Having worldly possessions and comforts is not incompatible with the state of detachment in Sufism. It is not the possessions that obscure our vision. Rather, it is our attachment to them—the desire to keep them, the fear that we will lose them, the inability to be satisfied without them—that forms the veils. Detachment requires us to be willing to let go of all these concerns, to be in a state of readiness to give up everything at any given moment without regret or remorse.
Emotional connection to others is necessary in order for a person to function in the world as a healthy individual. We need to love and care for others and to receive love and care in return. A person who cannot form emotional relationships with others, and is detached from others in this sense, is in a negative state.
When in the state of loving we are not confined by our perception of time and space; we are free from our limitations and boundaries. It is in such moments that all of our attachments become illusory and the only thing that remains real is love itself. The paradox of detachment is that it is only possible through love of someone or something outside ourselves. Buy the current issue to read the entire discourse.
Artwork – Still Life from The Flying Houses series © Laurent Chéhère / Muriel Guépin Gallery New York