The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): What is attachment?
Acharya Prashant (AP): The way our brain is constituted, has nothing of its own. If you ask the brain, “Who are you?” It will not be able to say anything if it has been kept in complete isolation. But the brain is never in isolation. It is always in touch with a lot of external things and people, the world. Whatsoever the brain is in contact with, over a long period of time, the brain starts thinking that this is what I am. Are you getting it?
The brain is a totally material thing. Understand it like this, that if you take a nickel plate and a copper plate and you put them together for a sufficiently long period of time, what will you see? That it is impossible to pull them apart now. Their molecules have diffused into each other. Those who have old bikes or cars would know that these nuts and bolts, if they have not been opened for many years, then it is impossible to open them, you have to cut them. Because the nuts and the bolts just get into each other. Their molecules diffuse into each other, they are now one. In space, whatever material is there, its property is to get attached and attachment requires time as well. So, attachment is space and time.
Bring something close to you in space and keep it close to you over a long period of time, and you will be attached. Two conditions; one, bring something sufficiently close to the brain, close to the brain in what sense? Not in the physical sense, in the sense of the senses, that you are perceiving it all the time. The eyes are looking at it all the time, or the ears are hearing it or the hands are touching it. Bring something close to the brain in the domain of the brain and keep it there for a long period of time and the brain will start identifying with it.
You stay in your hostel room for some period of time. And you very well know that it is a hostel room and you have to leave it. But the day you have to leave it, you feel that feeling of, that pain of attachment. Just because you have stayed close to all the material in the room, the walls, and the other things for some time. Material is space and you spend time in that space, and you will be attached. This is a…