Is Attachment Really Love?
The path to love doesn’t end with surrender, although in a way there is nothing more to do. The process of letting go is all that spirit needs in order to enter your life. The rest is a ripening of the union between self and Self.
There is, however, still the enormous issue of how two people can surrender to each other completely. No matter how much love you begin to feel within, you must still reflect it to your beloved. Two spiritual people living together don’t automatically make a spiritual relationship. Therefore we want to ask in practical terms how love increases between two souls. The ego is not easily defeated in its preoccupation with everything but love.
Surrender is not achieved until you surrender completely to your beloved. To accomplish this you must relinquish everything that deprives you of love and nurture everything that comes from love.
One way that people deprive themselves of love is especially confusing because it seems to be a way to increase it: This is attachment. In its mildest form attachment is the desire to be with someone special. Even in preadult forms attachment has two sides–it both includes and excludes. Adult relationships carry attachment to a deeper level, but the exclusivity remains.
Love and attachment are not the same thing. Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires. Love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand: “Make me feel whole.” Love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.
Yet attachment has a deeper spiritual meaning. It represents an attempt to reach unity by merging with another soul.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).