Fear, Attachment and Love
“At the root of attachment is fear, and fear also nourishes and allows attachment to remain. Attachment is a way of relating to the world, with people, with things and ideas. It is a mental process and therefore learned. It fights against the natural impermanence of all things. We have a learned predisposition to stick to all things, not just material things such as a beloved object, a house, a gem, a car, but also to relationships, people and feelings. We attach ourselves to work, a partner, a friend, parents, success, power, money, and the feelings and emotions that produce certain things.
This attachment leads to fear of loss and suffering. We know that everything changes constantly, but still the loss or the change makes us afraid.
Living with attachments makes us dependent and prisoners of exterior things because it identifies self-esteem and our reason to live with something that is not me; giving the power over us to other people, things or circumstances, in this way; it moves our own center to something outside oneself.
Living without attachment frees us and empowers us. If we release attachment, despite fear, we will discover the great joy of being truly ourselves and to truly love.
As explained by the monk Swami Tilak, “Everything ages, everything dies, everything is ephemeral. Therefore, attachment is the result of ignorance, while detachment is the result of knowledge of truth. Fear also is the result of ignorance. Because when we have attachment for one thing and the desire to get it, then there is the possibility of fear of not getting it. Also, because we do not want to lose what we have, immediately we become afraid. Because, what we have we will lose, then that triggers fear. It arises from the possibility of losing that. The desire to get something creates in us impatience and we become afraid of not succeeding, fear. “
Malena Zaccagnini Galland
“Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises out standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.”
Aldous Huxley, Ape and Essence
“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.”