Because motivation affects perception, we tend to see what fits in with what we want, and our actions are shaped by our desires. If we are hungry, our focus is toward things to eat; if we are cold we look for ways to get warm. If we push that concept to its limits, identification with our desires can lead to everyone and everything being seen as an object to be manipulated for personal gratification. The behavior associated with drug addiction is an obvious example of this, but on a more covert level, our attachment to a particular outcome also manifests as cloud cover in our everyday communications. Our need (to be heard, to be right, to get approval, to get our way, to justify our behavior) can obscure our ability to truly hear and be compassionate with another person. There is an expression in the Tao, “Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing.” If we can find that place in our awareness that is not compromised by our desires (detachment) we can be more fully present (and involved) in the exchange with another, experiencing compassion rather than projecting our own needs or wounds upon them.
We all have desires and dreams. Involved detachment suggests that we let go of insisting that we know the right way to manifest those longings by attempting to manipulate the externals around us. Instead we allow the path to unfold before us while being present in the moment with open heart and mind. The focus is on what transpires inside us rather than on the outside. Notice how your thoughts and feelings can tend to lead you down certain repetitive paths, especially when you are trying to protect yourself against imagined fears. When you can, choose a different awareness that allows for more openness and willingness to receive what is available instead of trying to control the outcome. Let it be a process, a question, a swim through uncertain waters, not yet knowing what treasures you may find.