Buddha said, ‘Love but do not get attached (The root of suffering is attachment).’ I have always failed to understand this.
I have always wondered, how do you love and not get attached ?
How do you love and expect nothing in return?
How do you love and when time comes you let go?
How can you love without possessing?
How can you love and not be hurt?
I got the answer today from an eight year old girl.
I was seeing Nat Geo, ‘Living free with Kimmie Werner’. The show was about the alternative life which certain people have chosen to live. They have given up city life and the comforts which comes along to live a very basic life in jungles, close to nature. There living is very simple and basic. They grow their own food. They rear farm animals such as goat, hen, sheep. They have well for water. Their children are home schooled, they are basically encouraged to explore surroundings and wild and learn from that.
One little girl of 8 years, Jess, who is very attached to the farm animals have named them after her own brothers and sisters. She feeds them and take care of them and spends most of the time in the farms with them. Surprisingly, she also understands that these animals will become her food sooner or later.
In the episode I was watching, I saw Jess selecting the goat to be butchered. After that, she helped her mother butcher it, next her mother handed the knife to Jess, who is all of 8 to clean the skin and to chop the goat in pieces, which she does without hesitant or remorse.
8-year-old Jess was very attached to the goat. She had spent the entire day feeding and playing with her. She had even named the goat after her brother but when the time came she did not hesitate to kill the goat. She butchered her without fear or hurt in her eyes.
I was completely taken aback, the episode let me to wonder about love and affection once again, How is it possible to be so attached at one moment and to gain the strength to detach the next?
And then it occurred to me, it is the strength of the mind who understands that the person / animal / thing who you love is also an individual being serving it’s own purpose in the world. Your love is only a part of him /her /it. And when you understand that, it becomes easy to let go. In this case, the goat was Jess’s friend but she also understood that she will be food one day because that was goat’s calling, her destiny. This kind of thinking is only possible by a free mind, Jess was capable of thinking and behaving in certain fashion because she was brought up in the wild, free from worldly order and inhibitions. Once you are a part of a society you are automatically tuned to think and behave in certain fashion which by large is in agreement to the society norms. You are no more free.
Let me know, what you think, is it possible to be attached and still be detached ?