“There is a state of mind which does not change, despite anything that happens in life. With that state of mind you can live with all the conditions of life. You can live with a good partner or a bad partner, prosperity or poverty, disease or death, in a discotheque, on a beach, a hotel, everywhere, because nothing affects you. You are where you are, firmly rooted in your own self, but at the same time you can interact with everyone. You can even fight, but still not be affected.”
“Nothing being more important than anything else, a warrior chooses any act, and acts it out as if it mattered to him. His controlled folly makes him say that what he does matters and makes him act as if it did, and yet he knows that it doesn’t; so when he fulfills his acts, he retreats in peace, and whether his acts were good or bad, or worked or didn’t, is in no way part of his concern.”
The first quote is from The Five Koshas, a talk given by Swami Satyananda Saraswati on June 9, 1984, and the second quote is from The Wheel of Time by Carlos Castaneda. These two quotes that flow seamlessly together, reflect the consistency of the knowledge of ancient India, as revealed in the Upanishads, and that of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico as articulated by don Juan Matus. Both traditions pierce the illusional nature of reality and cut to the heart of enlightenment: detachment.
Detachment knows that all things are equal, all things are part of the same interdependent whole. To grasp or attach to anything is to enter maya—fragmented reality—or the world of ordinary reality.
In everyday pragmatic terms, the guidance suggests being mindfully present, mindfully engaged in every situation with equal presence. Nothing is greater, better, or more important than anything else. The banal and the profane are as significant as the saint. Being locked away in a prison or lounging on a beach in the Caribbean are equal opportunity employers for the soul seeking liberation. Engage in life, treat each moment, each being, with equal appreciation. Choose with whom you journey, but know that this is but your predilection, as no life is better or more significant than any other.
Choice matters. Yogic science teaches that choice is the seed of manifestation, or what is known as karma. The secret of liberation from karma, however, lies in detachment. It’s not about being good, or moral, because choices that grasp at life in any form fixate and attach life to that form. Shamans, like true Yogis, free their energy from attachment to the world of ordinary reality, from fixation on the maya of this dimension, through this same process of non-attachment. Though they engage in life impeccably, they are ready to leave in an instant without looking back.
To leave without looking back is to have achieved complete love and compassion for all whom we are leaving behind. This detachment is the acceptance that life is complete and it’s okay to truly flow with the changes that death invites. Unless we have arrived at the completion of compassion, we will resist the changes and stay where we are in some form, until we are ready to flow with the deeper nature of reality.
When enlightenment and total freedom are the intents, only unconditional, all-encompassing compassion will be the path. Compassion requires absolute detachment. Anything excluded from our compassion actually generates attachment and becomes the seed to bondage in another life, where we are challenged to continue working it out. This was the wisdom of Christ’s guidance to “love thine enemy.”
All-encompassing compassion is the vehicle that releases all karma attached to this world and frees the soul to journey onward, into the finer energetic dimensions of its infinite journey.