1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Non-Attachment

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pinkie B, May 21, 2019.

  1. Pinkie B

    Pinkie B Just Me

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    May 5, 2019
    Karma:
    +496
    For years I've been experimenting with different religious/spiritual concepts in an attempt to free myself of the constant anxiety and ennui that has pervaded my life.

    For a while I experimented with mindfulness/yoga/buddhist meditation and the concept of non-attachment. As the theory goes, all suffering is result of our attachments and our desires for Things (whether material or otherwise). I always had trouble with the idea of wanting being a bad thing because if you want nothing, why do you get out of bed in the morning? You have to at least want to eat or poop to stay alive, right? With time and contemplation I came to realize that it's less about the wanting and more about the attachment -- the feeling of "I can't live without" that is the supposed source of suffering.

    But for all my efforts I cannot free myself of my attachments to things. For example, when I moved to Japan my boyfriend gave me a tiny replica of his car that he had customized (both the replica and the real thing). I carried it around in my pocked like a safety blanket and I took it out to take pictures like a traveling gnome. IMG_5072.JPG
    Well, one photo that I took was quite a risky one as there were many people milling about and a strong wind. I had lots of stuff in my hands and as I took the photo I thought to myself, "I definitely can't stand up without putting the car back in my pocket or I will lose it!" and then I did exactly that. When I realized it I panicked, but it was too late. The little car was gone, never to be seen again and I was beside myself for days.

    I didn't think of my attachment to this little car as a part of my Asperger's until just yesterday when my boyfriend asked if he should take my (new) car around like a gnome this time and as I picked it up to give it to him I unconsciously felt the car in my hands, turning it around to feel its shape just like I had done with the first car to calm myself when I was running around trying to navigate a foreign country. In the end I decided he should get his own traveling gnome because I needed my car, even though I thought it was brilliant that I might be able to see photos of it on adventures with him.

    So I'm wondering, is Aspergers/Autism fundamentally inconsistent with the Buddhist concept of non attachment? Or are we just further from Nirvana than NT's are and thus destined to work even hard to reach that elusive mental state? I don't know. I don't know if it matters beyond the realization that, like so many other "quirks" of my personality, this tendency to become attached to things is not something that I can meditate away or self improve to personal ecstacy.

    In the end, I'm happy to just be free of the need to "improve" this part of myself. I need my little cars to get me through the day. So what if I carry them around in my pocket like a pacifier? There are worse things to be attached to.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    4,689
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Karma:
    +9,943
    I think it is alright to have comfort objects. I have used them from time to time. The hard lesson seems to be (which you have already learned) being able to carry on if it gets lost. Because it isn't actually a true catastrophe, just the loss of a comfort object, and likely in time replaceable.

    That bit reminded me of Frodo and his 'Precious' (ring) in The Lord of the Rings. :D
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Markyg

    Markyg New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Karma:
    +26
    Im thinking, if your attachments are as focused as in your case, a mini car, your possibly in a more manageable place.

    Someone who is attached to power or greed etc will have a much harder time shedding these then those with more tangible needs.

    If you feel the time is right you will understand how to do what ever is needed.

    I think an aspie mind with its often exceptional ability to see through complicated/abstract ideas quickly, is perhaps better placed to grasp the deeper meaning of eastern philosophy/religion (or whatever name you give it )

    I read a book by a buddist who said going up a mountain to meditate was just one way to acheive enlightenment. It is just as possible for a mother at home (ie, someone in a distracting life!).

    Anything is possible!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  4. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,071
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2018
    Karma:
    +5,977
    I read the Bhagavad Gita and the Tao Te Ching which go deeply into this subject, and my conclusion is that, while both texts have many good and useful ideas, generally, it's a load of hooey.

    A lot of what's advocated borders on sociopathy, in my opinion, and the issue of attachment is simply the replacement of worldly attachments with attachment to the idea of non-attachment.

    Attachment is inevitable, an irrevocable part of human nature.

    These philosophies are cop-outs, philosophies of indifference and mindless duty. They're a response to what can't be comprehended, and their response is to balk. It's like when we have some little problem and just ignore it, on massive scale.

    My opinion is that you should enjoy your attachments. Of course, obsession or complete reliance is not healthy, but there is something called "healthy attachment" and it's a source of joy and long-term happiness.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    5,814
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Karma:
    +11,393
    As a man I practice non-attachment when I'm putting on my pants and its time to zip up.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  6. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Karma:
    +4,133
    That is a question I have asked also. Without something you feel desire for, why do you get out of bed
    in the morning?
    I've seen many posts and have known the feeling myself of saying "If I hadn't been such a coward
    I would have committed suicide long ago."

    This is an emotion or rather lack of. Not an attachment to some thing.
    It is the emotion, sense of self, state of mind that makes us want to get out of bed or not.
    It is not a person, place or thing.
    Like the old cliche A house doesn't make a home.
    Home is the feeling. House is a structure.

    @Fino I've read those writings also and found no wonderful enlightenment in them.
    If Buddha was talking of non-attachment it is on the belief to reach enlightenment, a higher level
    of consciousness or what we might call a heaven after death, we must be to the point there is nothing
    on this plane of existence that we would want to return for. Reincarnation in the eastern philosophy.
    Same idea in the western Christian philosophy of lay up your treasures in heaven.
    Both meant to achieve a higher plane of existance. Not an existance of dead emotion.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Pinkie B

    Pinkie B Just Me

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    May 5, 2019
    Karma:
    +496
    That makes a lot of sense. I never thought of it in these terms. I feel a lot better about my need for these little things.

    I also had something else to add in responseto @Tom, but every time I log in I forget what it was!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  8. Nauti

    Nauti Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    432
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2018
    Karma:
    +849
    The Dalai Lama says that we should cleave to the spiritual and religious traditions from our own culture of origin, in order to progress further toward "enlightenment" or transcendence or "Samadhi". That's what brought me into delving into a more Biblical/philosophical/syncretic groundation that relates to my culture of origin. I say syncretic because I was actually raised in various "easternized"-and "pagan" subcultural environments more than Christian, as a child.


    I really like and respect the Dalai Lama though, so I took that on. I think it's hard to really grasp those eastern.concepts accurately, when we come from our westernized cultural frameworks.

    There is a fleshing out of the "attachment" concept in some Buddhist texts that describes attachment as "grasping and clinging" and in this way we can, perhaps, understand it as being able to overcome attachment to ideas that are impediments to experiencing peace of mind: outdated egoic "attachments".

    An example of this in my own life is when I had to leave my family, my children, and I suffered a lot, I didn't know who I was, at first, without knowing myself as a mother, first and foremost, and I had to "let go" and develop new parts of myself. I studied, I did community work, I did creative projects and I had to allow myself to grow beyond just my role and sense of myself as "mum" so I had to release my attachment to what was, and embrace what is.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  9. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    4,689
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Karma:
    +9,943
    Thats ok. It will be our little secret. So secret that even we don't know it. :D
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
  10. Jojo_LB

    Jojo_LB Brilliant Enigma V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2019
    Karma:
    +902
    The part above I put in bold is pretty much how I summed it up after dabbling in, and then failing at, practicing Buddhism back in my NYU days in 2001-02.

    I wouldn't say this condition is fundamentally inconsistent with that particular concept of Buddhism. I do believe in such things as healthy attachments.

    I fit the PDA profile, and just get very easily obsessed with things that feed my voracious appetite for knowledge, or my need for predictability in all activities in general, so my condition makes it impossible to practice such a concept consistently. When I gave up on trying to practice Buddhism, I didn't know I was autistic. I just decided, "This isn't possible for me," and continued on my quest to find inner peace and self-acceptance.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Pinkie B

    Pinkie B Just Me

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    May 5, 2019
    Karma:
    +496
    For most of my life I kept trying to be more "balanced," but like you, @Jojo_LB , I can get pretty easily obsessed with things. Growing up it was always a case of feeling like I needed more willpower to force myself to be functional.

    Arguably what most of being on the spectrum is (for Aspies, I guess?) is a feeling of never having enough willpower, or never being attentive enough, or never [insert here] enough... and always feeling like it was something that YOU have to fix about yourself (and of course I mean *me* in all of this),

    But coming here with my new understanding of myself is really taking that pressure off. I no longer feel like I have this overwhelming pile of individual failings that I have to self-improve to perfection, always exhausting myself in the process. I just feel like I have a bunch of experiences that, to my amazement, so do a bunch of other people and that it's ok to be different and to never "measure up."

    Thanks, everyone, for being honest and sharing and inclusive. It's really nice to have a community of like-minded. I've never had anyone who just understood before.

    Really, thanks.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 5
    • Winner Winner x 1
  12. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,899
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Karma:
    +5,092
    Really couldn't have put that better myself :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1