Desires are a necessary and natural part of life; attachments are an unnecessary source of suffering. Since they are different, desires remain when attachments are relinquished, so we are still motivated to live our lives fully and well. In fact, we are better able to do so, since we are no longer helpless puppets dancing on the strings of compulsive cravings that distort our priorities and lives.
Relinquishing attachments leaves us not apathetic but calm, not joyless but content, not indifferent to others but more concerned and caring. According to Patanjali, who wrote the classic text on yoga two thousand years ago, “When we are established in non-attachment, the nature and purpose of existence is understood.”
Roger Walsh (MD, Ph.D.) is an Australian professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, within UCI’s College of Medicine. For over 30 years Walsh has been researching how to enhance well-being — physical, psychological, social and spiritual. He is married to the psychologist Frances Vaughan, and together they have written a number of books.
Walsh’s broad interests have taken him on a journey covering:
- Psychologies such as integral, humanistic, transpersonal, existential, and Asian
- Transformative practices such as psychotherapy and meditation
- Religious issues such as shamanism, contemplation, psychedelics, and spiritual practices
Books written by Roger Walsh include:
- A Sociable God: Toward a New Understanding of Religion
- Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind
- Paths Beyond Ego (New Consciousness Reader)
- The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition
- The World’s Great Wisdom: Timeless Teachings from Religions and Philosophies (SUNY Series in Integral Theory)
Roger Walsh — Understanding Religion: Conventional & Postconventional Are VERY Different