Attachment creates pain and frustration.
Attachment is the thing that we seek to overcome in self-discovery. Attachment creates pain, and if you don't like pain and suffering, frustration and misery, you must overcome attachment. Attachment on a basic level means not getting caught up in desires. Desires pass through us like the wind passes through the leaves on a tree. The wind moves the leaves to and fro. So desire passes through us and can create movement, a stirring, a rustling within the self.
Desire is neither good nor bad. It just has a simple result. Some people feel in spiritual practice that in order to attain higher states of consciousness, to lead a happier life, they have to overcome desire. It's impossible to overcome desire. It's like trying to overcome the earth or the solar system or God. It's not necessary to overcome anything in order to attain liberation. Enlightenment and liberation have nothing to do with overcoming anything. Rather, they involve acceptance and dissolution. If you fight against your desires, you get ensnared in them. If you don't do anything about your desires, you get ensnared in them. Desires are not necessarily bad. It depends on the desire. So let's take a look at desire and attachment.
There is something that we call dharma. Truth. The idea is that there is a universal movement or motion that is correct. When desire is in concord with dharma, then desire does not create pain. When desire runs contrary to dharma, then desire creates pain.
Attachment creates pain, and if you don't like pain and suffering, frustration and misery, you must overcome attachment.
Let me give you an example. You have many different sides to your being. And each of those sides seeks happiness in different ways. Now, if we go to your absolute self, your highest aspect, we find nothing but light. Your real being is timeless and endless light. It has no beginning, it has no ending. It's static and ecstatic consciousness, beyond description. When you are absorbed in that light, meaning when your attention is fully focused on your own infiniteness, then you feel no suffering, no pain, no desire, no frustration. Everything is perfect perfection. This is the stateless state that all human beings, and all beings, sentient and non-sentient, seek. We call it God-consciousness. No worries, no problems, no second mortgages, no lines at the bank teller's window. Endless, infinite consciousness. It's what they call heaven. And it exists right here and right now. You simply have to become aware of it.
Imagine that you're a very, very tall person and that your head, the top part of your being, exists in that world, in that state. Then let's say that there are other levels of your being that cut through other parts of your body, as if we segmented your body. Your feet and up to your knees is in one segment, from your knees maybe to your waist is another segment, from your waist to your neck is another segment and then from your neck to your head is another segment. Let's say that your head is in the supraconscious. It's in the highest reality. It's in that timeless state that we call nirvana, or heaven, or perfection, whatever terms you like. Now, that part of your being doesn't seek to do anything. It doesn't have desires. It's a cloudless sky. Other parts of your being, though, get caught up in desire.
We all have a physical body, and the physical body is moved by desire. We all have a subtle physical body. The subtle physical body can also be moved by desire. But our absolute self is far beyond desire. The part of us that causes us pain, then, is the physical body, the subtle physical body, and of course the mental body. These are the three avenues of self, the three segments below the head. Let's say the physical body is that area from the knees down. Then maybe the next area up would be the mind, and above the mind the subtle physical, and then above the subtle physical, the superconscious. There are various divisions we can make; these are all just divisions that try to describe something that's really beyond words.