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Does Attachment Help (In The End)?


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#1 bladerunner

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:40 AM

Dear Rinpoche,
Let me please ask you something: do you agree that bigger the attachment, harder it is to break it? And, if so, is it not true that in this way we get more wisdom out of it than we would if it was something more trivial to us? Specificaly, I think it is much harder decision to leave your beautiful wife and your own kids behind to search for the final truth and freedom, like Buddha did, than it is to do this without family.

Or, another example, if you start your relationship with a woman because she is beautiful and you are attracted to her, and you later become aware that she annoys you because of her personality (discrepancy between your projections and reality), is this not a perfect school for patience and breaking the illusions and projections? Because you have to do it! So, in the end you have to thank her, because without her it would be harder to see yourself. Do you know what I mean? So this means that attachment sort of led you to be more free of yourself.

Also, is it not true that the whole human kind is sort of experimenting on itself to see how low can we go in duality, before becoming aware of nonduality and that there is reason for this (I hope a good one, haha)? Basically what i am asking is: harder is better (if you are willing to learn)?

or: lets take an example of mother and child: mother is going to be very attached to her child. If something happens to the child (death), she will experience enormous amount of pain, but if she is willing to work through it properly, she will come out much wiser than she was before. in the contrast, such pain is impossible to experience when you loose a cat or a dog.

Thank you very much for your answer and time.

Marko

#2 Shenpen.Rinpoche

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:46 PM

you agree that bigger the attachment, harder it is to break it?

Yes, usually.

And, if so, is it not true that in this way we get more wisdom out of it than we would if it was something more trivial to us?

Yes, if the whole work was really well undertaken, without bitterness for what we abandoned.

I think it is much harder decision to leave your beautiful wife and your own kids behind to search for the final truth and freedom, like Buddha did, than it is to do this without family.

To search truth and freedom you do not need to leave your wife and children. You can progress spiritually having a ‘usual’ society life. But somehow, you need more effort than if you are alone and go to live in a monastery or a cave. And if I follow what you wrote, it’s even more ‘meritful’ because harder. Because in this case, what is harder in fact? To coop with family, or to leave it behind ;)
We have to take in consideration that escaping the hardship a family life can bring might be more laziness than renunciation!
As side note, I would also say that when you are engaged into a spiritual path, you have to choose extra-carefully with whom to make a family, in the sense that the partnership can be fruitful if you are for example practicing the same path, have common interests and motivation.
Indeed, when the relationship is based only on desire, at one point it fades away, we are not happy anymore, and it’s not supporting a good practice.

if you start your relationship with a woman because she is beautiful and you are attracted to her, and you later become aware that she annoys you because of her personality (discrepancy between your projections and reality), is this not a perfect school for patience and breaking the illusions and projections?

It also depends very much about how someone can ‘take’ things. Very spiritually, yes, it can be source of practice, and of spiritual benefit. Yet, I think we have usually enough things to deal with - which you can’t choose to coop with or avoid - to voluntarily suffer in order to accumulate merits or develop your patience. There is a ‘breaking point’ where it becomes masochism ;)

So this means that attachment sort of led you to be more free of yourself.

I don’t think that way. The attachment is not something external from you, or something which has a goal in itself. So, it’s not the attachment which helps you, it’s your own decisions, your own inner work.

is it not true that the whole human kind is sort of experimenting on itself to see how low can we go in duality, before becoming aware of nonduality and that there is reason for this (I hope a good one, haha)?

Also here, you might place a goal where there is none. I mean, what human kind is experiencing is what it has created, and the harder doesn’t mean it will understand non-duality sooner or better.

Basically what i am asking is: harder is better (if you are willing to learn)?

“IF” we are willing to learn, and have the right understanding to deal with and change inside. But I still don’t think we need to harden our life on such basis, we have enough to practice with already ;)

example of mother and child: mother is going to be very attached to her child.

And father no?

If something happens to the child (death), she will experience enormous amount of pain, but if she is willing to work through it properly, she will come out much wiser than she was before.

It again depends how the person will take the situation. Such experience can be devastating and pulling into deep depression or even suicide! Integrated and understood into one’s belief, it surely can be a strong practice on attachment and understanding of karma. I’m sorry for those who do not understand or believe in the law of causality, because they often do not really understand why such thing is happening to them.
Once, an orthodox priest told a mother who lost her child that it was her fault, because she didn’t go anymore to the church!! Awful. Bringing painful guilt on top of non-understood loss of only child!
And such thing is only possible in tradition which doesn’t understand and explain the causality of phenomena as based on the law of cause and effect.
Lama Shenpen Rinpoche
---
"For as long as space endures, And as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide, To dispel the misery of the world." (Arya Shantideva)

#3 raistlin

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:49 PM

I can say from experience that making things harder deliberately does not lead to great wisdom.
I actually tried that in some way, and I can say that I have become a coward. That is because my motivations were hypocritic.
I think this view is somewhat materialistic. As if hardship in itself exists as a means to reach wisdom. When hardship is overcome, it is not hardship anymore. What is hardship to one can be easy to another.
Hardship does not have to be created as a voluntary obstacle to overcome. Hardship comes about naturally when facing difficulties and is overcome by a courageous attitude.
Whatever the doubt is that you are in, it is certainly not an applicable rule to just take the path that is harder and more painful to be more heroic and attain more wisdom as a reward. Such a materialistic mechanism does not exist.

But maybe I missed your point. I just answered what came to my mind.




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