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Vivation and Attachment


by Jim Leonard

First, I want to explain what I mean by the term, "attachment," which I sometimes also express as, "emotional attachment". Attachment means thinking that your happiness and well-being depend on something being some certain way. Anything at all that you think is necessary for your happiness and well-being is an attachment. Many of these you might even have trouble thinking about, simply because it seems so obvious that they are absolutely necessary. You take these absolutely for granted and they form the background of all your thoughts and feelings. It would seem odd, at least at first, to even question the necessity of these things. If any of these things ever seemed threatened, then you would find that very upsetting. Even with less rigid attachments, there is always an upset if it seems that the attachment is not being met or is at risk. Nearly everybody has thousands of these attachments. Many of these attachments are possessed so universally by nearly everyone, that nobody ever questions them at all. For example, nearly everyone thinks that their good health is absolutely necessary for their happiness and well-being, and feel very emotionally upset about anything that threatens their health. So then it's not enough to have the health challenge, they also create negative emotions, which do not aid healing, to go along with it. A related attachment is to youth or at least youthfulness. Especially in modern America, youth is honored above most things, and many people think of aging as being something atrocious that must be resisted at all cost. Even more universal is believing that life, itself, is absolutely necessary for happiness and well-being, so that death is seen as the ultimate worst thing possible. This attachment, although so universal that it seems difficult even to question, creates a gigantic proportion of all the unhappiness in the world.

Attachment can be seen to be closely connected to makewrong. The attachment is essentially the same thing that we usually call "the imaginary standard".

I want to clarify something that is extremely important if one wants to understand Vivation and integration, but which I suspect some of you have never considered. I suppose many people who are familiar with the concept of make-wrong and duality mechanisms (the scales from 0-10 with the arrow always pointing up) suppose that the suffering is produced by the object of the mechanism being down the scale, somewhere below ten. They might think that if they can just get things to be at ten, then they will feel happy. This is absolutely false, as I will demonstrate. Thinking that raising things up the scale will provide some relief from suffering perpetuates the duality and the suffering. This one concept is one of the very most important points that I can possibly make to anyone interested in Vivation. THE SUFFERING IS PRODUCED BY THE DUALITY ITSELF. Even if something is perceived to be at ten, there is still just as much suffering. One way to suppress an unpleasant feeling is to rationalize and say, "Yes but this thing that I'm worried about is OK right now," and then try to put the whole thing out of one's mind. But this is no better than any other form of suppression. It reduces integration and perpetuates suffering just as much as any other form of suppression.

If you have an attachment, and you presently have the attachment met, there is no satisfaction, but just suffering. I will give an example that has to do with relationships. Starting with the general attachment to being in a relationship with somebody, the attachment then settles on one particular person. So then, the person engages in the madness that if they can just get this one particular person, then everything is going to be great and they will finally experience happiness. Then if they actually do get that person, on a date, or in bed, or at the altar, or wherever they want to get them, how long do they remain happy? If we don't look too closely, then we'll answer that they are happy at least for a while. (Not one experienced person will ever say "happily ever after," however.) If we do examine their emotional state too closely for comfort, then we will see that they did not really get any moment of happiness from it, because of the attachment. (Not because of the nature of relationships or anything about the particular people involved.) Even after they have the person, the attachment will always be for something just a little bit better, for the person to say "I love you" in some special way, to find agreement with the person on every subject (ha ha), to have a perfect child together. In other words, what formerly appeared to be ten, once it is attained, does not remain ten. Ten always remains a little bit better than what has already been attained, so that there is always the suffering of not being at ten. This is the nature of all duality. Perfection can never be attained in linear time.

There is also another, perhaps more obvious, suffering that is consequent on the duality itself, even when ten has been attained. It is the fear of losing the person or thing to which one is attached. Even if we have the perfect love, if we are attached we will worry that something might go wrong in the relationship and we might lose that person, or lose the happiness that we at least should be experiencing with this perfect partner. Things might still drop from their ten position back down the scale. As long as there is the scale, as long as there is the imaginary standard, as long as there is the attachment, then the suffering continues just the same even if the thing is considered to be at ten in the present moment. There remains a condition of vigilance, constantly scanning the horizon for trouble, hanging on every word and every facial expression of the person to whom we are attached.  We go through life trying to spot, as far ahead as possible, what will eventually take from us that to which we are attached.  Attachment never rests.


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> The Importance of Emotional iiiiResolution

> Articles on Vivation

> Vivation and Loving Yourself iiiiThin™

> Vivation and Attachment, by iiiiJim Leonard, the founder of iiiiVivation

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