An Intimate Indifference



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.







14 Comments

  1. Arpit

    Thanks Sen for this wonderful term ‘Intimate Indifference’.

    The same thing, which you have mentioned in this post, I have been trying to implement in my professional and personal life, and, yes it works superbly. When i read this post, thought should congratulate you on finding a really meaningful name to this kind of experience.

  2. Debbie

    Back in October, the person I was romantically involved with sent me a text that he met someone new and fell in love with her. I’ve known him on and off throughout my lifetime since we were 12 years old. My ego was raging. I felt betrayed and a sudden powerful negative physical reaction to the idea of the end of this relationship. The more I wanted to hold on, the more sick I became. It was much like detoxing from an addiction. But also in that very moment, buried deep down inside of me, I felt extremely happy for him, quite calm. It was so confusing. The bottom line is, that I really do love him and want him to be happy. I just wasn’t thrilled with the way he went about the breakup, but I understood that his new relationship was actually a better match than we ever could be. Knowing this in the mind wasn’t enough – it still took me 8 months to cycle out of the negative psychological suffering that I put myself through. It was the greatest lesson I could ever learn. Today I can think of him in a loving way, from a distance, and know in my heart that to truly love someone does not mean possession. I can let go of him and still love him simultaneously. I no longer fear “losing” people in my life. Everything is temporary in the physical realm, yet love is eternal.

    1. Mary Ann

      This is really beautiful. I am in a similar situation and there is nothing that I would like better than to stop suffering and let him go and be happy, but it is easier said than done! Thank you for writing this because it is good to know that I am not alone in my struggle.

    2. Debbie

      You’re welcome Mary Ann! :)
      My health improved greatly after letting go.
      It was a huge weight lifted from my life.

  3. Rossana

    Greatest blog on the planet! hands down

  4. abet

    Its like the words bounce off the page and straight to my heart. The writings resonate so so deeply

  5. Beingofuse

    Thank you for the article Sen; you always seem to write content that is most appropriate to me at any given time! Thanks too for the comments from everyone so far, and Debbie’s sharing which I completely understood and realised I felt the same way – that I could love someone without needing to possess them and to also accept whatever circumstances unfolded as a result. I read (or re-read) one of Sen’s articles every day and it gives me such a sense of calm; it takes me to a heart centric place which is a peaceful way to being and/or end the day.

  6. Meghan Grunow

    “Everything is honored, yet nothing matters.” -Tolle

    Semi-longtime reader, first time caller…ha. Thank you for your writing, I look forward to it, and grin every time my phone tells me I have something awesome to read later.

    It’s amazing to feel to my toes that I’m on the right track, but to have someone that I’ve never met echo my experiences, and from a hindsighted view-give advice. Invaluable.

    Thank you.

  7. Gairmac

    There’s certainly not many out there that really know this experience of “intimate indifference” – and fewer still that can articulate in it words so essentially and beautifully… how fortunate we are to recieve these blogs.

  8. Suhasini

    Yes Gairmac, I totally agree. I feel fortunate and blessed to receive these pointers and messages. I thank you a million times Sen.

  9. Eternus

    Another brilliant article, Sen. I remember a while back I started to feel this sense of “intimate indifference”, but there were ups and downs, I really wasn’t sure it could last. But this has become my permanent place.

    Everything you said was true. When you allow the negativity in the mind to have its movement and you patiently wait until it fades away in its own time, without fuelling it, you experience a lightening of the ego, and generally feel lighter in your space of awareness. It’s like there’s no more “mush” in my head, and things tend to just go straight through me. Nothing blocks it. I still get negative thoughts, but they do not have the horrible effects they used to have on me. I just acknowledge that they are there and allow them without any fear or judgement.

    I’m 25, and for the first time in my life, I feel balanced. I am content and happy for much of the time, I feel “free” and I’m not attached to anyone or any “image” about myself. Sen, your articles have played a major role in my life at a time when I was close to giving up. I hope you will continue writing, because this is invaluable work and there are so many people are benefiting from it. On behalf of everyone your writings have helped, I thank you.

    I’m still learning things, of course. I will continue coming back here for a very long time :D

  10. Patty

    I have just discovered your writings, Sen, in the last two weeks. After a lifetime of fear (58 yrs) I am exhausted. I have known beyond doubt fear was a fiend, robbing me of my right and natural state of peace coupled with “intimate indifference” but I never knew how to have victory over it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have begun to experience the freedom you so beautifully express and I feel it in my power to attain. But only because your teachings open up this reality in a way that i can grasp and believe in. All you teach resonates truth I’ve known deep inside and have experienced only fleetingly throughout my life. I look forward to consuming all your writings to keep me moving towards inner balance and wholeness. It is written that a woman’s beauty is a calm and quiet spirit. I finally believe I can be clothed in that.

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