So yeah, I took a pretty good shot at ‘letting go’ of attachment to relationships for a few days there.
It was partly an insight thing, as in ‘ this is inherently unsatisfactory, impermanent, and does not itself generate the state I’m looking for’ and partly a concentration thing where I was running a jhana state that was strong enough that I felt like I could happily renounce human attachments forever, at least at the time.
And then the tricky bit: because, when you get into states like that, the things you used to want, and let go of, frequently start showing up. Those of you who play on the sorcery side of the fence will be more familiar with this ( hopefully. provided you aren’t just a dark night basket case wanking over your star trek-based magickal paradigm) , and it’s basically the textbook buddhist style magick thing. ie; you rise to a jhana state of perfect equanimity, exit it, and form an intention, then the intention happens. Or in my case, the intentions that you formed carefully before and then let go of start to happen. This is pretty much what uncle al meant by ‘avoid lust of result’.
Which is neither here nor there, but just shows that letting go can throw up it’s own kind of distractions, because you will be tested on whether or not you really are letting go, or just practicing sorcery. Not that sorcery cannot be used as a valid source of insight, just most people don’t do it that way. If you do sorcery as a means of demonstrating the emptiness and transitory nature of phenomena, or developing insight into cause and effect, then great. If you renounce boys/girls as a step towards making them appear in your life, this is sub-optimal, from a perfect realisation point of view, because it throws up all kinds of paradoxes in terms of intention.
The tension of using renunciation this way versus how you actually live can become quite abrasive, even if you’re doing it by accident. You might very well intend to renounce shit, and yet not be able to help getting caught up in it again when your sorcery skills keep drawing it to you. It’s kind of playing out the karma you set in motion. There’s a story about a murderer who became an arahat and people who recognised him threw pottery at him. He couldn’t figure out why being enlightened didn’t make people hate him less. Similar kind of thing.
So shifting topics, dealing with that abrasive quality brings up a more detailed discussion of the dreaded ‘dark night’.