Most people when talking about detachment and, for that matter, transcendence focus on a perfected state which takes you away from the life. You achieve a state separate from the ordinary everyday world of passion. You will be free from those emotions which leave you vulnerable and which lead to actions felt to be immoral, antisocial, taboo and unacceptable to yourself and others. This definition suggests it leaves you immersed in the spiritual realms and, in some cases, a kind of superhero saint reshaping the world.
This definition and target has at it core the Warrior's metaphysical contention that the Universe is a divided place. These teachings are based a cosmology of spiritual realms and material realms, possibly hell realms. This takes many forms, in all traditions.
There is a very negative view of life at the core of this arrangement of the realities of life. It judges the world according to moral precepts which shrink the Universe to fit a small simplistic set of human values. The world is bigger then that and we deserve to love it and ourselves.
The detachment and transcendence of these teachings is not based on a love of life. If they loved life then its pleasures would not be considered the surest route to staying in or entering into this or that hell realm (some think this life is one of the hells).
The materialist tradition of the West, currently paramount, also doesn't offer awareness of the subtleties of the inner life. Its divisions of the world are in some ways built on helplessness and power. There are those things you can control and those you can't. You can act on, and those you can't. Essentially it breaks down everything to survival, how does this knowledge, experience contribute to it.
Of course, the above was a simplistic observation of the West. Every culture more complicated than can be put into a paragraph. There is great deal more going on in the West but the same kind of alienation from the world that leads to slicing the world into good and bad, spiritual and material, jump to agree with simplistic observations which narrow awareness.
Passion Detachment is a state of being completely involved in life, vulnerable and open, yet being able to step back and observe. It is an identity based on the flow of life, on the ocean of the mind or as they call it in Zen the "essence of mind". This sounds very abstract and distance. Try the multi-sensory vipassnya.exercise to get an insight into what we mean..
Most of us know ourselves by what we do, own, say, think, believe, wish for, and are afraid of. We don't usually care to notice the last on the list. in yoga there are three fundamental aspects of being - Sat, Chit & Anand - Beingness, Thought, Bliss. Beingness is the moment now of our experience. So many talk about being, in the moment now, and various other ways of talking about it.
Passionate Detachment allows you to have the real experiences of life, both externally and internally, with the totality of all of who you are unencumbered by attachment to history, fear and desire. Flowing from one experience to the next with thorough involvement and the courage to face and live with the mystery of each moment.
Passionate Detachment is an expression of our definition of Transcendence. In our view, Transcendence is not the rising up above or down into nature as many people in many traditions define it. Most religious and spiritual traditions (like Yoga) which talk about transcendence, if you listen to the language around the word, the metaphors they use to describe and broaden their meaning really mean ascendence. They are always using upwardly moving language.
For us transcendence, is a side ways movement. And it is a very practical experience. For example, you are have a problem at work. You study from what you feel is every available angle, you go through every logical step you can think of. And you have gotten nowhere. Then someone who has no background with the problem comes in with a fresh perspective, maybe they done even know your situation. They say something totally unrelated and you gain a creative insight that make you feel like and idiot because the solution was right in front of you.
Another example, you are doing a puzzle. You have a piece in you hand and you've look at it from every angle, and at every part of the whole puzzle and it doesn't seem to fit. You go away have a coffee, tea or something to eat. come back and put the puzzle piece in the right spot immediately.
So transcendence is a change of perspective that is an intuitively jump which take you to a new, or at least different, perspective on the situation. It generally means your whole frame of reference has moved. The examples we've given are small ones.
Training for transcendence is training for the capacity to move your perspective, to have the flexibility of mind and emotion to adapt readily. This can come from the various exercises which are in this website, but it also includes being able to look at situations from different philosophical, cosmological and cultural points of view - eg Western Scientific, Chinese, Yoga, Christian, tribal, Lineal or Mathematical logic, or associative or correspondence magic. Learning different jargons and languages are part of it. Practicing empathising can help you to step out of your own view into other people's point view.
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