Even virtuous actions such as compassion, charity, selfless service, and austerity which are considered purifiers of the wise, should be performed by renouncing attachment and desire for the fruit of such actions. Alas it turn one into, "Oh look at me, I'm so kind, compassionate, and wonderful..." So be aware, as good can also lead to suffering if one becomes attached to them.

The Bhagavad Gita - (18.5-7)

Attachment

Desire is the cause. Attachment is the result. Once an attachment is formed, it keeps the desire alive by inflaming it. Thus, desire and attachment create a complete circle in which beings become caught and experience a wide range of emotions.

Attachment induces identification with, and passionate desire for certain things in existence, all of which owe to the form, sensation, perception, and mentality that certain combinations of these things engender within us. As a result, attachment to opinions, beliefs, and things is the ultimate cause of general imperfection and the most immediate root cause of delusion and ignorance.

Attachment also seeks gratification in wealth, status, power, and domination. All that satisfies the “I, me, mine” as in an egotistical person. Lustful desire is egotism, the lowest rung of the ladder of human character evolution. By the force of its insatiable desire, attachment loves to destroy one’s peace of mind, health, brain power, clarity of thought, memory, and discerning faculties.1 It is said in the Hindu scriptures that under the strong influence of desire, or lust(kama), sane and learned men act like asses, monkeys, goats, and swine.

In forming attachments, we abuse one, or all of the senses in the pursuit of pleasure and gratification. Through the sense of sight, one may lust after material objects; through the sense of hearing we crave the sweet slow poison of flattery. Through sensual sound, the material nature within is aroused; through the lustful pleasure of smell we are lured towards wrong environments and actions; lust for food and drink entices us to please our palate at the expense of health; through the sense of touch we lust after inordinate physical comfort and abuse the creative sex impulse.

Why We Form Attachments

Our wanting attitudes are both hereditary and acquired in nature. Affiliation is in our DNA. Each human being is born and wired with an irresistible desire to relate to other humans. As far as drive is concerned, we humans have an insatiable desire to create an identity for ourselves in the eyes of others through striving, acquiring, and achieving. We have been programmed from birth by our upbringing, society, educational systems, competitive businesses, and the media; on elevating the excitement and drive based emotions associated with pride in accomplishment, owning, and controlling.

It is the power of our attachments, to the objects of our desire, that is at the root of all suffering within ourselves and throughout this world. It is an emotion of intense desire in the body, and can take any form such as the lust for knowledge, the lust for sex, or the lust for power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food. It is a psychological force producing intense wanting for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion in question.2

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.3

Attacment Related Habits

Addiction

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain. The effect being on the memory and related circuitry concerning reward and motivation. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors such as sex, gambling, TV, Video Games, or any activity one indulges excessively - physically or in thought.

Envy

Envy is a malicious intent which occurs when a person lacks another's superior quality, achievement, or possession, and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.4

Envy is a result of us comparing ourselves to others. If you are comparing yourself simply to evaluate similarities and differences as in a case where you are aspiring to emulate the qualities of a positive role model, then the process is life-giving. But if the intent behind the comparison is sadistic in nature than become wary that your consciousness needs to evolve. Not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but they also wish to inflict misfortune on others.5

What makes the habit of comparing so addictive? Society condones it, nearly everyone does it (gossip, persecution, and poisoning the environment for someone are common occurrences), our insecurities fuel it, and the habit is hard to break.6 It takes constant vigilance and mindfulness to break the habit. It is hard work.

When you compare with the belief that you are a failure because you don't make enough money, aren't attractive enough, or don't have that certain house or car, than you are missing out on all the awesome qualities that you do have. Besides seething in resentment, you also fail to discover what the true purpose of your life is due to your deluded preoccupation with materialism. The experience of envy involves:

  • Longing
  • Feelings of inferiority, and shame
  • Resentment of circumstances and people
  • Desire to possess the attractive rival's qualities
  • Ill will towards envied person often accompanied by guilt about these feelings
  • Motivation to boost your social position or status at the sacrifice of moral values
Greed

Greed is an excessive desire to acquire, or possess more than one needs. This emotional desire can be for, money, power, or fame. It is an addiction, and just like cocaine and heroin, it activates neurotransmitters in the brain, as does the fulfillment of our gluttonous desires. However, there is a cruel stigma attached to substance addictions, which is not present in the hoarding of material objects. The society that we live in actually condones and applauds excessive material success. As a result, the striving for money and power is often seen as a laudable endevour despite the suffering and damage it causes to the well-being of people, environment, and nature.

Jealousy

Jealousy is an emotion, and the word typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something, or someone of great personal value you are attached to.7 This loss can be real or imagined. Particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anxiety, anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness, abandonment, powerlessness, and disgust.8

Loneliness

Loneliness is a complex mental and emotional phenomenon that has at its base in emotions associated with abandonment and codependency.9 But unlike shame, which is a 'Fight or Flight' reaction, loneliness has its roots in 'Drive and Affiliation' related needs. A feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of purpose or meaning in life can be said to be the main contributor to loneliness and feelings of emptiness.10 Lack of meaningful relationships in one's life can contribute to feelings of loneliness but only to a certain degree. The way out of loneliness is to re-infuse meaning and purpose into your life. To form an identity. This software reveals a powerful platform to navigate the complex landscape of identity and purpose through introspection and reflection.

A continued sense of emptiness can sometimes lead to depression and apathy,11 where an individual has an absence of interest in, or concern about, emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical and/or physical life and the world; the very things without which they feel lonely.

Melancholy

Melancholy is a feeling of pensive sadness, typically it seems, with no obvious cause. But there is usually a cause. You may not be aware what it is or did not identify the cause as being the trigger. It could be a dream which you forgot upon waking up, or someones behavior that is now out of the conscious mind. All these can trigger melancholy.

Reenactment

The act of doing things that keep you in pain even when you have successfully made the transition to love and compassion. You keep doing things that cause you pain because the ego is scared since it used to identify itself through anguish. It is afraid now that its nonexistence will mean death.As a result it keeps doing things that keep it in pain these last days. Eventually it will make the transition.

Resentment

Holding onto a grudge from the past.

Rumination

Rumination focuses on bad feelings and experiences from the past. It is the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one's distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.12 The tendency to negatively ruminate, if a stable constant over time, serves as a significant risk factor for clinical depression. Not only are habitual ruminators more likely to become depressed, but experimental studies have demonstrated that people who are induced to ruminate experience greater depressed mood.

There is also evidence that rumination is linked to general anxiety, post traumatic stress, binge drinking, eating disorders, and self-injurious behavior.13 Dwelling on negative emotions in the past results in feelings of resentment, and propensity towards vengeful and sadistic inclinations.

Worry

Worry refers to the thoughts, images and emotions of a negative nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats. As an emotion, it is experienced as anxiety or concern about a real or imagined issue, often personal issues such as health or finances, or broader issues such as environmental pollution and social or technological change.14 In Hinduism and Raga Buddhism, worry is also associated with attachment(Lobha), for things. Failure in acquiring these things lead to frustration, and the loss of one’s peace of mind.