The notion of detachment, which crops up in every Eastern spiritual tradition, troubles many people, who equate it with being passive and disinterested. But what's really implied is the same detachment any creator has once the work is done. Having created an experience and then lived it out, one finds that detachment comes naturally. It doesn't happen all at once, however. For a long time we remain fascinated by the play of duality with its constantly warring opposites.
Yet eventually one is ready to undergo the experience called metanoia-Greek for having a change of heart. Because the word cropped up so many times in the New Testament, it took on a more spiritual meaning. It signified changing your mind about leading a sinful life, then it gained the connotation of repentance, and finally it expanded to mean eternal salvation. Yet if you step outside the walls of theology, metanoia is very close to what we've been calling transformation. You shift your sense of self from local to nonlocal. Instead of calling any experience "mind," you see that every pattern in the universe is temporary. The universe keeps shuffling its basic material into new shapes, and for a time you have called one of those shapes "me."
The ability to shift from local to nonlocal awareness is for me the meaning of redemption or salvation. You go to that place where the soul lives without having to die first. Rather than argue the metaphysics of this again, let me reduce the issue of nonlocality to something everyone is pursuing: happiness. To try to be happy is intensely personal, and therefore it's something we give over to the ego, whose sole goal is to make "me" happy. If it turns out that happiness lies outside "me," in the domain of nonlocal awareness, that would be a convincing argument for metanoia.
Happiness is a complex thing for human beings. We find it hard to experience happiness without being reminded of the things that could shatter it. Some of these things stick to us from our past as traumatic wounds; others are projections into the future as worries and anticipations of disaster.
It's no one's fault that happiness is elusive. The play of opposites is a cosmic drama, and our minds have been conditioned to fit into it. Happiness, as everyone knows, is too good to last. And this is true, as long as you define it as "my" happiness; by doing so you have already tied yourself to a wheel that must spin to the other side. Metanoia, or nonlocal awareness, solves this problem by transcending it because there is no other way. The elements making up your life are conflicting. Even if you could manipulate every element so that it consistently led to happiness, there is the subtle problem of imagined suffering.
Therapists spend years detaching people from all the things they imagine might go wrong with their lives, things that have nothing to do with actual circumstances.
Deepak Chopra would have made a fantastic psychologist. He still does, and perhaps even better because he is methological and clinically clear in issues that therapists might leave cloudy.
He also cuts through "the walls of theology" by taking Metanoia back to a basic meaning unloaded down with eternal salvation terms and such.
Would a therapist teach their client that a past wound or paranoid fear can be solved by expanding their self image from local to nonlocal, from a small separate being to a larger shuffled material pattern called "me?" Likely not, and we can be very thankful that Dr. Deepak Chopra shares his clear logical explanaitions of Metanoia in ways that truly teach us.
I found this writing from the chapter called: "You are truly free when you are not a person" to be so helpful by making sense of detachment, metanoia, change of heart, repentance, salvation, and shifting your sense of self from local to nonlocal.
Understanding that happiness when local is "tied to a wheel that must spin to the other side," but nonlocal awareness solves this "by transcending it because there is no other way," is a great awareness.
It is like they say: "If you want wealth, make others wealthy. If you want love, help others find love." It makes sense, because being surrounded by something is as good as "owning" it all to one's self! Duh! Even better because there won't be the envy and mistrust of being the only person with something.
Also dear Deepak brings up a function of the creative process that I have wondered about as a song writer. "Once completed, the painting has no more life..." meaning, be detached from the creation after it is "done." The reason I have wondered about this, is, if one makes a song, is it the duty of the author to share it with people? The world? I think my answer is that I had been including promotion in the creative process, making things hard on my self! Moving to nonlocal I can relax that I have done the creative composing part, if it is to reach more ears, that is a different task entirely! If it wants to be heard (he he.. ) I am not in the way of my art, but I'm also not going to kill myself trying!
This writing has taken me from paranoid to metanoid! Yay! Thanks Dr. Deepak Chopra, InfoPop, Givnology, and you dear readers for letting me share this.
Love and light being, Teo