Attention or Attachment

Without giving attention to and genuinely caring about relationships, situations and aspirations, how can we achieve any real traction in life? Where the attention goes, energy flows, and results invariably show. Simultaneously, however, wisdom teachers constantly remind us to remain detached and aloof; everything in this world is a fleeting reality destined for destruction at the ruthless hands of time. We are building castles in the sand. So what’s the balance? When does genuine concern and responsibility evolve into an unhealthy attachment? How can we identify the extremes of over-zealous endeavor and irresponsible aloofness? Is it possible to cultivate transcendental consciousness, and simultaneously remain completely down to earth?

There is a clear difference between being attentive and being attached.

Endeavour vs Result – An attentive person invests energy in crafting a perfect endeavor, doing everything within their control to make the best attempt possible. This is their measure of success. An attached person, however, evaluates success based on the outcome and result. An attentive person is not indifferent to the results, but simply uses them to understand how they can refine and improve their endeavor.

Intelligence vs Emotion – An attentive person is driven to act by spiritual intelligence, clearly understanding the need and purpose behind their endeavor. An attached person, however, is driven by fleeting emotions and is therefore flickering in determination. It’s not that an attentive person is not passionate or emotionally involved, but everything is tempered by wisdom and knowledge.

Eternal vs Temporary – An attentive person is always awake to the backdrop of the spiritual reality, and though living in the material world, is ever-alert to this. An attached person, however, engrossed and entangled in their vision of the temporary world, is rendered oblivious to the ‘bigger picture’. Attentive people are undoubtedly practical, but simultaneously completely transcendental!

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