The Conflict between Spirituality and Desire
You’ve built yourself the perfect cozy spiritual den to relax your mind and adorned the room with various trinkets to enhance its ambiance. On the door of your humble abode is a sign you deeply cherish –
“ Desire is the Root Cause of all Evil ”
Desires have been interpreted as counterproductive to spiritual growth that must be broken in order to experience an awakening. The notion that one must transcend any wants or desires in order to live a fulfilled life has propagated throughout the realms of spirituality.
Is denying all forms of desire the real solution ? What is desire and why do we desire more each day ? Is rejection of organic growth a natural way of living ?
The simplest definition of desire is to strongly wish for or want something and the human mind is always wishing for something better than what there is today. As a child your strongest desire may have been to possess the newest toy, which is totally unattractive when you turn into an adult. Desires evolve with age and we work hard towards fulfilling these desires.
Should we start denying everything the world has to offer ?
The truth is that SPIRITUALITY ITSELF IS A DESIRE. It is a deep desire to cultivate an inner experience to find liberation. It is the greatest desire of mankind to transcend one’s potential to possess the ability to see through all other desires. If renouncing all desires is the solution, then we must also reject the aspiration of seeking wisdom.
We live in a world possessing unique abilities that no other being on the planet can stop to commemorate. It is through human desire and hard work that this world has transformed to become what it represents – a vastness of opportunity. It may be ridden with problems to be solved, but these problems are certainly not the evil spawn of desires.
Desire fuels creation, and this world is meant for us to experience each creation to the fullest and celebrate it. Why then must we reject the core of human nature and restrict ourselves from achieving our dreams, exploring our deepest desires or even rejoicing our imperfections ? The answer is simple – Embrace Desire.
The test for us, however, is that while we embrace all our desires and celebrate our existence, how well can we establish an environment of stability and acceptance to prevent ourselves from being owned by our own desires. It is the act of accepting everything and denying nothing.
The more you deny a desire, the bigger it becomes. The misconception that one must deny all desires must now be clarified and reiterated as the ability to see through all desires. The mind will never cease to seek, and it is this acceptance that is the beginning of seeing through trivial desires. When we start accepting our fears and insecurities, our successes and failures as merely a part of our lives, while continuing to enjoy existence, we are simply embracing desires and not rejecting it.
Spirituality is the evolution of desires. As you move from one stage of your life to another, your wishes and needs evolve, but they never end. Depending on your state of mind, you may or may not succumb to every desire that comes along, but your desire will never cease to exist. My deepest desire a few years ago was to travel and explore my fear of being alone, and once I had fulfilled this desire, a new desire came knocking on the door.
If you only desire for material possessions, there’s nothing wrong with that too, because we all know how hard one has to work to buy the most expensive things in this world. It is this desire that spawned hard work and in turn has created this world a better place. This creation is not just materialistic but can be the source of food for thousands of families. Imagine what would happen if Bill Gates had forsaken his desire to achieve ? Would you have a billionaire contributing his immense wealth for the betterment of society ?
When you try to force yourself to deny having what you deeply want, it will leave your mind in a state of turmoil. Because sooner or later, your need for material possessions too shall fade as your mind evolves. Your life is like a race track that demands a natural speed. Don’t build a diversion of rejection in the middle of it to make your existence unnatural.
Embrace all your desires. Accept them with all your heart to embrace life in its natural form. Let your desires evolve until you find yourself seeing through all of them to seek consciousness.
Carpe Diem !