The Noble Truth that Dukkha has a causal arising. This cause is defined as grasping and clinging or aversion. On one hand it is trying to control anything and everything by grabbing onto or trying to pin them down, On the other hand it is control by pushing away or pushing down and running away or flinching away from things. It is the process of identification through which we try to make internal and external things and experiences into “me and mine” or wholly ‘”other” than Me. This flies in the face of the three signs of existence – Anicca, Dukkha. Anatta – Impermanence. Stress or Suffering and No-Self. Because all conditioned existence is impermanent it gives rise to Dukkha, and this means that in conditioned existence there is no unchanging and permanent Self. There is nothing to grasp onto and also in reality, nothing or no ‘one’ to do the grasping! We grab onto or try to push away ever changing dynamic processes. These attempts to control, limit us to little definitions of who we are.Dukkha has a causal arising – it is from our pushing away and pulling towards that the experience of ‘that which is hard to bear’ takes shape and meaning. Grasping, clinging and aversion – the pushing away, an attempt to control things, to make and mold them into something that we can identify as Mine. If the simplification of the first Noble Truth is ‘life is suffering’, then this example can be simplified within the statement, ‘the origin of suffering is attachment’. Attachment in the sense of grasping or clinging to something, but also attachment in the sense of pushing and pulling, or aversion – our focus or intention so concentrated on the outcome we DON’T want, that we concentrate our energies to avoid it. Another way to look at the concept of attachment is that we focus our will and intention on the fabric of the universe and we create the life we want, to some extent from the raw future in front of us. We also interact and create the future of our relationships in focusing our will and intention on the associations we have with others. This raises an interesting dichotomy however. The Buddha’s teachings tend to indicate that the activity of attachment will limit our internal spirit, limiting us to little definitions of who we are. On the other hand, within the context of the Master/slave dynamic, it is precisely within these boundaries that we achieve freedom. This is somewhat of a paradox and warrants exploration. What does this mean? Lets explore some examples. Is taking control of the person of another human being restrictive? Yes of course, it can be restrictive. Limiting? Almost without question, there are limits imposed by the relationship, by the will of the Master, there are also limits imposed and to a certain extent reinforced by the community through tradition, ritual and expectation, and also perhaps most importantly within the mind and heart of the slave .
However, in the hands of a capable Master a slave might flourish and within his or her boundaries find tremendous landscapes and universes ready for exploration. In a culture and society steeped in ‘bigger is always better’ sometimes we forget there are infinite spaces between items only a few feet apart, depending on how one measures distance. If I am walking toward the wall, for instance and I continually reduce the distance traveled by half, I can travel for an eternity and never reach said wall. For the Master and slave boundaries and restrictions are intentional. On a physical and spiritual level, suffering is a gateway to where we want to be as Master and slave – so then the origin of suffering is attachment, according to the Buddha. Is suffering to be avoided? We’ve already established that the answer to that question, at least in the M/s dynamic is no. What about attachment? Is attachment to be avoided, or encouraged? I would submit that although in the Buddhist tradition attachment is the origin of suffering and should be avoided – it is to be encouraged in the M/s dynamic. Why? In many slaves and submissives it is precisely the notion of infinite possibility and choice that is daunting and by maintaining an attachment to the structure imposed by the Master they can find comfort and peace within the boundaries that the Master puts in place. The positive aspects of this are manifested in that many slaves find comfort in the ability of the Master to make the appropriate choices for the slave (control) and then to provide the structure and boundaries under which these choices are actualized. From the perspective of Mastery, attachment manifests itself in authentic commitment to development and consistency in this M/s dynamic. The Master is on a journey of introspection in which He becomes more and more comfortable in his own skin, accepting His own needs as legitimate and necessary. He is also on a journey of expectation in that He becomes more adept at projecting and enforcing His will on another, as the relationship begins to yield tangible benefits in the form of peace and contentment.