Apathy Versus Non-attachment



I drew this card last night from the Spiral Tarot so I could ruminate on it while sleeping. I smiled when I saw it this morning: she is slumped and favouring her right arm, her left arm propping her listless head up. Just so! I hurt my right shoulder again trying to comb my Newfoundland dog three days ago. It set up the cycle of hopelessness, the slump. I can’t write in my journal, I can barely type this.

I am reading quietly through James Ricklef’s book The Soul’s Journey, and finding it like eating a piece of cold fruit when thirsty. He has many observations and quotes, the book has some depth and a fresh way of considering cards. My old copy of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is about 35 years-old and split in two and torn at the spine because I have used it so much, and I like people who gather quotes and bits of philosophy and tie it all together. As well, he focuses on awareness, mindfulness and meditation in this book, also a good vibration.

Turning to him then for a consideration of the Four of Cups, I find this passage regarding the difference between apathy and non-attachment:

“Another difference arises from the fact that apathy is associated with a retreat from our problems out of a sense of hopelessness or a fear of failure. Non-attachment, however, comes from a sense of trust in the Divine as we release our need to control how things turn out. In addition, non-attachment can help us overcome apathy since our anxiety, indifference, and dissatisfaction will dissolve when we are not attached to the results of our endeavors out of a sense of fear or need.”

It’s a fine line between the two but seems a good thought for the day. My extra sewing machine foot came in yesterday and I missed the phone call, but I can go and pick it up this morning. I feel discouraged because my arm hurts, and pondering how I’m going to sew, I reflect on this passage, especially after feeling very anxious yesterday.

This feeling that I must do something, I must quilt 14 unfinished tops this year, I must sew when I can hardly lift my arm, gets a bit fraught. So what if I ice my shoulder, read quietly, do what my body feels like, and then not be attached to results?

I can feel my release of the need to control, to perform, overcoming apathy. I feel it in my mind.




4 thoughts on “Apathy Versus Non-attachment

  1. The apathy of hopelessness is like falling in a deep well. And adding all the ‘shoulds’ of what I ‘need’ to do is like throwing rocks on top of me down there. I’ve started my daily walks and nature journal again, but I’ve decided I may not do the journal every day. No sense in making what should be enjoyable into a chore. I think I’m going to try to rephrase my ‘shoulds’ into “What would be helpful and beneficial for me today” instead.

    • YES, I completely get you. So far I haven’t been able to draw enough for art journals this year, and the regular journals are haphazard but it doesn’t really matter as long as I have fun and enjoy them when I do use them.

      I am not a fast sketcher, so I found nature journals produced anxiety in a “I should be able to capture that bird faster” sort of way, when I just wanted to sit and enjoy the process. I suppose you would get faster with practice but I like puttering.

  2. A yes, the tyranny of the ‘shoulds’. When I really want to do something, it generally happens very quickly and easily. If that’s not the case, then I consider whether I really need to do it. There are some things that can’t be avoided (like tax returns and other practical paperwork). With other things, I try to ensure they bring me a sense of joy, in the doing as well as in the completion 😀

    Hope you took care of your body, and that your shoulder is feeling a bit better!

    • I agree that you get things happening quickly and easily when it’s meant to be.

      I have been resting, so the shoulder has simmered down after 4 days, thank goodness, thanks Chloe.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s