D is for Detachment

D is for Detachment

It might also be for dissociation. There’s a very fine line between the two states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation_(psychology) . Some might argue that there’s simply a continuum that begins with a feeling of detachment and goes deeply into depersonalisation.

I’m hovering at the sense of detachment, of disconnection with the world around me, the world of people and their concerns. I’m turning away more and more often at the absurdity of what I see around me, turning in desperate sadness at the awful things going on in the world, and my brief flare of anger is snuffed out by a helplessness and a frustration that while we should know better, we apparently have not learned from our mistakes. I’m turning away from the ridiculous world of writing (for publication) and the competitive, compulsive pursuit of glory. It all seems rather venial. I’m withdrawing from social contact because it hurts too much; everything is too loud, too aggressive, too harsh, too overwhelming.

I wish I could say I was becoming enlightened, reaching a state of non-attachment to worldly things but I’m not. There’s a glass barrier between me and the things I used to feel and think. That’s detachment. There’s a gap between input to my brain and output from it (to speech or to action) that’s very link speaking on a satellite link: a delay between the words being spoken and the words being heard, and the same with replies; it makes me feel stupid, as if half my intelligence has become frozen or lost.

It’s not nice, but at present I think it may be nicer than the alternative.

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7 thoughts on “D is for Detachment

  1. You write what I feel. I am sorry it is so difficult, I think I understand what you mean – and detachment definitely feels safer.

  2. You are not alone! My blog for the ACW’s this month (written in haste onSaturday evening!) touched on Materialism (etc) due to similar thoughts. (Though it then panned out to our Lent Studies). My art tutor, who is also has a therapy practice, segued into similar thoughts yesterday morning, just from what we were saying about a picture, and began talking about the e=sense of loss and uselessness etc which many people bring to therapy today – young people who self-refer because their lives seem so ’empty’,and the world so terrible. (He is a buddhist if anything) … I feel although this is personal to you, it is a widespread feeling … Last night I was reading an article about “Postmodernism” which laid the problem at the door of those who developed this (ghastly) philosophy. The author certainly had a point.

  3. Although detachment ( almost indifference) feels like loss (of emotional warmth, vulnerability, spontaneity) I wonder whether it may not be a prelude to another world? One in which that same detachment keeps a clear eye on the phoney, the shallow, the vulgar, the self seeking. Given the universality of this growing ‘clear eye’ in those who see the rest for what it is, there may be a turning, ultimately, towards real values. It seems like a cauterisation before major spiritual surgery? Non-participation may then be a virtue, for now?

  4. I see this space you’re in as a world between two worlds, a sort of void or space between, a growing space from which consciousness and awareness and perception can emerge. At first it feels worrisome, even like the void–a place of chaos and terror. I’ve also experienced it as lacking in emotional warmth. I used to think there was something wrong with me for seeming to care less, but I realize now that it’s a good, peaceful, more centered space. It’s not that I care less, it’s just that I’m far less attached to outcomes than I used to be, and that’s a good thing because it preserves and protects my energy. Attachment and desire just wear you out and at some point become counterproductive to your growth. For me, as philipparees says, it’s a space of turning toward real values and letting go of old familiar ones—no matter how well they’ve served me in the pas—that simply no longer work. That’s scary and hard and unfamiliar for sure, but It’s becoming less scary and more like a slow moving into the Buddhist goal of joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. May it be so for you, Viv.

  5. I feel it too. Or something very like it, anyway. Sometimes it seems like there is a vast chasm between me and – well, everybody – and I’m shouting to be heard, straining to hear a reply, longing to touch some someone else’s reality, to know that it is really there. Is it the same?

  6. I resonate with you and others who commented here. I experience an ongoing particle/wave dichotomy, the conflicting desire for self-formation and self-release. And there is the challenge to find words for the real world that is invisible …

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