It’s easy to apply indifference to things. Concerning people, however, indifference sounds so… uncaring.
Even though “indifference” seems uncaring, there’s a difference between not caring and not attaching. It’s the difference between not making something personal while remaining connected with that something (or someone), and unplugging from something (or someone), severing naturally-arising human connections, as well as being unfeeling and cold.
My own lesson with non-attachment was hard-learned. In short, through terrible circumstances and a series of bad choices, not to mention some unfortunate events, all of my personal belongings were lost to me. Essentially, what I ended up with, after all was said and done, was a backpack with enough clothes for a weekend, a single book, and season one of The Muppet Show. I had lost all my clothes, my entire library, personal effects, irreplaceable photos, and every bit of academic work I did during my undergraduate program.
At that point, I got to either practice non-attachment, or go completely mad from total loss. I chose nonattachment and indifference. What else could I do? Dwell on things that weren’t there? Wish for a past to where I couldn’t return?
See… stoic indifference means dwelling in the liminal space where interconnectedness (Sympatheia) and egolessness overlap… between lusting insanely for more, and fearfully defending against the loss of everything.
It’s not throwing away our connections. It’s keeping our connections strong by being realistic and non-personal with them.
If we find ourselves being cold and uncaring, we missed the point of the exercise. If we’re uncaring in our indifference, then we not practicing non-attachment…
… we’re just being assholes.
(See y’all tomorrow)