha who says detaching yourself from all relationships is the way to enlightenment speaks only of death, because its not possible to be alive without those relationships.

      Buddha, like all humans, was born from a woman, and thats a relationship. His mother was impregnated by a man, a relationship. Who probably met because of friends, family, and a series of other encounters from strangers, who met and had relationships, because they met and had relationships, and so on and so on. This is no different from evolution, where the environment and creatures constantly influence each-other.

      And if you think about Life, then Life has never died. Life continuously moves through organisms and through those relationships. But since the beginning of Life, it has never died. Because we are at least 4 dimensional beings, you literally can not be truly separated from all the relationships that have been a part of your life. And even when you die, your existence will continue to ripple out into the future through all those relationships, and the relationships they create.

      So rather than trying to run away from relationships and their constant rippling cause and effects on reality, I say embrace them. Its reality. And any buddha should strive to recognize reality.

      Being detached means you understand that you can't control another's reactions. It means that even if you love someone, you should not hold it to them that they love you back. This is why saying "feel nothing blah blah blah" is a fear-based inversion of detachment. It's childish! Its really no different than saying "theres no guarantee that anyone will care about me so why care about anyone!", hey wait, isn't that found in Satanism?

      You can be detached and experience every type of relationship humanity has to offer. And when you stop needing a type of reaction from a person, it frees you up to just love and appreciate their existence!! This is not easy, because most of us are needing! Thankfully in this great world, there is nothing wrong with needing someone or something. Most of our friends give us something we need. Discover what it is your needing from your friends, and find it in yourself so you can be whole. Then being detached will be easier. You can forgive your friends easier, when they stop satisfying your need.

      In some circles its the relationship of two people that one can achieve the highest and most spiritual attainment possible as a human, Tantra. Now that could possibly be the other extremity of saying feel nothing, be nothing. But keep that in mind! Because if they are the extremity of each other, then neither is true, but are two ends of the truth.

    4. #4
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      God I love your posts Juroara!! Why isn't there a Love button?

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      God I love your posts Juroara!! Why isn't there a Love button?
      Private messages.
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    6. #6
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      I don't think this a thing to be looked at logically but rather felt.

      I do not like humans. They are all monsters. This is honest truth. I feel incredibly lonely around every human I come in contact with. None of them truly love me. none care about me the way I care for every human. You may go omg thats negative!!! But I don't care. Its the way it is. Honest truth. Every human I look in the eyes I care for so much it makes me want to cry. Everyone is suffering horribly. They would not listen to me or not care. They are very stupid and close minded. Most of them are. So many satisfied with where they are. But where they is such a low point. They don't see their own pain. They can't see a suffering world. They live in shame and greed. They are fucking monsters.
      They are not ready to here what I have to say. I go through life feeling like sleeping. Escaping. Yet there is no escape. They haunt me. The pain and loneliness. An empty life. Detached. All I've ever wanted to do is change it all.
      I want to swallow consciousness. Turn it into something beautiful.
      What so many call life I call a dying. What so many call death I call life. Freedom. My death is life.
      The earth is dying. How am I to cry when a human dies? Why not mourn the death of every animal killed. Every horrible ride that life forms had to go through here. Animals can see this so much more clearly than humans. They hide from humans and come out in the night. Everything fears us. We are like cancer killing everything off. Rotting away at the earth.
      I am raised to be a slave to society. I don't want this. It is trying to pull me into its inescapable grasp. Everything I was tought was a lie. How can I believe anyone? Who can I trust? Humanity is going nowhere. And it barely even cares.
      It is what it is. Is there something wrong with me? Go ahead judge my approach of life. Same as everyone else.
      Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake

    7. #7
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      Sorry I didn't mean to derail the thread subject!

      To make up for it I'll post on topic.

      I'm a complete novice when it comes to meditation etc - basically I've just messed around a little with meditation and mindfulness and detachment etc, read a little about Buddhist principles etc. And as I've said elsewhere on the board recently, I think Ego is a huge problem in modern society, especially in America. Unfortunately kids growing up these days have a vast array of smartass sarcastic and egotistical cartoon characters to watch, then pop stars rappers and reality TV stars, all of whom exhibit extreme ego. There isn't much to balance it out either... I mean I can't exactly see kids sitting around watching Dr Drew or Dr Phil or Oprah! (not that those are the best alternatives at all... just picked them off the top of my head)

      I think Buddhism does have an extremely important lesson that all Westerners should be taught - that the Ego is not the Self and that Ego is nothing more than a mask that people use as a shield to protect themselves. Cause that's really all people are doing when they're being sarcastic right? Setting themselves up so they can pick either option later "Oh come on, don't tell me you took that seriously??!!??" or "Hell yeah I meant it bitch! Get over it!" - both of which miss any sense of empathy or real connectedness. They come to think of life as a game in which the one with the most sarcastic and hurtful one-liner wins. This is why so many people these days can't seem to distinguish actual humor from insults - they don't even think it's funny unless it's at somebody's expense.

      If in early grade school the idea that Ego is not Self would be taught, it might provide some sense of balance. Unfortunately that balance mostly doesn't exist unless the parents themselves provide it, and most parents these days seem to be on the egotistical side themselves, starting riots at their kid's soccer matches and their 3-year old daughter's beauty pagaents (extreme examples, I know...) (and how the hell DO you spell that word??!!).

      I also think most people would be unable to achieve complete detachment no matter how hard they tried. I could be wrong, as I said, I'm not very advanced in it at all. Possibly just practicing for a few years would make it possible. But I do believe it would be worthwhile and extremely beneficial for every Westerner to at least study the principle to some extent and practice meditation with an eye toward detachment.

      And wow - Salty, you sound... needy. The idea is to give love without requiring it in return, right? Neediness like that always causes pain.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 09-02-2011 at 02:42 AM.
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    8. #8
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      The point is not to avoid feeling but to be aware of it. Also remember that feeling is a somewhat technical term in traditional Buddhist thought. It's one of the links in the law of dependent origination. It basically consists of assigning a label of positive, negative or neutral to each perception. This in turn leads to craving for pleasant sensations and aversion from negative ones. The end goal is equinamity. There's a story of a monk that was fleeing a tiger. He climbed down a cliff on a vine. A tiger appeared at the bottom of the cliff. There was a tiger snapping at him from both ends. Two mice appear and start gnawing at the vine. He sees a strawberry and picks it to eat with his spare hand. Knowing that he's going to die, he might as well enjoy the strawberry. They're both just two independent perceptions. There's no reason for one to interfere with another or let either one disrupt your balance.
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      Previously PhilosopherStoned

    9. #9
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      So why did Buddha teach Detachment and Inner Stillness, it almost seems like the exact opposite of Passion , excitement, and energy. I think maybe he meant to remain detachment from emotions? Like just let them come and go? Not dwelling on one emotion....I think this is it... Or to embrace deeply in any emotions that you have and let them go when you're done with the situation..this would make sense

      saltyseadog I feel you, I have the same thoughts sometimes, there is no escaping the neuroticism most people have..especially in America i don't know how it is anywhere else, it's like somebody has to step up and be the love givers...everyone else are the takers

      One thing I noticed is people start acting different once you start actually giving love and attention out....they start to like you, your providing something they want, something opens up inside of you that makes you feel secure now

      these egotistic narcissist people..almost like babies..begging for attention, some even resort to violence to get it


      ---

      very good posts everyone, philosopherstoned you said the end goal was equanimity...so you mean to embrace the negative sensations as well as the positive ones?
      Last edited by Majestic; 09-02-2011 at 03:58 AM.
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    10. #10
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      Heh, I probably would have tried to bite the strawberry in half, use the halves to lure the mice, then throw them to the tigers to distract them so I could get away... but I do actually get the point of the story.

    11. #11
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      Calmness is part of me. It comes from experience that calmness has always upper hand compared to more passionate emotions. It must not be mixed with complete detachment however. I sincerely agree with Juroara with the balance idea. I have sometimes cited the law of extremes and I believe in my heart that in the end nothing good comes out of extremety. I see that being calm is the middle road between passive and active. I can be calm and still keep my passion. You should never cling in a feeling. They are like water of the river that flows inside you. Acknowledge them, but don't let the stream take you.

      I am not a Buddhist but I agree with many ideas it embraces.

      To OP : I sometimes had same feelings like you do, since I am a person who needs and appreciates my own loneliness frequently. If I don't get it I get very distressed. Has your life had any significant conflicts later or is it just smooth ride? If you have smooth ride too long you might develop an illusion that you are emotioneless and unable to feel empathy. Usually great conflicts will tell what you really are. I tend to believe this. You'll build kind of shield or get accustomed to your own mind when there is no need to be anything demanding.

      About patience. There is no greater virtue than patience for me. What I cannot comprehend is : why do people stress over things they have no influence over? Only times I feel distressed and troubled is when I have, myself, caused something I should not have to. Then it is legimate. It was my mistake, my fault and I can fix it. When you are able to understand what really is in your reach and what isn't, you begin to see more clearly. Everything becomes a lot more easier.

      I have many other thoughts as well, but I'll let them marinade a bit.
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      I don't think Majestic was asking about his own condition - I think he was just starting a conversation about the subject in a neutral way.

      Unelias, when you said loneliness just above, I think solitude would be a better word. Loneliness implies that you WANT to be connected to other people but can't. Solitude means you're fine with being alone.

      I'm also an extremely patient person and don't stress over things I have no control over. tbh, I can actually see myself eating the strawberry and dropping down to the lower tiger to see what happens (though more realistically I might actually drop first, and then toss the strawberry to the tiger... it doesn't hurt to at least TRY! ).

      And like all introverts, I need time alone to recharge after talking to people. I guess we're more prone to detachment than extroverts are.

    13. #13
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      Good call on that. Solitude is far better word. I sometimes mess with words ( especially with prepositions, but hey luckily there are people who often clarify ). Also, I don't know why I did think OP would necessarily feel personally this way.. one of these mornings.. one more cup of coffee before I go to the forums.
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      Jujutsu is the gentle art. It's the art where a small man is going to prove to you, no matter how strong you are, no matter how mad you get, that you're going to have to accept defeat. That's what jujutsu is.

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      There are times you need to be emotionless and detached. Emotions are often the enemy of logic, and if you want to be a logical rational person, then you must be able to separate emotion from you so you can see things how they really are. Especially when it comes to fear and hate, both can really cloud your judgment.
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      Wow, lots of good responses in this thread.

      I'm not a Buddhist, but I imagine the word detachment is misconstrued with regards to what they mean. Detachment means separation. Paradoxically, lack of emotional response can come from the opposite, complete connection.

      If you see a person or a situation and you have an overly emotional response to them/it, there is already a type of separation. You have labeled and judged, whether it be good or bad, in your mind. The label itself creates a disconnect between you and what you are observing, by acting as a sort of screen through which you filter the world. Any person you meet, are they bad or good? Ugly or beautiful? Wise or foolish? Well of course they are both. They contain all possibilities. All situations are the same, both negative and positive. Your emotion is a response to which viewpoint you take.

      So if you can see past your screen of labels, you form a deeper connection with the world and other people. You will have less emotional responses due to connection, not separation. Thus your response will be love, which is not a polarized emotion.
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      To man belongs only his actions and never the fruit of them. This is detachment. It doesn't mean you don't feel.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      The man who has learned the Self is separate from the body, the senses, and the mind, and has fully known him, the soul of truth, the subtle principle - such a man verily attains to him, and is exceedingly glad, because he has found the source and dwelling place of all felicity. The Self...is the omniscient Lord. he is not born. He does not die. He is neither cause nor effect. This ancient One is unborn, imperishable, eternal; though the body be destroyed, he is not killed. Smaller than the smaller, greater than the greatest, this Self forever dwells within the hearts of all. When a man is free from desire, his mind and senses purified, he beholds the glory of the Self and is without sorrow. Having given up the false identification of the Self with the senses and the mind, and knowing the Self to be Brahman, the wise, on departing this life becomes immortal.

      From one of the Upanishads

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