Jingoism and other cool words I’m attached to.
One of our faithful readers wrote us last week and asked these very insightful questions: ‘Hi guys! I understand that there is only so much you can address in a few paragraphs, but I hope you expand on the topic of attachments. As of now, it is hard for me to imagine anyone completely free of attachments, and see our capacity to form attachments as necessary for our survival. So I will play Darwin’s advocate with the following questions:
Isn’t being detached a bad thing too? How could we care about anything, anyone, or ourselves without attachments?’
Lee says: Andy, these are great questions and we are very happy someone asked them. When we talk about attachment, we are of course talking about unhealthy attachments. We are talking about people who just can’t let go and that attachment runs their lives.
It is very true our ability to form attachments is paramount in being a well adjusted person. It is also true that that same ability is the source of much misery in our lives. We seek out relationships or material things. Once we have them, we form unhealthy attachments to them where they become the object of our existence. When we lose them or they stop working, our entire being goes into shut down mode. We refuse to move on and lament the loss at the cost of any other attachment.
A good example of this is being attached to the way things used to be. Remember when we could go on a plane trip without having to remove our shoes or losing our tweezers? Remember when we believed terrorism was something that happened on the other side of the world? Since 9/11, our entire country has gone into depression (more accurately PTSD) and one the obvious results is our economy. We are scared, paranoid and just can’t shake that we lived better before. The reality is we lived differently. We thought we ruled the world and the USA was a force to be reckoned with. The reality is we were ignorant. However our country is attached to the idea that our image is of Doris Day with the swagger of John Wayne; innocent and tough. Now the image is distorted because someone actually gang banged Doris while flipping off the Duke. The reaction was jingoism to an absurd proportion. However the image will not be abandoned.
I can hear the country music aficionados getting ready to start a campaign against us. Let them bring it on. These are the same people that wave the Confederate flag which symbolizes one of the worst times in the history of this country. Attached much?
Here is another good example of unhealthy attachment. My paternal grandfather died 34 years ago. To this day, my father can not mention him without crying. I know, I sound like a heartless bitch but the reality is that forever more my Dad will focus on the loss of his father and not the joy that his father was in his life. He can’t get beyond the loss. Much like people can’t get passed the break-ups or the death of the object of their attachment.
I can sum this up with three good statements: 1) To everything there is a season, 2) The only certainty is change. And, for the perfect cliché trifecta, 3) everything in moderation. Oh and God Bless the USA!
Paul says: Because we are defining attachment in a spiritual context that says that we are binding ourselves to something other than the divine, I would say that all attachments are bad. That being said, truly loving a person is not an attachment since love is an expression of the divine.
Too deep! I think I sprained something. I need to get a beer and lay down.