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Practicing the Art of Detached Involvement

From: Jay
Sent on: Friday, June 14, 2013 10:12 PM

Travel to the east coast was productive, both for being inspired and inspiring others. Here is an internet radio interview during that time.

A few amazing events coming up in the SF Bay Area:

Enjoy below musings on the dramas we play out in our mind.

Love & light,

Practicing the Art of Detached Involvement

To achieve authentic detachment and the practice of ‘detached involvement’, it’s necessary to see and understand how attachment happens exactly. One of the best metaphors for understanding the mechanism and process of ‘attachment’ is the cinema. There we are in the auditorium aware of our self patiently waiting for the start of the movie. When it does begin and all those colored lights start dancing across what was a blank white screen we may notice how we ‘seem’ to leave your body in the seat and go into the story on the screen. We get lost in the story and eventually lose our self in the characters. What they feel we feel, what they go through we go through, as we live vicariously through them. Some more than others of course!

What few of us notice in such situations is that the movie isn’t really playing ‘out there’ on the cinema screen. That’s just flickering lights on a flat screen. The movie is really playing on the screen of our minds. We use the images on the screen ‘out there’ to create our own version of the story ‘in here’. And then we ‘go into’ the story and into the characters on the screen of our mind as we create them. This is ‘where’ the attachment takes place. Attachment is not a static thing! Attachment is a dynamic, changing, moving process within our consciousness as we continuously ‘lose our self’ in what is ‘on’ our mind. And what is most frequently ‘on’ our mind are the stories about others, situations and objects that we create ‘in here’. Yes people, situations and objects etc. are ‘out there’ but our versions of them are our ‘imaged creations’… in here!

As we bring what is happening around us in the office, at home, in the newspapers etc. into our consciousness we re-create all that is ‘out there’ on our mind ‘in here’ and then we lose our self in our creation of the world, the office, the home etc. ‘in here’. The moment/s of losing our self in what is ‘on’ our mind is what attachment is. As a consequence we become extremely vulnerable to the inevitable change/s that take place in the world, office, home etc. And when changes ‘out there’ do happen it’s as if it is happening to us. So we take it personally and become ‘agitated’ in our consciousness. This agitation takes various forms and is what we know as ‘emotion’. And it’s those emotions (sadnessess/angers/fears) that keep us busy with our self on the inside and less available, sometimes partially available and often not available at all for others.

Watching Your Own Movies

When we are busy losing our self in our creation and the consequent agitations it’s a sign that we are attached and trapped in the stories that we create and project onto the screen of our mind. Being fully available and present for others therefore requires that we ‘detach’ and cease creating and getting lost in our stories so that we can fully connect with others… OR…create the stories (the movies on our mind) but retain the awareness that they are only stories and therefore not something to lose our self in! Just as the director of a Hollywood movie does not mistake the movie they are making for reality, so we stay awake and aware that the stories we create of and about the world out there….in here…are only representations of that reality filtered through and shaped by our experiences and beliefs and therefore not the ‘real’ and original thing. This allows us to practice staying in the mode known as the ‘detached observer’. Thus we keep our self internally free and therefore our intellect (our ‘third’ eye) is free and ‘non-reactive’ allowing us to ‘discern’ and create the most appropriate ‘response’. This is why ‘detachment’ is the bridge from knee jerk reaction to measured and conscious response.  

When we are fully awake and aware of our self being the creator of the stories on the screen of our mind we do not get lost in the stories. It’s as if we are sitting in the cinema watching the movie without losing our awareness that it’s just a movie and we are just an observer of the unfolding story. Just as we are aware that it’s just flickering lights on a flat cinema screen so, in the auditorium of our consciousness, we are aware that there are many thoughts in the form of images passing across the screen of our minds.

Are You Emotionally Addicted?

However if we want to continue to be ‘emotionally agitated’ it means we are addicted to the stimulations of our emotional dramas. Most of us do tend to be addicted to some form of emotional agitation which is why the idea of detachment can easily be perceived as threatening the supply of our emotional drugs! It’s our addiction to these emotional ‘drugs’ that keep us creating ‘dramas’ out of nothing and keep us habitually attached to some story on the screen of our mind. It’s the search for our emotional drugs that disconnects from others OR has us trying to push the others buttons to get them to react emotionally so that we then have an excuse to do the same! In such ‘scenarios’ we become what we sometimes refer to as ‘drama queens’!

This is why the practice known as ‘detached involvement’ is ultimately the foundation of true friendship, great parenting, effective leadership and our ability to help, counsel, coach and motivate others in both formal and informal settings.

More on this next week.

©  Mike George 2013

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