There are three aspects that are totally different: you have attachment, you have detachment, and you have non-attachment.
Attachment means that you are attached to a person through a form of need or dependency, be it emotional or physical or otherwise. And when that is cut off from you, you feel that pain.
Detachment means a kind of escape, where life becomes very burdensome to you and you become reclusive, or you run away to the Himalayas or whatever the case might be, and you withdraw within yourself. That is detachment.
Non-attachment is where you are totally involved in the world and not affected by the world. It is what the Bible says, “To be in the world and yet not of the world.” That is non-attachment.
When a person develops non-attachment in life, that means being in the world and yet not of the world, then one has a very objective view of the world. In having that objective view of the world, we become non-judgmental. When we become non-judgmental, and regard everyone to be a manifestation of Divinity, then with that non-judgmentalness we automatically develop mercy, we develop compassion.
The word mercy contains within itself all the elements of forgetting, of forgiving. Because if you are not forgiving, you cannot be merciful. If you are not kind, you cannot be merciful. If you are not compassionate, you cannot be merciful. All these great virtues are contained in the word “mercy.”
Mercy does not mean patronising. You can be very patronising and make it seem outward that you are merciful.
Mercifulness is a condition. Mercifulness is something that we really are. Mercifulness should stem from our very being, our own nature, where we strive for this, of course, that is the ideal. We strive to be merciful and then forgiving becomes very easy. For to be merciful draws out that deep quality within us, for every person is forgiving, every person is compassionate. Every person is kind and merciful, but it is just covered over with all the veils of negative experiences we have had, and we do not allow that diamond of these virtues to shine in its fullest glory. Therefore, mercy is.
When they say an “act of mercy,” it is a contradiction of terms. It is a superficial supposition. Because you don’t act mercifully. To act is to do something that you are really not. You are merciful or not merciful. And the more these veils of negativity are removed, you spontaneously become more and more merciful. And within that mercifulness there is always the element of the qualities I have enumerated, and more so of love. Because you could never express true mercy without being able to love.
……… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1980 – 08