Update: If you are looking for a practical guide to emptiness and non-attachment, you may want to visit my more recent post here.

One of my dearest friends is a devout Buddhist. I actually learned a lot about Buddhism just by hanging out with him. Although I am not a Buddhist myself, he claimed my thinking are very much in line with many of Buddhist teaching.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Buddhism, the concept of “emptiness” is central to the Buddhist philosophy and the practice of Buddhism. If you want to read more about it, here is a great resource to learn more. Without going too deep into what emptiness is (since I don’t really know much about it myself), it’s suffice to say that one of what they preach in “emptiness” is non-attachment. That is to say, you are not enslaved to anything or anyone with either your thoughts or your body.

In this day and age where consumption is king and materialism rules the world, it is too readily assumed that “non-attachment” is better than a full acceptance of earthly life. In fact, it is often assumed that ordinary humans only reject the non-attachment concept because it is too hard to achieve. But I am starting to wonder if that’s really the case. Could it be that there are people who genuinely do not wish to become enlightened? Is it not probable that some who achieve or aspire to achieve enlightenment have never felt much temptation to be human beings? In other words, what if I just want to be human with all the virtues and vices of one, including being attached? In fact, I rather like the fact that I am attached to the people I love; it makes me feel human. Why is that so wrong?

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