Skip to main content

Detachment Theory

A psychological and evolutionary theory that attempts at explaining human behaviour is the Attachment Theory, mainly propounded by a John Bowlby, whose basic tenet is that infants need to develop a relationship with atleast one parent or a caretaker for its natural development to occur smoothly. This relationship, that Bowlby talks of, exists mainly between the 'caregivers' and infants aged 6 months to 2 years old. Bowlby published the full theory in his trilogy Attachment and Loss, and his Attachment theory has since become "the dominant approach to understanding early social development, and has given rise to a great surge of empirical research into the formation of children's close relationships". 


While this theory does supposedly explain attachment of infants with their 'caregivers', what still eludes my mind is the nature of the myriad other attachments we have, all of which affect our behaviour, and psychological state equally, or maybe even more than, the attachment we have as infants. From this primary 'attachment', we tend to develop intimate attachments to all kinds of things - right from people around us, folks we care about, to things, to objects - from gifts to the papyrus sheets that certify our formal education's various stages, that first penny that we ever earned, that first promotion email, that cherished gift, offer letter, that special text message(s) on our phones, or that email from a long-lost cherished friend, or anything else - attachments come in all shapes and sizes. 


I'm trying hard not to sound too much like a preacher or one of them 'thinkers', but there's an inherent fear of ostracization that causes us to have these attachments. We'd probably be better off if we were dispassionate and detached enough and learnt to 'take everything as a bonus', but I know I'm not one of those types, as are most others(or if I may, all others). The Gita and a million mortal preachers talk of detachment or Vairagya as a means to attain salvation...but aren't they attached to their cause as well? So, aren't the detached attached as well? Can we be passionately attached to something, and yet stay at a dispassionately long distance from it to not be perturbed even to the slightest extent by its ripples? Is detached attachment possible? Is it possible to not expect anything and instead 'take everything as a bonus'? 


P.S.: Yes, I am like this wonly. Kindly adjust.

Comments

Yashoteja said…
A nice set of observations man!

Wel I personally feel there is a basic difference between social attachment,
and attachment to a cause, and that is fear.

How much ever one is attached to someone, there is always a fear of being left out,
or maybe fear of losing that someone.

This is the case wid anything material i guess.
Anonymous said…
This is a great write up! You put into words something I thought would be the Detachment Theory :)

Keep on observing!
Anonymous said…
nice read.. ... "but aren't they attached to their cause as well?" ... smirk.. good one

Popular posts from this blog

The little-known Vanivilasa Sagara Dam at Marikanive

Here's wishing you a very happy 2012!


From obscure Hoysala temples to large monoliths, from quaint blackbuck reserves to the Merlion, from Madhugiri to Malaysia, the last two months have been the best travel-wise, and have seen me and my humble Santro go places all over the state! This trip, however, was done alongwith my cousins in their i10 (which I must say, is a pleasure to drive!). The destination this time, was the oldest dam of Karnataka - Marikanive Dam or Vani Vilasa Sagara, near Hiriyur in the Chitradurga district.
As a kid I remember visiting Chitradurga and its massive fort, and ever since, the image that comes to mind when I hear any reference to the Chitradurga district is a wild, wild west-type barren land with the Sun burning down on you. But this trip shattered that myth for me.
We started early in the day at around 6 as we knew the traffic would build up on the NH4 Bangalore-Tumkur Road, and sure enough it did. But after gobbling up delicious idlis at the Kamadhenu …

May God Help Me - Farewell NITK

The NITK Chapter is officially closed. As Bangaloreans, we have had plenty of rants against college. But after the exodus dawns the epiphany that things weren't so miserable at NITK after all. Now that I'm back home, I've been able to see the very thin silver lining beneath those very, very dark clouds that made these past four years pretty rough.


The Department:


After a fairly successful series of exams(barring the JEE of course!), I landed up in a class of 73 other souls, who, like me, had screwed up just the one exam but had fared pretty well in the AIEEE and landed in the most sought-after branch in the most sought-after NIT, only behind the IITs and BITS Pilani. Although I felt from the curriculum book when I first looked at it that our courses were very well-structured, I must admit that quite a few of them were mostly rote-mugging courses sugar-coated to sound cool. The Department and Its Presiding Diety always kept us on our toes. Assignments, projects or those excru…