Intimacy and indifference are like polar opposites – just like light and dark seem like polar opposites. However, in the state of inner wholeness you sense an “intimate indifference” with everything – you feel deeply intimate/passionate and yet there is an open space of indifference to everything you enter into a relationship with, be it with your work, your human relations or your life. You cannot try to “imagine”, with your thinking mind, how this works, you can only experience it when you come to this state of inner balance/wholeness – it flawlessly integrates the light and dark nature, heartful connection (light nature) and indifference (dark nature) integrated as one experience instead of being separate. The mind is only capable of a “heartless indifference” which is just a cold distance, or detachment, arising from a place of hatred or fear – so don’t try to use your mind to imagine this state, you will only get a wrong idea. When you sense inner wholeness arising in you, you automatically see how intimacy and indifference can co-exist as one experience, in a balance, ensuring that your love is not tainted with neediness/insecurity – this is what really allows for pure love without the corruption of fear.
Physical life can be a very harsh experience in the absence of inner wholeness, simply because the fleeting nature of reality leaves us feeling highly insecure and frightened – everything is subject to change, nothing stays permanent, and if you don’t have a space of indifference within, your attachment will leave you feeling torn by the changes instead of going with the flow. However, as I mentioned above, this “indifference” that’s present in the state of inner wholeness is not a heartless indifference, it’s not a mind created state – it’s not what the mind imagines as being cold and insensitive. The best way I can describe this experience is by using the term “intimate indifference”, there is a deep love and an indifference at the same time, there is a heartful sensitivity and open space at the same time, there is an embrace and a letting go at the same time – it seems like a paradox, but that’s what the state of balance is, you really can’t imagine this state you can only live it.
A love free of fear
The mind’s version of intimacy is laced with fear, it always corrupts love with fear and it easily defends this corruption by using noble words like commitment, sincerity, loyalty and trust – in truth the mind just wants “security” and this need is rooted in fear, thus it will bring in this fear into any relationship it enters into. The state of inner wholeness is free of the motivation of fear, and the way you experience love, from this place, is untainted by fear – this allows your love to be deeply intimate because, in this space, you are not in fear of connection as you don’t fear loss. Also, you don’t place the responsibility of your inner feeling of security on your partner so you don’t burden him/her by “asking” for commitment or loyalty, if it happens naturally it’s fine.
If you love someone, set them free, if they stay it’s meant to be, if not just move on – this is not something the mind can ever do with ease, and this is not meant as a “directive” for the mind. It’s just a state of being that you automatically experience when you reach inner wholeness, you are free within and you allow freedom to the outside – you don’t try to grasp or hold on to anyone/anything, your sense of wholeness is not dependent on the outside. Neither do you try to hold distance as a means of protecting yourself, you let yourself be fearlessly intimate and straight-forward with your feelings, but your intimacy is not an imprisonment for you or your partner – this is what “intimate indifference” feels like. Of course this state of being is not restricted to your love relationships alone, but to all aspects of your life.
Fear and love cannot co-exist, not for long. If you look at a lot of relationships, there is always a constant friction, a love-hate deal going on all the time – it’s a huge drain on your body/mind, it drains your energy to be in a such a relationship to the extent that you can’t really live the other aspects of your life in full potential. Yet, this type of friction based relationship is like the perfect expression of a fear-based mind, it’s addicted to such relationships. The state of “intimate indifference” is love without fear, it’s a connection that’s not an imprisonment, it’s an attachment that’s not a crutch, it’s a bonding free of enslavement – there is a free energy to such a relationship, it’s not a source of pain only a source of sharing your love. Love is not complicated, it only becomes complicated when you corrupt it with fear – love in its purity is just a celebration of life, a gift.
Misguided understanding of freedom
A lot of misguided/mis-interpreted spiritual teachings talk about the state of “detachment” as the ultimate freedom, in fact a lot of spiritual folks seem to exhibit a sense of escapism where they remove themselves from any form of intimacy with the physical world and they give it a noble connotation of being “intimate with divine”. It takes some honesty to see through the fear that is present below this “spiritual detachment”, because in many cases it’s just the mind/ego doing this thought its concept/idea of spirituality – such a detached living is basically “heartless indifference” and is induced by the logic that “I will avoid the pain of loss by avoiding attachment”, this is a logic based in a deep fear towards physical life.
When we see such unnatural living from some misguided “so called” spiritual folks, we start fearing that we would become indifferent in this state of awakened living – that we would become a kind of a recluse who avoids connection, who stops being sensitive to the world’s suffering, who stops being a lover, who stops being passionate about life. The truth is that a lot of people who are into spirituality are highly misguided, and it’s best if you don’t base your imagination of what freedom is based on their way of living. The state of inner wholeness is not a “dead” state of detached living, it’s a very alive state of love for life (physical life) from an inner state of freedom, a passionate state of being which is not a prisoner to its passion.
On the path towards inner wholeness, there is, of course, an intermediate state that you may/will go through where you feel a sense of wanting “isolation”, where you just want to stay with your being, but it’s just a temporary phase of moving towards a balance – a lot of spiritual folks just get stuck in this intermediate state using noble words like “transcendence” to define this state of being detached with physicality, there is some initial bliss in this state of detachment but after a while it just becomes an addiction when one starts avoiding the return of focus towards physicality. (Read this post on the various phases of awakening)
Freedom from psychological suffering
There is so much psychological suffering that one endures, in physical life, in the absence of this space of inner wholeness. Everything about physical life seems to create psychological suffering, from bad weather to bad traffic to bad behavior, add to it things like needy relationships, loneliness, financial worries, physical degradation, death/loss etc – it’s like a constant imbroglio of psychological suffering. It comes to a point where we start imagining that this is what “normal life” is, or this is what “humanness” is. But in truth, this is a low level of living induced through total mind identification (I am not using the word “low” as a derogatory term, just as a factual indication that there is a higher dimension of living). As you come to inner wholeness you sense a space of zero psychological suffering simply because the mind does not have the intensity to create “resistance” (psychological suffering is nothing but resistance created by the intensity of the mind’s thoughts).
The feeling of “intimate indifference” can feel a bit odd initially, when you are coming towards inner wholeness, because you feel as if you are not being loving enough as you stop sensing a psychological suffering induced by your attachment, as you did in your past. You also stop feeling this sense of being “possessive” and interpret it as being less loving – in truth your love does not diminish, what has gone away is your negativity, the insecurity, the sense of loss, the guilt, the neediness etc. You don’t become “careless”, you are highly caring it’s just that you are not “clingy” anymore towards anything – you truly start understanding what pure love really means. You also start understanding that psychological suffering is so unnecessary and so mind-induced. Imagine the amount of energy you save by no longer expending it on psychological suffering, all this energy can now be channeled towards the creation process, towards your expression.
Frankly, “intimate indifference” is not something you “do”, it’s not an effort on your part neither is it a manipulation of your mind, it’s just the way you experience life from a place of inner wholeness. If you’ve gotten a taste of inner wholeness I am sure you can totally understand this experience and you also understand how difficult it is to explain this experience to a mind that has not experienced it first hand – such a mind would immediately cling to the word “indifference” and think that one becomes unloving or insensitive. In truth, a positive change can only be brought about by a person who is not rooted in suffering, whose movement is not motivated by suffering, you can be sensitive to the world and not be rooted in suffering – of course, the mind can’t do this unless it’s grounded in the space of inner wholeness. Inner wholeness is not an attitude, but you come to this place through the attitude of letting go of identification with limiting mind-based ideas, including the ideas your mind has about love.