Within philosophy, the term detachment represents a state in which an individual overcomes their attachment toward desire for all objects, individuals or concepts of the phenomenal world, henceforth attaining a heightened perspective. Within Bahá’í Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Taoism, non-attachment, which stands for the release from desire as well as suffering, is a significant principle and ideal. Detachment is also a central concept in Zen Buddhism. One of the most important technical Chinese terms for detachment is “wú niàn” (無念), which literally means “no thought.” This does not signify the literal absence of thought, but rather the state of being “unstained” (bù rán 不染) by thought. Therefore, non-attachments represents being detached from one’s thoughts. It is the separation of the individual from their own thoughts and opinions in detail as to not be harmed mentally and emotionally by them. The mentality is generally also applied towards others. In addition, within Hinduism the view of detachment comes from the understanding of the nature of existence and the true ultimate state sought by the practitioner. In other terms, while one is responsible and mindful without concerns of the past as well as future. The detachment is focused towards the result of one’s actions rather than towards all aspects of life. This concept is cited extensively within Puranic and Vedic literature.
Zen and Sociopathy
There are a variety of parallels between sociopathy and Zen Buddhism, such as emotional detachment, non-attachment to the self and mindfulness. In addition, Buddhists, similar to sociopaths, can appear as unemotional or emotionally cold. Conversely, Buddhism appreciates emotions as well as deeds that are spontaneous and based upon intuition, merely not those arising from logic or the rational mind, as it may. Yet, a sociopath is genetically provided with the free will of choice, as it may, to develop the will to form attachments or to detach from their surroundings. The archetype of the monk and the sociopath, in fact, are reflections of one another. Whereas the Monk strives to detach himself, the sociopath often attempts to involve himself. Although there is a fine line between morally righteous actions, conducted for the progression of mankind, and morally corrupt actions that serve merely the perpetrator. According to Carl Jung, this line also exists on the fourth stage of individuation. Nonetheless, would it even be probable to suggest that the sociopathic mind is closer to enlightenment? Or perhaps on the other side of it? The monk and the sociopath view the nature of reality from almost exactly opposite perspectives, operating at entirely different parallels. For instance, a sociopath can be threatened and perplexed by emotion due to the unpredictability that it brings. Emotion has the capacity to throw actions out of balance, as it may, disrupting the behaviour of the individual. The monk, however, aims to distance themselves from emotion whilst remaining compassionate towards the emotions of others. To a sociopath that is easily agitated, an emotional outburst could trigger the desire to interfere with the behaviour of the individual, resulting a variety of probable outcomes, ranging from loss of consciousness due to blunt force head trauma to death caused by the rapid snapping of the neck. The monk, on the other hand, would view it as being provided with an opportunity of growth through the challenge of calming the unsettled individual with emotional support and meditative practises.
To centre oneself entirely in the present moment requires the gradual release of the attachment to all forms of thought, most significantly the self. It also necessitates the letting go of ones attachment to emotions, which are also a kind of thought. In essence, the individual ceases to think and feel. “As long as one is caught up thinking or feeling, one is occupied reflecting or anticipating.” Within Buddhism, to live in such states of illusion perpetuated by thought is represented by The First Truth, which states that life is suffering. To therefore release the attachments to their own thoughts allows the individual to raise their level of awareness, which with freedom from illusion and suffering is attained. This increase in awareness is accompanied by compassion, arising from the direct experience of the individuals connection to all within existence through the regular practice of meditation. According to Buddhism, all beings possess the Buddha nature within themselves, even if it does not surface throughout an entire lifetime. This illustrates that at the core…we are all the same. Perceiving the subject in this manner, the difference between the sociopath and the monk is an illusion in itself.
The Mask of the Self
What are we without words? What are we without form? If one were to simply look at any individual as a whole, disregarding any thoughts of attraction or judgement. Merely perceiving them as they are. Usually until that individual speaks, they possess no language or nationality, yet we have already categorised them according to social class, status and appearance. These are also labelled as attachments…Attachments to that which is perceived as inappropriate and to that which is considered to be socially acceptable. Once one can get passed all superficial matters and observe another being, perceiving them as possessing a unique personality and mind of their own…A intricate purpose and path of their own, which is connected to you through the very nature of reality itself. By mere existence upon the same planet, the same country or the same city, one human being affects another, often without conscious realisation. Succeeding all the challenges and struggles of life, we will all inevitable have to discover a manner, in which to live with ourselves and our surroundings. Humanity no longer values nature in the ways they used to. In fact, within the United States it has become against federal law to grow any kind of food in the garden of the average American citizen. Needless to mention, numerous elderly ladies were arrested and received ample amounts of fines and prison time to ponder upon their wrongdoings. Yet, have any human rights actually been violated? It would perhaps dent the wallets of the local supermarket. The true goal has a much more profound affect, the illegality of self-sufficiency. Within modern society, the archetype of the true monk has nearly faced extinction. Except for a few remote corners of the world, there are not as many die-hard monks as there used to be. Monks that would rise at 4am each morning to perform aerobic exercises and then spend countless hours in meditation every day. The ideal monk is in a meditative state throughout waking and sleeping consciousness, continuously focused upon the present. Such an individual cannot exist within modern Western society. They would represent all that which the capitalist and the socialist wish to abolish by pure nature of being. It is the monks way to simply be.
Not try, not do… To just be.
Everyone has at one point made a mistake that was irreparable. Some more than others. Learning by failure is a process that we all experience within life. Yet, once one puts aside superficial differences or quarrels with ourselves and others, one arrives at the inference that the suffering of life, its encompassing attachments and illusions, is a universal condition.
Within most organised religions, the vow of poverty stands for the physical side of detachment, whereas Eastern religions focus their energies upon purifying as well as cleansing the body, mind and spirit. They are intrinsically aware that each individual possesses their own path towards enlightenment that will differ from the path of another. Nonetheless, there are common denominators, which create the suffering that is experienced within life. The goal in itself becomes to transcend the pain experienced and distance oneself from it. Within a wide range of belief structures, the practitioner begins to accept full responsibility for their thoughts, their emotions and their actions. Partial responsibility is also accepted for each trauma experienced. The notion becomes to separate oneself from situations, which cause internal grief or unfavourable circumstances. To not involve oneself in the drama of life, therefore allows one to become detached from it. One does no longer requires or even desires the drama that life brings, thus one simply removes the causal factors that trigger them by editing oneself out of the situation. Numerous yogis and sages have retreated to the mountains for decades before re-surfacing to the public within a state of Samadhi, otherwise known as the ultimate state of peace and enlightenment.
Sociopathy, now known as anti-social disorder, is generally a genetic condition that cannot be cured or mended. Only the individual can gain control of their inclinations in order to expand their understanding of others. Needless to mention, countless high functioning sociopaths have marked history beyond the point of return, especially within religious or spiritual professions. Whereas psychopathy prefers the long drawn out emotional pain in others, the sociopath has no preference. More often than not, the response of a sociopath is provoked into violence whilst the psychopath does not necessarily require a trigger event to victimise another. Most interestingly of all, the behavioural tendencies of a psychopath would not allow them to linger on a mountain for decades without human contact, whereas the sociopath would experience no care or consideration towards the task. Psychopaths and sociopaths, although it is a common misconception that they are increasingly alike, nothing could be further from the truth. The psychopath experiences an urge, a compulsion or a drive of some sort, generally speaking, whereas the sociopath does not. The most suitable analogy would perhaps be an emotional filter that is different from the average human being. The emotions are present within the sociopath, yet they are disconnected and in the background. Hence, a sociopath with anger management issues can become a rather clinically challenging subject. As sociopathy is a genetic condition, it affects the very core make-up of the individual. If pushed beyond a certain point, the sociopath cannot differentiate between a slight emotional outburst and the action of snapping a neck. It is a whiplash between extreme emotions that differs from bipolar disorder, as the sociopath experiences conscious choice of expression of emotions to a certain degree. In conclusion, the choice of detach oneself for sociopathy, similarly the development of the love-map for a rapist, occurs during childhood. It becomes a foundation stone in the mental development of the sociopath. Truth be told, there is very little distinction between the warrior monk and the sociopath in moments of extreme discontent. Both ways of living are mirror images of another. They are equal sides of the same spectrum, attempting to alter the circumstances, merely approaching the matter from opposing viewpoints. Ironically, they are increasingly alike. Both are triggered by the need of the soap opera within real life by other human beings. The unintentional or intentional creation of problems within daily life. Both also hold another aspect in common, a neutrality towards animals. The sociopath as well as the monk would prefer to focus on the owner of the animal that was trained to attack over the animal itself, whereas most other types of individuals focus less on the actions of the participants and more towards the action of the animal. However, for instance, whereas monks would prefer to prevent animal testing, urging for the animals to be released back into nature, sociopaths rather prevent the average citizen from applying products, which stem from the cruelty towards animals, via methods of social engineering. In essence, the mere difference between both approaches is the choice that is made to start with. The first choice that guides all other choices. For instance, the monk has the ability choose to distance himself instead of involving himself in altering society until society has changed itself or to risk changing it himself, whereas the sociopath is in favourable circumstances provided with the choice whether not to kill whilst altering society or not to kill and distance himself from society, whilst remaining at the core of it. The sociopath would through instinct choose to remain within society either way. Yet, the choice becomes whether to distance onself from society by whatever means necessary or to modify it by any means necessitated. Conversely, the monk chooses to separate himself from society by whatever means necessary until he chooses to alter society by any means necessitated. One can even go as far as to predict the behaviour of a monk by observing a sociopath, and vice versa. Yet, the first choice at all times determines the probabilities of choices that are to follow.