Attachment has to do with being bound to something, physical or psychologically, literally or figuratively. This “something” can be a person, a place, or a thing. It can be a sense of who we think we are or would like to be---the self-image. We can be overly attached to a belief system, to the point that we block out all new truths. We can be overly attached to a country or race, to the point that analysis is habitually distorted by the layered accumulation of our own historical perspective. It seems, in fact and clearly, that attachment is the norm, and that the maturation process is going through a continued series of mini-detachments, and that supreme detachment is supremely rare.
Attachment leads to some kind of suffering when the attachment brings about a non-fluidic, non-growing, static state. Attachment is related to form [tangible and subtle] whereas detachment is related to consciousness. Detachment has to do with a psychological vantage point that enables one to see, to observe, to be aware. Detachment implies being free or distanced from the form factor, and, therefore, being in a better position to make right judgment regarding the treatment and handling of the particular form factor. Detachment in this sense is not separation from form, for separation implies moving from distorted consciousness [attachment] to no consciousness [isolation, separation]. Detachment implies greater consciousness.
The detachment process can be viewed as operating primarily on two levels.
 Attachment, involves the emotional body, the desire impulse, and therefore, the solar plexus centre and the sixth ray. [The two major centres lower than the solar plexus---the sacral centre and the base of the spine centre---are more instinctual in nature, involving the sex drive and the will-to-live or survival impulse.] As the individual likes and dislikes of the emotional body and solar plexus energy are developed, attachments abound. Some come easily and are easily relinquished. Other attachments become central to one’s life. One can become so identified with them that one mistakes them for life itself, even to the point of suicide. The development of the solar plexus centre begins to distinguish human from animal. Excessive attachment is more of a human problem than an animal one.
 The second level on which the need for detachment acutely arises involves the personality as a whole. In the first condition above we have an emotional focus that is corrected most often through a mental focus. Mental clarity can dissipate the emotional glamour. In the second condition we have an attachment that includes the totality of personality [physical-emotional-mental] and is rectified through soul focus [personality detachment]. This is not the detachment of self-protection or of self-immunization or of aloofness, but that soul detachment which works from soul levels and--- seeing all life in the light which streams from the soul---regards everything from the standpoint of eternity.
This is the first method of attaining liberation or freedom from the three worlds. Based as it is on a realisation of the essential duality of nature, and regarding nature as a result of the union of the two polarities of the Absolute All, spirit and matter, discrimination is at first as attitude of mind and must be sedulously cultivated. The premise of the duality is admitted as a logical basis for further work and the theory is tested out in an effort to prove the truth. The aspirant then definitely assumes the attitude of higher polarity [that of spirit, manifesting as the soul or inner ruler] and seeks in the affairs of every day to discriminate between the form and the life, between the soul and the body, between the sum total of the lower manifestation [physical, astral and mental man] and the real self, the cause of the lower manifestation.
He seeks in the affairs of every day to cultivate a consciousness of the real and a negation of the unreal and this he carries into all his relationships and into all his affairs. He accustoms himself, through persistent unbroken practice, to distinguish between the self and the not-self, and to occupy himself with the affairs of spirit and not with those of the great maya or world of forms. This distinction is at first theoretical, then intellectual but later assumes more reality and enters into the happenings of the emotional and physical world. Finally the following of this method eventuates in the entrance of the aspirant into an entirely new dimension and his identification with a life and a world of being dissociated from the three words of human endeavour. Thus he learns to know not only the form but also the subjective Reality which produces or causes the existence of the forms.
After discrimination the aspirant passes on to the cultivation of the next great quality which is dispassion or desirelessness. A man may be able to distinguish between the real and the un-real, between the substance and the Life which animates it and yet desire towards the form existence. This too must be overcome before perfect liberation, emancipation or freedom is attained. Before he can tread the Path, he must become that Path himself.
The tendency of the body is towards all other objective forms, and it is apt [in its unregenerate state] to gravitate with facility towards material objects. The nature of those objects will be dependent upon the point in evolution of the experiencing ego. Emancipation from all the physical forms eventuates when dispassion towards these objects forms a practiced.
Dispassion is the antithesis of desire. Through dispassion the aspirant and server stands free from the karmic results of his activity on behalf of others. It is our own desires which bind us to the three words and to others. Dispassion has more of a mental quality and brings in quality of the lower mind. Tenderness is the emotional result of dispassionate compassion and involves the astral principle.
By the practice of dispassion and of non-attachment, and by the strenuous control of the desire nature it becomes possible for the man to re-orient himself so that his attention is no longer attracted outwards by the stream of mind-images but is withdrawn, and fixed one-pointedly upon reality. This is firs attempted through the control of the mind, and then the work, of using that mechanism and its employment in right directions and for the achieving of knowledge of the soul-realm instead of the matter realm, proceeds. Thus liberation is brought about.
One of the five commandments as stated by Patanjali is:
Abstention from incontinence. This is literally desirelessness [dispassion or a lack of self-restraint] and governs the out-going tendencies to that which is not the self, which finds physical plane expression in the relation between the sexes. It must remember here, however, that this expression is regarded by the occult student as only one form which the outgoing impulses take, and a form which allies a man closely with the animal kingdom. Any impulse which concerns the forms and the real man and which tends to link him to a form and to the physical plane is regarded as a form of incontinence. There is physical plane incontinence and this should have been left behind by the disciple long ago. But there are also many tendencies towards pleasure seeking with consequent satisfaction of the desire nature and this, to the true aspirant, is likewise regarded as incontinence.
St. Paul said: “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
“Through dispassion and the balancing of the pairs of opposites he has freed himself from the moods, feelings, longings, desires, and emotional reactions which characterise the life of the average man and has arrived at the point of peace.”
Dispassion is a great tool to bring this great change about and man, the victim of his desires and lower nature can become man, the victor, and triumph over the world, the flesh and the devil. It is brought about when the physical brain of the incarnated man becomes aware of the self, the soul, and this conscious awareness only becomes possible when the true self, or soul, can reflect itself in the mind. The soul is inherently freed from objects and stands ever in the state of isolated unity. Man, however, in incarnation has to arrive, in his physical brain consciousness, at a realization of these two states of being; he has consciously to free himself from all objects of desire and stand as a unified whole, detached and liberated from all veils, from all forms in the three worlds. When the state of conscious being, as known by the spiritual man, or soul, becomes also the condition of awareness of the man in physical incarnation then the goal has been reached. Man is no longer what his physical body makes him, when identified with it, the victim of the world. He walks free, and no longer does his astral body subjugate him and overcome him. He shows dispassion in its fullest sense.
“Lord of my life, how can I do the duty of this day yet seek detachment? Meet every need yet free myself from ties and bonds?” God said: “The sun draws near and vivifies the earth. Naught can it take from out the earth. Live likewise. Give and ask naught!”
The nature of the soul, the qualities and activities inherent in the love nature of the Son of God, and the wisdom which demonstrates when love and activity [the second and third aspects] are brought together, characterise his life on earth, and he can say as did the Christ, “It is finished."
Based on the work of AAB and DK