Quote of the Day

Jul 5, 2021
Yesterday we were talking about dependency, its attachments and fear. I think this may be an important issue in our life, so we should really go into it rather deeply. After all, one can see that freedom cannot possibly exist when there is any form of dependency. There is physiological and psychological dependence, the biological dependence on food, clothes and shelter, which is a natural dependency. But there is an attachment that arises through the biological necessity, like having a house to which one is psychologically attached; or one is attached to certain forms of food, or to compulsive eating, because of other factors of fear which have not been discovered, - and so on.

There are physical dependencies of which one can fairly easily be aware, like depending on smoking, on drugs, on drink, on various forms of physical stimulations on which one depends psychologically. Then there are the psychological dependencies. One has to watch this very carefully, because they flow into each other, they are interrelated. There is dependence on a person, or a belief, or on an established relationship, on a psychological habit of thought. I think one can be aware of all this fairly easily. And because there is dependence and attachment, both physical or psychological, the fear of losing that to which one is attached brings about fear.

One may depend on belief, or on an experience, or on a conclusion attached to a particular prejudice; how deeply does this attachment go? I do not know if you have observed it in yourself. We were watching it all throughout the day, to find out if there is any form of attachment coming here regularly, living in a particular chalet going to one country after another, talking addressing people, being looked up to, criticized, exposed. If one has watched throughout the day one discovers naturally how deeply one is attached to something, or to someone, or not at all. If there is any form of attachment - it doesn't matter what it is - to a book, to a particular diet, to a particular pattern of thought, to a certain social responsibility - such attachment invariably breeds fear. And a mind that is frightened, though it may not know it is because it is attached, obviously is not free and must therefore live in a constant state of conflict.

One may have a particular gift, like a musician, who is tremendously attached to his instrument or to the cultivation of his voice. And when the instrument or the voice fails, he is completely lost, his days are ended. He may insure his hands or his fiddle, or he can become a conductor, but he knows through attachment the inevitable darkness of fear is waiting. I wonder if each one of us - if we are at all serious - has gone into this question, because freedom means freedom from all attachment and therefore from all dependency. A mind that is attached is not objective, not clear, cannot think sanely and observe directly. 
3rd Public Dialogue, Saanen - 4th August 1970 Read full text