Freedom from our Possessions
As spiritual beings that live within this material realm, many of us often struggle with detachment from the material things of this world. We think that we must deprive ourselves of material comforts in order to be fully detached. But, as we see in the quote below, detachment does not mean that we must give up everything that makes our lives more comfortable.
“Detachment does not consist in setting fire to one's house, or becoming bankrupt or throwing one's fortune out of the window, or even giving away all of one's possessions. Detachment consists in refraining from letting our possessions possess us. A prosperous merchant who is not absorbed in his business knows severance. A banker whose occupation does not prevent him from serving humanity is severed. A poor man can be attached to a small thing.”
(Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 135)
Since we are already on the subject, we started considering a couple of ways in which we can think about or practice detachment.
- Pray or meditate at least once a day for ten days. At the end of those days reflect on how you feel. Have you noticed any changes?
- Think about a cause you are passionate about. How can you use your wealth, time, talent, etc. to help that cause?
- Do you keep a journal/diary? If you do, look back at the past few months. What takes up most of your writing? Are these things of a material or spiritual nature?
- Try to be conscious/more aware of how you treat others, even strangers, during your day. Are you treating those people in a way that you expect to be treated?
If you have already thought about some ways that help you stay detached please add a comment and tell us about them.