Since I’ve been teaching a course on Desire and The Work, I’ve been reflecting almost daily on the experience of desire, and questioning stressful belief.
The word desire originally comes from Latin meaning “await what the stars will bring”.
Desire, with this joyful definition, feels like a dance in the present moment.
But the word can conjure up a lot of distress and conflict.
…..desire leads to anguish.
Shouldn’t I try NOT to desire? Aren’t there BAD things that will hurt if I got them? Or destroy trust, or hurt other people?
I can’t just go stealing my neighbor’s television set, I mean….seriously. That would be WRONG.
Unrequited love, striving to achieve career success and exhausting yourself in the process, being practically violent to yourself in the gym or on a diet, controlling yourself from lust or cravings, feeling jealous of those who have what you’re sure you want.
What to do?
The thing I’ve found most illuminating is inquiry.
First….ask why you want what you imagine you want.
Not HOW you’re going to get it. Which is what the first question usually is, and the action follows that “how” without taking a breather.
The mind thinks “I want money, I want a good body, I want fame, I want enlightenment, I want to be with him/her, I want love, I want praise, I want this, I want that….” and then takes off trying to figure out how to get it.
What would it be like to be without the belief that you should have it exactly the way you want it?
What if it was fun to watch what you want fade, blaze up, fade again, and make no difference to your life at all?
What is desire….awaiting what the stars may bring….when you feel no stress about it?
What if what is here is not a problem, and neither is where you are going?
I find, every time, freedom to be exactly here (without the *thing* I think I want–like a million dollars–ha ha) is so beautiful, so exciting, so fun….
….the desire morphs into a compassionate peace beyond all belief.
And every time, I’m closer to the thing I wanted in the first place.
Which is love, joy, trust, silence.
“Desires that destroy their subjects, or objects, or do not subside on satisfaction are self-contradictory and cannot be fulfilled. Only desires motivated by love, goodwill and compassion are beneficial to both the subject and object and can be fully satisfied…..The entire universe strives to fulfill a desire born of compassion.” ~ Nisargadatta
If you have something you want fulfilled, and you are suffering about it….
….begin to inquire.
Why do you want it? What would you have, if you had it? Are you sure you are unfulfilled without it?
Can you feel joy, ecstasy, mystery, happiness….before you acquire the thing you think you want?
Do it backwards.
Live the turnaround right now.
Enjoy being what you desire.
You can do this.