Success & Prosperity Blog

The Danger of Attachment

By Randy Gage in Critical Thinking, Success, Prosperity.

In yesterday’s post, I metaphorically slapped you upside the head, sharing some thoughts on why people don’t change.  Let’s explore that deeper…

It really gets back to attachment. Scientist Francisco Varela said that he doesn’t like to get too attached to his own field of research, because he’s afraid that will distort his ability to access other evidence objectively.  That is great advice for not only scientists, but you and I as well.

Let’s explore an example of how this comes into play…

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw last week I posted a picture of the book I was reading.  It was Beyond Religion by the Dalai Lama.  On of my friends asked me why I was reading it, because he knows I am an atheist.

And that demonstrates one of the most serious issues in the world today…

The “confirmation bias cocoon” most people choose to live in.

My friend assumed that because I am an atheist, I would only read books by other atheists perhaps?  Or as an atheist, I would never read a book by a spiritual leader?

And sadly, this is true for most people.  The attachment they have to a certain belief means they only read or expose themselves to information that supports their attachment.

There are religious people who would never read a book by an atheist.  (And probably some who will stop reading my blog, upon learning of my new beliefs.)

I’ve seen countless people on Facebook advise their followers that if they voted for Trump to unfollow them.  And an equal number post that if someone voted for Hillary to unfollow them.


This kind of thinking is such a tragedy.  Because once you let your attachment to something override your ability to question a premise or perform critical thinking – all learning, development, and growth stop.

You give up this amazing gift of living as a sentient being, and instead become a brain-dead zombie.  The highlight of your remaining years then becomes liking posts on Facebook that support your limiting beliefs, prejudices, and preconceptions.

Another way attachment can harm you is when you allow it to define a certain role for you.   As an example, when you create an attachment to being a victim.  Which is where we will pick up tomorrow….

Until then, love to see your thoughts on all this below.


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16 thoughts on “The Danger of Attachment

  1. As an agnostic that does not believe in heaven or hell, I regularly read the Quran, about the bible, Buddhist teachings, and occasionally attend church services, listen to Fox (very occasionally) and keep my right wing conservative friends in my Facebook feed. I want to be well rounded. I want to understand what is going on. I want to think critically about what is happening and what all different journalists are saying. How can I have formed an opinion without any real information? How can I connect the dots without identifying each of the dots?

    1. Paul R Erickson says:

      One of the most offensive things you can tell people is to tell them to think for themselves. Getting people to use critical thinking is very difficult due to the fact that we have been told since birth by our parents, preachers, politicians, news media, our friends, etc., etc., what to do and how to think. It’s refreshing to know there are other people that think for themselves, as yourself, out there. It gives me a glimmer of hope for the human race.

  2. Bernice says:

    Do atheists believe in eternity? Kindness? Love? Equality?

    Do you believe in you?

    Can you put your name in the book?

    1. Paul R Erickson says:

      I don’t speak for all atheists nor would I ever try to but I will answer your questions in regards to my thoughts and beliefs:

      Eternity – I don’t believe humans live for eternity but I do believe the universe will go on for eternity. But I have never experienced death, and neither has anyone else and have come back explaining exactly what happens after we die. So if anyone tries to tell you exactly what happens after you die they are either full of shit or just expressing an opinion.

      Kindness – yes, I believe it is one of the things that is most lacking in human interactions with each other.

      Love – most certainly

      Equality – absolutely, unlike the misogynistic teachings in the Bible such as Colossians 3:18

      Do I believe in me? I am not sure what you mean by this question but I believe I exist. I believe in my ability.

      Can I put my name in the book? You may have to enlighten me here because I am not understanding as to what book you are referring to but I believe you are talking about the book at the pearly gates. It is a ridiculous concept to believe there is an actual book. You would think that if God (and we are talking about a God with male genitalia, which I find a bit misogynistic in and of itself) is all-knowing and all-powerful, he would at least come into the 21st century and have everything computerized and stored in the cloud (and I mean an actual cloud since most people think dead people are floating around on them and looking down at their relatives). But no, I could not put my name in the book of heaven since I have no idea where to find it (nor does anyone else, Christian or non-Christian).

      I assume you are a Christian so I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws stated in the Bible and how best to follow them:

      a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9).The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

      b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

      c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

      d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

      e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

      f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

      g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

      h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

      i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

      j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

      I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

      Since God’s word is eternal and unchanging and anyone who would not follow these is going to burn in hell forever, I am confident you can help me with these issues.

      You may want to watch this – it may help with your critical thinking:

      1. Bernice Alive says:

        In Ancient times, kings were considered gods.
        The bible was written in Ancient times.

        The new testament was written while Jews were at war with the Romans.

        “As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13

        Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

        17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites,Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

        I don’t think that was God talking.

  3. Paul R Erickson says:

    I am an atheist, also. I was a Catholic but I escaped from that cult when I was in the 9th grade. I often read the Bible (along with the Koran, Torah, etc.). What separates me the most from Christians is I have actually read the Bible – all of it, not just the parts I want to cherry pick and follow. My brother has been a Christian for over 40 years but cannot quote Scripture as I can. What you state is very true. Most people live in a bubble and they only allow in dogma and ideology that fit their beliefs. When I form an opinion, I try to base it on evidence, facts, and common sense. This doesn’t mean my opinions are always correct, but what it does is allow me to change my opinion if I am presented with contrary facts and rationale to warrant such a change. I have friends across the spectrum – from liberal leftists to staunch conservatives. I believe it helps keep me in balance and an open mind.

  4. Jane Champion says:

    A very welcome post and much needed as you are so right about confirmation bias. Any bias or prejudice nees some serious critical thinking.

  5. interesting idea but it is contradiction in terms that of being an atheist. You see; an atheist is one that does not believe in a god. Therefore he has a belief. That he doesn’t believe. Others then bring in the science kicker. Far be it for me to preach but as a son of a scientist; and a physicist at that, scientific proof of what lies at the end of the universe is.. well.. unscientific becasue it cannot be proved. So rather than go down the usual road of Adam and Eve; Noah, the ark and the two penguins; the whale and whatever else, perhaps the Dalai Llama and the Bible are more of a social commentary as to how Human beings such as ourselves treat each other. The bible’s first few books are more gory than the texas chainsaw massacre but out of those chapters the spirituality flows fast and furiously, especially in the new testament. Islam is a peaceful religion and the Quran is a social commentary as well. So… in a roundabout way I am not surprised. The only thing that surprises me is that you call yourself an atheist!!!

  6. Joey Leslie says:

    Great points, Randy! This makes me think of an Op-Ed that ran a while back in the NY Times called the Dying Art of Disagreement. The gist is that the individual is more than just an identity and, now more than ever, men and women don’t need to be “protected” from discomfiting ideas and opinions but rather need to be exposed to them in order to revive the art of disagreement and to have “the best foundation of intelligent democratic life.” Thanks for sharing and making me think!

  7. G K says:

    How ironic that you have attached yourself to the ultimate danger!
    The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
    It is critical that you think about eternity and find someone who loves you enough to speak truth into your life.
    You have been deceived, (a lot like an addiction) and you need help to see clearly.
    I hope you will search until your heart and soul rest in the truth.

  8. Rodrigo Manrique says:

    Hola Randy, realmente espectacular este tema que has tocado, pero sorprendemente me enteré de que eres ateo. No sabía eso. En tu libro de las 7 Leyes Espirituales de la Prosperidad mencionas que eres Cristiano. En realidad esto no cambia nada de ti, simplemente que me sorprendió, pero está bien.

    1. Rodrigo Manrique says:

      Hi Randy, this song you’ve played is really spectacular, but I found out that you’re an atheist. I did not know that. In your book of the 7 Spiritual Laws of Prosperity you mention that you are a Christian. Actually this does not change anything about you, it just surprised me, but it’s okay.

      1. Randy Gage says:

        Yes I was Christian when I wrote that book. When I did my sabbatical, it was a couple years of personal growth and development for me, with a lot of introspection and study. That’s when I decided I couldn’t believe the religious stories and still be rational.

        1. Bernice Alive says:

          We like fake news.

          “the study proved that humans are the driving force behind the rapid spread of false news. And this is where it becomes relevant to internal communication.

          Why do falsehoods spread more quickly than the truth?

          The answer, according to study authors Sinan Aral, Deb Roy and Soroush Vosoughi, can be found in human psychology. Quite simply, we humans like new things.

          “False news is more novel, and people are more likely to share novel information,” says Aral, professor at the MIT School of Management.

          The MIT team chose the word “novel” for good reason; they understand that the adjective means “original or striking especially in conception or style.”

          Humans are drawn to information that’s fresh, unexpected and, yes, novel, and once we find this interesting new thing, we want to share it.”

        2. Bernice Alive says:

          I’m reading Reza Aslan book “God: A Human History” and he says:

          “Perhaps Eve tells Adam not only that the tree has a face but that, late one night while visiting it, she thought she heard the tree speak. By violating just one of the natural attributes Adam expects from a tree—It speaks!—Eve has now made it more likely that Adam will remember her story and pass it on, even if he himself did not hear the tree speak. If, however, Eve violates too many of the tree’s known properties—It speaks! And it walks around! And it can become invisible!—the concept becomes too difficult for Adam to conceptualize and therefore less likely for him to believe in and transmit to others. To make Eve’s experience of the tree something her entire community can accept as its own requires her to make only a slight alteration to the tree’s nature—one that is simple, easy to comprehend, easy to transmit, and, most important, useful. This last point bears repeating. Whatever slight alteration Eve applies to her sacred tree must, above all else, render it more useful than it would be in its natural state.”

          Aslan, Reza. God: A Human History (Kindle Locations 691-699). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

          I delayed reading this book because I was already researching the topic when his book came out. I started reading it and it is helpful.

  9. Paul Winter says:

    I’m a Christian and I have no problem with listening to or reading opposing views. Not only in terms of religious beliefs but also in politics. My own politics are left of centre, but I always used to read a fairly right wing newspaper (I don’t have time to read newspapers these days) because I need my views to be challenged. I have found that listening to other peoples views helps me to see weakness in my arguments, but it also more than often clarifies what I really believe.


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