Let’s contemplate on 2nd core mistake today – Desires for becoming and possessing more – understanding it’s structures, problems caused and some tips to undo it’s influence.
Re-mentioning Three Core Mistakes in focus:
- ATTACHMENT as “mine” to things and people WE HAVE – Possessiveness factor.
- ATTACHMENT to an object, person or situation WE DON’T HAVE – desire to possess more and more.
- ATTACHMENT to short lived pleasures and self-centered projects. Misuse of whatever LIMITED WE HAVE i.e. time, things, relations, power, strengths, abilities, situations. Let’s call it misuse factor.
If we somehow reclaim some free space from our busy lives and study closely our problems and tendencies then we can easily figure out some kind of desire exists in roots of every problem. Desire drives us for more and more possessions, bank balance, control and attention seeking. For a peaceful life, shift is needed from desire driven to purpose OR solutions driven. Desires leave us always with one of these states – waiting, agony of failure, or short lived happiness quickly replaced with waiting for next desire. This to me appears root cause of stress, economical imbalance in society, physical and mental illnesses. Let’s take deep dive into it through questions & responses.
Q. What is the structure of desire?
Mainly of self seeking – “If and only if” I have this then I will be complete”.
Insistence and attachment on outcome – “this should happen and this should not happen”.
Q. Nature of desire?
It never gets fulfilled and more we attend to it the more it demands. Everyone on this earth failed in fulfilling all his desires no matter how strong they were. However there is no one who’s all were rejected. Some are fulfilled and some remains in queue for all without exception.
Q. To what degree it’s okay to approve few and how to avoid turning into personal problems?
Desires are not problematic initially; those are simply thoughts with attractive front-line view which may not end well if acted upon. In the fulfillment process we develop attachment to outcome that binds and makes our life miserable. Secondly unworthy and self-centered intentions make us selfish and forget our purpose. We end up in creating trouble for society instead of help. To avoid it going in problematic range we must align it with greater purpose and stay detached with the outcome.
Q. Detaching from results of desires might make one disinterested and drop motivation to keep stretched targets.
It’s a myth. I have observed it in my life and in my friends that greed or fear both don’t work after a point in sustaining tempo and work excellence. Keeping thoughts of outcome on back burner does not make Karma less effective; rather it empowers it and develops laser focus. Desire driven minds suffer from short attention spans on actual work and buy into disturbances and fantasies quickly. Quality energy and inspiration are ingredients for success, which are sustained when we recognize our life’s purpose, and able to develop healthy lifestyle, self-awareness and clarity of thought. Then only we can resonate with creative responses and productive routines.
Q. Is there no advantage in being desire driven? Mind says we’ve achieved a lot !
This could be possible in some cases as degree of suffering depends on the attachment to outcome of desires and not just desires. And we can never be certain of how we got whatever we have – through desires or grace or destiny – which is combination of past and present Karma. Experience clearly tells that we remain same essentially pre & post desire fulfillment, and inner lack persists no matter how much we achieve at the external level. Moreover, we cannot quantify the loss in content and quality of life for keeping desires and possessiveness at the center.
Q. How becoming desire-less helps us achieve our purpose?
As detailed in earlier post, we share common purpose of making life useful for all. Desires obscure natural state of our Being. It keeps the pointer of joy and fullness of life to something “out there” and this structure is been reinforced time and again. Desire puts us into rat race of becoming something solidifying ego, and we miss on our priorities. Fullness of life is always available to us right here right now, but we are not available to it and running continuously away from this moment.
- Desire-less-ness restores peace, sanity and recognition of who we are.
- Rising above desire creates relaxed space to think about others, relate selflessly, and thus engage passionately in meaningful contributions, thus developing deeper connections.
- We no longer pray to HIM for fulfillment of needs or desires but to connect and admire connected-ness.
So in this way we become free – useful to self, create and contribute – useful to family & society, loving in all relations – useful to Existence, who cares and receives love from every heart.
Q. Desires may be giving short lived pleasures but attraction seems immense to resist. How can we handle that?
First deny the desire and start creating positive feedback loop in brain for recognition of truth only. It’s okay to feel intensity of attraction, do not take it as real, label this attraction too as temporary and illusory. Labeling and denying its existence will position us strong. Don’t bother slips, be firm to say NO to it and remain observant particularly to end results and feeding back conclusions to brain. Truth is all powerful, and sooner or later you will find yourself rising above its influence and any side effects. Our primary responsibility is to crystallize understanding that even if we got attracted and doing what desire is driving us to do but like every desire it will end with same results – waiting and wanting more. This will eventually fade away its influence.
Q. What is in desire that traps us?
Our belief in false promises of desires to make us happy and free of suffering traps us. It usually has attractive front-line story, which excites and stimulates our brains and when met successfully gives temporary bliss. There are 2 key points to note in this cycle.
- We remain same at the end of cycle and next desire replaces and waiting-wanting continues.
- Quantum shift from desire-driven-hurry mode to relaxed-and-tension-free mode gives us feeling of joy and temporary fulfillment. For short period our internal space becomes free from desire and its cloud and our being shines joy through that opening. We mistake desire fulfillment for this bliss and get mislead to approve next desire. We need to avoid this misunderstanding about source of happiness.
Little rational thinking will reveal us truth; attachment to desires is root cause of stressful, dull and uninspiring life.
Q. What about desire of happiness or enlightenment is that also an issue?
Q. What are disadvantages of being desire driven instead of purpose driven?
There are many, few to mention –
- Obscures our Self which is real source of steady happiness and intuitive intelligence.
- Builds up compulsive behavior – e.g. ongoing background mental noise.
- Makes us situation and people dependent, self-centered in actions.
- Peace of mind is not possible; fear and greed prevails in life.
- Desire to possess more keeps us in waiting and wanting state for most part of life.
Q. Okay. But it seems difficult to undo influence of desire? Are there some sure and easy ways?
Some tips to undo influence of desires, contemplate and apply ones which you trust most and find easy to start.
Surest way to become desire-less is to handle possessiveness first, thereafter it becomes easier.
Understanding of desire cycle, observation of end results, awareness of correct source of bliss, building right feedback loops in brain.
Focus on key desires only
We can study ourselves and segregate desires which are not good for others, or quite okay to live without or beyond our current capacities, drop these set of desires. This will free up space and potential for needful and worthy ones. Some are trimmed out; some are tried out wholeheartedly and earn the wisdom to remain cool in success and failures during whole cycle, so as to avoid slipping in new ones. Target should be to be eventually free from all, though.
Love and Joy
Unhappiness, loneliness, emptiness breeds desires. We can find our passion filling our life with creative energy and joyful engagements. Or relate to friends and family lovingly then our life wells up with juices, it feels rich and full. This doesn’t let us slip into waiting and wanting mode. Joyful and loving attitude can be cultivated and sustained with non-judgmental awareness.
Empathy and Celebration
Cause of desires is lack of compassion and happiness in life. If we learn to participate happily in others success then it is a great service to them. Happiness blossoms effortlessly. Being jealous helps none. Similarly resonating and empathizing in others sorrows dissolves our tendency to overindulge in pleasures and fills our heart with compassion – mother of all contributory initiatives.
Surrender to HIS will
If we can cultivate total trust in HIM and HIS systems then surrendering to HIS will is the most easy and effective solution and live burden-free. Thought that I will be cared with right resources at right moments makes us feel secure and protected, and helps dropping all worries and desires. This also means we are free in action but not in expecting any desired outcome.
This one I have tried and been quite regular for past years, helped me in countless ways which is difficult to account. It helps in building self-awareness which nourishes many areas of life, shines our consciousness, washes away negative impressions and mindless tendencies. Needs some kind of unlearning practice, which is briefed in earlier post – Simplified crux of Meditation.
Best use of desire is to desire desire-less-ness, such a type is called prayer.
Try whatever moves you and don’t get disheartened from interim failures. Continually learn from them and bounce back again and again till satisfaction. Desires are result of our misconceptions and unaware living hence we are responsible to undo its influence.
3rd core mistake we’ll take up in next post.
Best wishes for small beginnings,