It's been a while since I actually felt like blogging. Anyway, my father passed me this "Transforming Problems Into The Path" book recently. As you can guess from the title, it's mostly about Buddhism. While I'm a Buddhist, I don't think I'm devoted enough to call myself one. Back to topic, the book's really nice. Anyway, there's this part in the book that I really like (I haven't finished reading it, just 1/4 through).
HOW ATTACHMENT ARISES
First of all, we see somebody and we feel he or she is so wonderful. This person is super, this person is the best, most perfect. In our attachment, we exaggerate that person’s qualities. We think that everything they do… the way they walk, the sound of their voice, everything they do, the way they eat is so special, so beautiful. (Laughter) We see no wrong. Our mind paints this picture and we believe in it. And probably they do the same to us – in their eyes, we achieve a godlike
When we get together and start doing things and sharing things together, we want our partner to conform to our selfish and incorrect projections that we have put on them. We begin to feel that they are not perfect, they do not behave in the way we would like them to behave, from our point of view.
So we start to impose ourselves upon them, to try and force them to act in a way more suitable to our preconception about how they should be. And they are doing the same to us – we are no longer a wonderful person in their eyes either.
Through familiarity, they are beginning to see our faults. They are getting a bit edgy, and trying to get us to change our ways so that we will conform to their image of how they think their partner should be.
You can see the recipe for disaster now. We start to feel that we are being constrained, this person is suffocating us. “Let me do what I want!” And so the small arguments start. And bigger arguments follow.
This disaster in our relationship arises because we are self-centred in our original attachment. When we see the person as being so perfect, it means this person is so perfect for me. We actually incorporate this person into our ego, our self-identity. Psychologically, we try to make this person an expression of ourselves.. This is so selfcentred. We give them no space to be an individual, to have different thoughts, to do things the way they want. This is an incredible recipe for fighting, because they are doing the same to us.
So, unhappily, because of our self-centredness and our inflexibility, we will not budge. A little bit perhaps, but in big things we will not accommodate their wishes. So there is disenchantment in our attachment, which we call love. Then we begin to move away from each other. Although actually there is love and some fondness for each other, this is contaminated by our attachment, our ignorant exaggeration of the qualities of the other and grasping at them. We begin to move away.
If we do not have skill, we start to dislike each other. Then, certainly, one of us, or both of us – usually it is one of us, which is very sad, – swings to the other extreme of hating, and the object of attachment is now suddenly an enemy, a devil.
Instead of being a god, now everything they do is bad. We do not like the way they walk. We do not like the way they breathe. The way they cough. The way they brush their teeth.
SWINGING FROM ATTACHMENT TO AVERSION
We think, “They are doing it to hurt us, to make us suffer.” This is what our mind does. Maybe I am talking in extremes, but it does happen this way.
Now our mind flips from attachment to aversion. We go overboard, we see them as totally bad, totally negative. We do not ever want to see them again. But this is the same person we thought we could never be happy without, just a few months earlier.
This is selfishness, this is preoccupation with “Me,” and “My Happiness.” It is an absence of love, an absence of wisdom, and absence of compassion. It is a selfishness which is the root of relationship problems, of all our problems.
GIVING UP OUR SELF-CHERISHING
The only cure for selfishness and self-cherishing is cherishing others. In loving others universally and having compassion for them, we forget about ourselves.
It is not suppressing what we need. We just forget about ourselves because, paradoxically, if we give up our selfish pursuit of things, people automatically love us.
If we have sincere affection for somebody, they embrace us. They want to be always with us. If we have sincere compassion and kindness, then everybody feels comfortable in our company, so we always have friends. People will want to help us, if we are in trouble. If we are trying to do something, and if we are known to have a kind heart, then people will have great joy in helping us.
So the paradox is this – we give up this neurotic pre-occupation with “Me”, “Poor me”, “My happiness”, “I need a relationship”, “I need this”, “I need that”. By abandoning this, we receive. And it is the very “I need”, “I want”, “I must have” that is pushing people away, pushing happiness away.
Anyway, you can get the eBook from here
On another note, I've been really busy recently =(. To a certain someone, thanks for being so understanding =P. Hehe.