“Spiritual detachment is the means by which you withdraw from distractions of power so that you can experience the authentic power of God that is pure love.
You may not know what it means to be loved by God. If the only experience of love you have had is that of loving another person, then how could you possibly comprehend what it means to be fully embraced by God?
You discover that you are loved fully by God through experiences of complete dependency upon this invisible force of Divinity, this truly unknowable source of grace and benevolence that enters most profoundly into your life during your most vulnerable moments.
For Teresa, attachments to earthly power of any kind (which manifest as jealousy, haunting memories, or sexual passions) indicate that your soul has not yet grasped certain truths about its nature and purpose.
These attachments often stem from fears of abandonment, isolation, loneliness, starvation, and poverty. Such attachments cause suffering, regardless of whether you live in the world or in a monastery.
Detachment is a spiritual necessity because you cannot serve two realities simultaneously. You cannot be honest and dishonest at the same time; you cannot be married and single at the same time; you cannot forgive and remain bitter; you cannot truly let go yet continue to hold on; and you cannot acknowledge the higher reality of a spiritual life and divine guidance yet do things or hold beliefs that defy your spiritual principles.
Herein lies the cosmic battleground for the soul on matters of attachment: At the end of the day, what power is more seductive to you—Earth’s or God’s?
No one answers that question just once. You are confronted with it many times. Every time you close your eyes and ask for guidance, you know deep in your soul that the answer will always necessitate that you make a choice between faith in the unseen domain of God and the material world.
Because of this reluctance to trust, people spend their entire lives standing on the drawbridge to their souls—knowing that they are being divinely called, feeling a yearning to know God. Yet, they cannot bring themselves to cross the bridge to the soul because they fear what might become of their attachments.
They ask themselves, “What if God wants my money? What if God takes my house? What if this business of soul exploration results in my ending up alone like a nun in a monastery? Your attachments are the moats around your Castle (soul) that prevent you from entering your Castle.
You cannot imagine yourself free of them in concept. You think they keep you on the Earth. Who, you ask, would you be without them? Attachments to your worldly goods and to the traumas and pains of your past are, without a doubt, the greatest impediments to a spiritual life.
This is what Jesus meant when he said that it is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven. Your need to protect your physical life and power base in the material world continually competes with your trust in God. Do you really think that if God wanted your money or house you could prevent him from declaring eminent domain?”
Entering the Castle