Many times in life when we listen to philosophy the first lesson that we are spoken to about is objectivity. Since objectivity is so closely associated with rationality, philosophers ask us to treat things as they are. This approach should reduce the impact that objects and situations have on us. Almost all the time the above message is loud and clear but is most often misunderstood. People assume that the best way to be detached to objects, beings and situations is to be disconnected. So they tend to move to the extreme of being indifferent to people and situations.
This is exactly the opposite of what Vedanta teaches us. Vedanta urges all of us to reach and practice a state of heightened sensitivity to things, people and situation. By realising all of us are mere manifestation of the same power – we automatically develop a sense of compassion and empathy. So when we see any other being; be it human, animals or plant undergo any suffering our heart goes out to them and we jump into action to alleviate the pain. We can never be indifferent once we understand the philosophy of Vedanta.
Surprisingly the sense of detachment also arises out of this same heightened level of sensitivity. While as stated above we are pushed to act because we are sensitive to the fact that we are all just one; we are also aware that nothing can destroy, hurt or even thrill the eternal spirit which in itself is complete at all times. So while we remain in action – we are detached when it comes to results. We always do our bit without doubt or questions, with complete involvement – but continue to stay detached from the outcome. As we realise nothing can affect the spirit that is within.
For many of us dissociating ourselves from outcome/result is very difficult. It is much easier for us to refrain from actions that lead to these results or outcomes. Hence our inability to dissociate ourselves from outcome; causes us to retract from acting in any situation- making us inert and indifferent. We blissfully continue feigning indifference under the guise of being detached and hence realised!
The day we understand the difference between detachment and indifference, we would take another small step in attaining our supreme goal!