I've been meditating a lot lately, trying to focus on this concept of letting go of my attachments. I have a tendency to become too attached to people at times, and I've been meditating to reduce this unhealthy emotional impulse.
Buddhists say that all suffering comes from desire, and desire is really a form of attachment: an attachment to an outcome, to an ideal, to a person, a place, or thing.
But if we lose our attachments - isn't that just a form of indifference? Is emotional health, then, a form of indifference to others? Isn't that paradoxical? Isn't that simply a form of pathology?
We look to sociopaths as an example of how mental patterns can go wrong - but aren't sociopaths missing something that makes us human?
It's interesting, this parallel between sociopaths and monks. A piece by a scientist in the Atlantic who discovered he was a psychopath (I use the term interchangeably) recounted a story of a woman illuminating these parallels after one of his lectures on the subject::
...a woman came up to me and asked if we could talk. She was a psychiatrist but also a science writer and said, "You said that you live in a flat emotional world—that is, that you treat everybody the same. That’s Buddhist." I don't know anything about Buddhism but she continued on and said, "It's too bad that the people close to you are so disappointed in being close to you. Any learned Buddhist would think this was great."
Sometimes, I'm not sure if I feel too much, or too little.
Is there an optimum "amount"? Some sort of platonic ideal of our overall emotiveness?
Maybe there's no real answer to the question.
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis