*** This 4-part article series explores the ways aspects of fear, depression, and desire impact our happiness and spiritual evolution. Part 3 looked at Depression in context of our Life unfolding. ***
Here, we will explore Desire – how it manifests, what causes it, and possible ways to move beyond its grasp on our perception.
Desire conjures images of lust and uncontrolled urges for self gratification, status, or power. However, desire can also be the motivation to evolve and transform your relationship with Reality. Who you believe or know yourself to be and your karma develop your desire, much like a photographer develops a print. But how do your cravings, urges, and wishes arise?
The aim we take in life is a result of a combination of influences. Our body consists of layers that exist on multiple visible and invisible levels, which interact in complex ways. The points of interaction of our multidimensional being occur at the various energy centers of the body – the chakras. Each energy center moves energy outward and takes energy in. The energy moving out into manifestation from each center is different, and the combination of all of these different tones determine the directions we choose in life – our desires.
The energies below the heart center are literally self-absorbed and create dynamics to “get” something from life. The energies above the heart center shift us toward giving, sharing, and ultimately uniting in profound and fundamental ways. You can spend lifetimes studying the way these currents flow, and maybe some want to do that, but it is not required knowledge for most to continue to evolve.
At its simplest, desire is much like a compass setting, aiming toward that which you want. The direction setting feels like insatiable hunger or thirst when the lower energy centers dominate. As the higher centers become ignited, you feel more of a yearning, and then a warm heartfelt wish.
If desire goes against the grain of your karma and current level of evolution (of yourself and/or others), then you must apply tremendous will or intention to move toward that which holds your attention. Desire, in its essence, is motivation both to be and to do. It is not the actual will, but the prior stage to manifestation – the wish. You will use your life force to manifest your longing. Literally, desire is the blueprint for your life’s work. In some cases, desire is aligned with your karma, and many of your wishes materialize easily. But this does not last. Because you are an integral part of the Whole, desire and focused intention do not guarantee specific outcomes: “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.” What’s interesting is that desire doesn’t care about the outcome – it is your interpretation of life that generates reactions to outcomes.
At its lower levels, desire is a constriction or distortion of the Astral Body that reflects a person who feels incomplete and needs something else to feel whole. Here, duality reigns and desire is a result of a state of separation. Such prolongued and unfulfilled desire leads to deepseated frustration and impulsive acts. It can feel like hell, and all the imagery that comes with the term.
The Brahmacharya yogic practices are intended to transmute lower-level desire energies and reverse the currents from wanting things, people, and experiences to fulfill yourself to a state of balance. While Brahmacharya is commonly associated with celebacy, the goal is much more profound than sublimating the sex drive. This practice can activate higher energy centers and bring about balanced inflow and outflow. Unfortunately, there are very few Westerners who can safely teach this practice. For most of us, we just have to go through our life and reflect on it as deeply as we can – with the intention to unwind karma and yearn for union with the Divine. This seems to be the Western way.
When one yearns for Union, that is also a form of desire. However, as Union comes closer, desire for the fulfillment of oneself is supplanted by a yearning for others to be happy in full realization. With continued evolution, one refines the yearning and can remain in this state without feeling any frustration at all. Consciousness of the soul body naturally takes care of indifference to outcomes and embracing patience for how Life unfolds. One does not demand anything because one is completely full-filled by Spirit.
At its most fundamental, desire is the impetus to live and to preserve life, to enjoy life, and to eventually transcend the limitations of life. The desires of people are as varied as the people themselves. Fear often plays a vital role in twisting lower desire toward destructive and isolationist means and ends. In most people, fear is found quite near any goal – and this underlying fear may be deeply hidden in the unconscious. One may desire the opposite of what one fears, or may desire the very thing one fears – there is no preference or polarity for desire.
Beyond the search for basic needs, and in its most innocent manifestation, desire is curiousity reaching into Life through form. It is the seeking of the combination of experiences to which a specific soul is drawn and uniquely predisposed in life. After all, we have come to experience our individual lives and also participate in collective Life. What we seek may fall into broad categories, but each soul will intertwine with its experience uniquely. The result of that marriage of soul experiencing through the physical, emotional, and mental bodies is never duplicated.
Lower desire is mostly unconscious and wired in for the continuation of life and the species. But even the conscious forms of desire do not seem logical – we rarely know why we want what we want. Why does one want to dance on stage, or play with equations, or build structures, or become enlightened? Why does one hope for the happiness and freedom of others? Similarly, why do some want to torture, kill, and otherwise abuse living beings? There is quite a range of possibilities, from the truly hellish to the liberated.
Self-centered desire is tightly connected to karma, which is simply the unresolved. You past thoughts, words, and actions wound the spring of your being into a tight coil, and the spring waits for opportunities to unwind and relax. You may not remember how the coil was wound, but it makes no difference – there is now an itch you must scratch.
Self-centered desire is also related to attachment. You imagine what you want, and you begin to grow attached to the image, like an oyster that makes a pearl from a grain of sand. The oyster analogy is good here because, ultimately, lower desire is an irritant around which the oyster is compelled to work to make a pearl.
While some desires are fleeting, others embed themselves in the psyche and focus the being almost exclusively on a target. We call this obsession and deem it unhealthy. Even spiritual practitioners fall into the trap of obsession when they do not realize the Divine for years: the resulting frustration becomes too much to bear, and they eventually either convince themselves that they have transformed (even if no transformation has taken place), or deem themselves unworthy of transformation and stop.
Self-centered desire is also related to judgement. Should I want what I want? Is it right? Do I deserve it? Judgement is the Ego hard at work. Judgement is also a form of sane questioning that can help you to stop yourself from doing something that may harm yourself or another before higher intuition takes over as a guide.
Karma, fear, and attachment swing your being into motion to want, and your intention quickly works to try to bring what you want into your life. Until you naturally stop wanting for yourself because you feel complete, the state of perpetual desire is quite messy.
You may have already noticed the common ground of Fear, Depression, and Desire – all three are shared and freely exchanged by the totality of the human race on the Astral Plane. However, as one evolves, fear and depression “knots” dissolve naturally, and desire also transforms. This ascension of what we want is also freely shared and radiated to others.
If you try to stop desire, you will only end up repressing it, and it will spill out in other ways. How you deal with desire depends very much on where you are…. However, know that if you work directly on achieving basic sanity, work with your fears and any depression, and immerse yourself in service to burst self-absorption, you will notice a shift in what you crave.
It is most important that, throughout your experiences, you yearn for accepting yourself and making all of you available to your conscious mind. Aim to be kind to yourself, and then you will be kind to others – do onto yourself, as you would have done onto others. The simple truth is that if you don’t absolutely love and embrace who you are, you just don’t know who you are yet. But you will….