An Introduction to Detachment

By Steve Beckow, Golden Age of Gaia

I was working one minute and in the midst of a spiritual experience the next.

I’ve had a few like this in past years. (1) This time I’m being shown what “detachment” feels like.

As in the other experiences, this mood just “came upon me” as I worked. But I recognized it before it departed and so it stayed and enveloped me.

Some of this article was written as it was happening; some in the afterglow; and some is being edited now:

I’ve been bothering myself that this Fall weather is beautiful and I should be out there.

But the furthest I get is looking out from my window.

I don’t mean I never get out because I do but … I could never figure this reticence to go out, without purpose, into the good weather.

Then today I heard myself say, what’s the difference between standing here and standing there? You’re going to be upright on two legs, looking out over a different vista. And … so?

At last I put a name to to the way I was feeling: “Detached.”  Up till now I’ve been ashamed of this nebulous, unnamed feeling, uncomfortable with it, embarrassed by it.

But when I saw it as detachment and experienced it, I changed my vote.

OK, I got it. I now see what the talk is all about.

It isn’t that I’m opposed to anything or hurt or sulking.  It’s that, all things being equal, nothing exerts a pull on me (beyond the needs of the physical) right now.

I was being given an experience of detachment in a deeper form than ever before.  Based on it, I’d say a synonym for what we mean by “detachment” would be “a focus on the eternal.”

For me, as you know, the basic spiritual movement is to turn from the world to God. (2)

Keeping this in mind, let me now reword what I just said. What I was able to name as happening to myself (and then experiencing) was detachment from the things of the world because of growing attachment to the eternal.

And this – that I am and feel and seem right now – is what detachment looks and feels like to this being:  It doesn’t make sense to this one standing at the window to go from here to there.

I’m sitting here amazed. I’ve been resisting this space since forever. I’m still resisting giving into it completely because I worry I’ll float off into fantasy land. Not caring about anything: That’s not staying with the program.

Another word for “detachment” is “peace.”  If they aren’t one and the same, they come bundled together.


(1) In the past I’ve been shown mastery, abundance, love, bliss, and peace … each as a state of consciousness or divine quality – however you choose to see it.

(2) See “The Basic Spiritual Movement,” June 12, 2009, in Back to the Basics: Introductory Essays to a Cross-Cultural Spirituality, p. 24, at


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