Earth is the Planet of Attachment. Earth School teaches us to securely attach our spirit selves to our physical animal selves—with its myriad of physical needs and desires—and, ultimately, to relinquish all our physical attachments as we return to our pure spirit selves enriched with the fruits of our earthly journey.
The crown jewel of achievement from that Earth School journey is attachment refined, transformed into its highest vibration: love.
Attachment and detachment are the themes of the curriculum of Earth School. Once we master those themes we graduate to new adventures, graduate schools of our liking in greater infinity, enriched and fueled by compassionate love in its eternal form, having been prepared, through our hard work in Earth School, to accompany us on our continued expansive journey in infinity.
Given these considerations, I feel justified in assigning Earth School the title of Attachments Anonymous, extending the twelve-step model to all sentient beings, as we are all on the same journey, seeking to achieve loving kindness, compassion, and detachment.
I recently consulted the I Ching around this issue and received hexagram #24: Return, the Turning Point. In this hexagram, one yang line sits beneath five yin lines. This preponderance of yin is the Earth, the dark solid planet of attachment, all things physical. Emerging from below is thunder, spirit that rumbles beneath the Earth.
The hexagram depicts the cyclical challenge of Earth School, life lived in the patterns of the seasons. We see in our own lives and behaviors the cyclical patterns of our attachments, such as to food, drink, sex, money, power, security, shopping, texting, fear, anger, sadness, carnal and dependent love, to name but a few.
All of our attachments manifest in cyclical patterns of seeking, obtaining, consuming, or lamenting. Even refusing is its own addictive adventure of control, as the “dry drunk” syndrome illustrates.
There is no escaping addiction, which is really a frenzied state of attachment that we all suffer from and are dominated by at some point in our lives. Addiction provides the core course material of Earth School. Save all guilt and self-blame; if you are here you are in it! Even Christ and Buddha had to go through Earth School.
Hexagram #24 teaches us that the cyclic pattern of attachments NATURALLY gives rise to one moment in the cycle when spirit, on its own, makes an appearance and shakes us from our attachments. Here lies the opportunity to advance beyond compulsion of attachment—this is the Turning Point.
The usual course of all habits is like the seasons, as they too return to the same patterns. But the spirit side of ourselves, in consort with our consciousness, through collaboration, can actually transform an attachment into spiritual advancement. For example, a compulsion might find a new home in loving compassion.
This is why the twelve-step program suggests turning to one’s higher power for help, to enrich one’s struggle with grace and lift the compulsion to a positive level. The I Ching describes this process in the moving line in the third place in hexagram #24, as follows:
“There are people of a certain inner instability who feel a constant urge to reverse themselves. There is danger in continually deserting the good because of uncontrolled desires, then turning back to it again because of a better resolution. However, since this does not lead to habituation in evil, a general inclination to overcome the defect is not wholly excluded.”
The suggestion here is that the usual course of affairs—becoming buried in hungry desirousness—has the possibility of being transcended, if one can access one’s spirit at the turning point.
The turning point offers the opportunity of renewal through rest (compulsion lifted), tender care (compassion for all parts of the self), and flowering, as the spirit of kundalini energy naturally rises to the level of the heart. This is not hungry heart, but a heart full of loving compassion.
Spirit rising to the heart center is the spiritual refinement of the earthly self, the body self, which is granted enhanced life beyond its time in earthly form, in the formlessness of pure spirit love.
This is graduation from Earth School with the highest honors!