Dealing with Desire, Continued...

[chref=32]Names[/chref] and [chref=23]words[/chref] are the building blocks of language. And, language enables us to be aware of toooo much... here, there, earlier, later, more, less. The trouble here is that this awareness is not based in reality - the simple [chref=25]silent and void[/chref] 'here and now'. This stresses our nervous system and pulls us apart from the 'here and now' leaving us with a haunting visceral sense of disconnection. The 'intensity' (for lack of a better word) of human activity is driven by (and symptomatic of) this sense of disconnection. This sense of disconnection drives us to extremes of behavior across the spectrum of human activity - you name it. Religion is the institution we set up to pull us back together. Looking around me, it doesn't appear to works very well in that regard. Why? Because we contaminate our religions with the same 'intensity' that we are trying to mitigate. Ironic eh?


  • edited April 2006
    We all understand Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players". However, to know this and put it into daily practice is another matter entirely. It is the difference between knowing something between our ears, and throughout our entire body - between words (thoughts, ideas) and practice, between saying and doing. This is the real issue that faces us. All else pales in comparison. As we say, [chref=78]Everyone in the world knows yet no one can put this knowledge into practice[/chref]. It is far too easy to get side tracked on a 'thought' by-path. Then the simple becomes complex.

    The gateway to practice is [chref=40]turning back[/chref] continually in order to [chref=52]follow the constant[/chref]. That simply comes down to 'asking' ourselves each moment: "what do I truly want of life". Of course, this 'asking' is not in words, but rather a silent, [chref=15]tentative and hesitant[/chref] emotion those words embody. The point is that the words - all words - soon float away. The truth, the self honesty, lies deep down at an emotional level. That's were we find [chref=43]the teaching that uses no words.[/chref]

    We all know that wanting (desire) is part of our problem; it is also a key to the solution. At the deepest level desire is simply need. Need is the survival drive that all living things have in common. I want to eat, the bird out my window wants to eat. We both need to eat. So far so good. Desire is not a problem yet, right?

    Desire (need, want) only becomes a problem in civilized situations. Not only for us, but for animals too. Civilization permits me to satisfy my desire for food by eating cheeseburgers, fries and cokes everyday. A bear, for example, could do the same by foraging from the dumpster behind McDonald's. In this situation, action which flows from desire easily runs counter to well being. Both the bear and me get fat, and beset by health problems.

    Simply put, if desire aims us toward balance - a healthy mind and body - it is in accord with Nature; that is its natural evolved purpose. [chref=64]Desiring not to desire[/chref] is simply the way to prioritize desire. To live a balanced life we need to both [chref=1]rid ourselves of desires in order to observes its secrets; But always allow ourselves to have desires in order to observe its manifestations. [/chref] (think of 'it' as being life).

    The question for each of us becomes, "what do I truly want of life?" Desire is the essential 'energy' which brings us there. It can also drag us down [chref=53]by-paths[/chref] away from well being. We easily ruin our lives. Our problem is that we are not born wise enough to cope well with the civilization into which we are born. By the time [chref=51]circumstances bring us to maturity[/chref] and some degree of wisdom, we are replaced by the next batch of new borns, and the cycle begins anew. This has always been mitigated by the intimate relationship between elders and youth in the pre-agriculture hunter gatherer life style. 10,000 years ago we hit a bump in the road of our evolution - agriculture and civilization. This has both decreased intimate elder-youth feedback and increased the maladaptive ways in which desire can pull us, e.g., too many cheeseburger, nuclear weapons, drug use, and you name.

    The only way to avoid the [chref=16]wilful innovation[/chref] this makes possible is through patience - [chref=16]doing our utmost to attain emptiness; [to] hold firmly to stillness[/chref]. We need to allow ourselves time to look deeper within to see just what it is we truly want of life. If our desire is aimed here, it is working for us. If not, we are cheating life, i.e., [chref=46]there is no crime greater than having too many desires[/chref]. In short, desire is a razor sharp blade. It cuts both ways. As with using any sharp blade, we must be exceedingly patient and watchful lest we cut our own hands off. The more care we bring to our life, the less we will [chref=64]ruin[/chref] it.

    So, for example, we may have an innate drive to go 'faster', i.e., be efficient. After all nature is nothing if not efficient. However, such 'efficiency' becomes unhealthy when it translates into a desire to drive fast, i.e., this does not promote survival. Desiring patience is just desiring to not desire to drive fast. 'Allowing ourselves to have desire' can pull us where we truly want to go in life. Here desire is good for us. But, look at all the references which point the other way:

    [chref=3]free from desire[/chref];
    [chref=15]desires not to be full[/chref];
    [chref=19]as few desires as possible[/chref];
    [chref=34]for ever free of desire[/chref];
    [chref=37]should desire raise its head[/chref];
    [chref=46]no crime greater than having too many desires[/chref]; and
    [chref=57]I am free from desire[/chref].

    We are much like geese. Geese have trouble walking backwards; they are built to go forward. Likewise, we are built to go forward - eyes, pelvis, legs, feet, desires all go forward. This stems from our primevil history of swinging forward through the trees, yes? :wink: Civilization manifests this drive and naturally evolved to make the most of that forward drive. This is especially obvious now in the highly innovative times in which we live. Civilization, by escaping the counterbalancing influences of Nature, has left it up to each of us, as individuals, to figure out how to walk backward out of the civilized corner into which we have stumbled :? . We must be our own policeman to avoid driving through life too fast. But how? Only if we really want to [chref=28]return to being the uncarved block[/chref] can we do so.

    Now what?
    The first desire to deal with is the 'desire to not desire'. Many of us get sidetracked down the by-path of renunciation here. When we focus on an ideal we easily slide into a desire for perfection. Why? Maybe it is just the black vs. white way our brain works. We do have trouble seeing the [chref=14]dimly visible [/chref] grey areas. So, take a deep breath, look around, and see if you see any 'perfection' in nature. Messy forest floor, ants in the sugar bowl, earthquakes and volcanos, plants battling bug battling birds. It is an untidy situation. How can we expect otherwise of ourselves. As we say, [chref=45]Great perfection seems chipped[/chref]. :)
  • edited December 1969
    (2nd post) im sooo happy to be here. Wonderful, wonderful.

    Words to use to convey..?.. just joy, abundance, the completion of being reminded that by returning we shatter the separitive illusion and we can truly see life as it really is... a mixed bag. Thankyou. Thankyou for your heart, for your work.

    Tho running the risk of sounding trite... whenever a situation occurs that envokes from me a conditioned responce rather than a free spontainious one, i ask my self one question... haha...

    "What would Yoda say?"

    Its always sooooo obvious what the answer is
    Everyone in the world knows... but to do, very tricky this is...

    Thankyou for reminding me that it is only by letting go... slowly stripping away... from the murky to the clear.... the ego IS necessary for us to function and has mutually arisen from the Tao, but I think that once one breaks the illusion of name, it can never be taken seriously again.
    A game! :lol: shall we dance?
  • edited December 1969
    Thank you, NowSeeker. I share your feelings. I sometimes don't have the words to say what I feel, other times I don't have anything to say with words, but I always feel the way you're describing when I spend some time here at this site. I come away with my heart full and my mind telling me I forgot to meditate so far today and off I go...
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