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Detachment

Detachment

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Encyclopedia
Detachment, also expressed as non-attachment, is a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective
Perspective (cognitive)
Perspective in theory of cognition is the choice of a context or a reference from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another...

.

Importance of the term


Detachment as release from desire and consequently from suffering is an important principle, or even ideal, in the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 and Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

.

In Buddhist and Hindu religious texts the opposite concept is expressed as upādāna
Upadana
Upādāna is a word used in both Buddhism and Hinduism.*In Buddhism, upādāna is a critical link in the arising of suffering.*In Hinduism, upādāna is the material manifestation of Brahman.-Buddhism:...

, translated as "attachment". Attachment, that is the inability to practice or embrace detachment, is viewed as the main obstacle towards a serene and fulfilled life. Many other spiritual traditions identify the lack of detachment with the continuous worries and restlessness produced by desire and personal ambitions.

Baha'i Faith


"Thou hast inquired about detachment. It is well known to thee that by detachment is intended the detachment of the soul from all else but God. That is, it consisteth in soaring up to an eternal station, wherein nothing that can be seen between heaven and earth deterreth the seeker from the Absolute Truth. In other words, he is not veiled from divine love or from busying himself with the mention of God by the love of any other thing or by his immersion therein."

The second definition is in the Words of Wisdom: "The essence of detachment is for man to turn his face towards the courts of the Lord, to enter His Presence, behold His Countenance, and stand as witness before Him." (Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p155)

Buddhism



Regarding the concept of detachment, or non-attachment, Buddhist texts in Pali
Páli
- External links :* *...

 mention Nekkhamma, a word generally translated as "renunciation". This word also conveys more specifically the meaning of "giving up the world and leading a holy life" or "freedom from lust, craving and desires."

The writings of Milarepa
Milarepa
Jetsun Milarepa , is generally considered one of Tibet's most famous yogis and poets. He was a student of Marpa Lotsawa, and a major figure in the history of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.- Life :...

, are canonical Mahayana
Mahayana
Mahāyāna is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice...

 Buddhist texts that emphasize the temporary nature of the physical body and the need for non-attachment.

Detachment is a central concept in Zen
Zen
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism founded by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán , which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state."Zen...

 Buddhist philosophy. One of the most important technical Chinese terms for detachment is "wú niàn" (無念), which literally means "no thought." This does not signify the literal absence of thought, but rather the state of being "unstained" (bù rán 不然) by thought. Therefore, "detachment" is being detached from one's thoughts. It is to separate oneself from one's own thoughts and opinions in detail as to not be harmed mentally and emotionally by them.

Christianity / Ignatian Spirituality


The Ignatian emphasis of Christian spirituality emphasizes interior freedom. To choose rightly, we should strive to be free of personal preferences, superfluous attachments and preformed opinions. St. Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 counseled radical detachment: “We should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.” Our one goal is the freedom to make a wholehearted choice to follow God. Most Christian denominations never mention detachment in general.

Hinduism


The Hindu view of detachment comes from the understanding of the nature of existence and the true ultimate state sought is that of being in the moment. In other words, while one is responsible and active, one does not worry about the past or future. The detachment is towards the result of one's actions rather than towards everything in life. This concept is cited extensively within Puranic and Vedic
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 literature, for example:

Jainism


Detachment is one of the supreme ideals of Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, together with non-violence. Non-possession/Non-attachment is one of the Mahavratas, the five great vows Jain monk
Jain muni
Jain Muni or simply Muni is the term often used for monks and nuns in Jainism.. They are often called sadhus and sadhvis, respectively, in the Svetambara traditions.-Monastic ranks:...

s observe.

Taoism


The Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching
The Tao Te Ching, Dao De Jing, or Daodejing , also simply referred to as the Laozi, whose authorship has been attributed to Laozi, is a Chinese classic text...

expressed the concept (in chapter 44) as:

Fame or Self: Which matters more?
Self or Wealth: Which is more precious?
Gain or Loss: Which is more painful?
He who is attached to things will suffer much.
He who saves will suffer heavy loss.
A contented man is rarely disappointed.
He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble.
He will stay forever safe.