Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More about Personal Desire


Personal desire does not lead to happiness, even in its fulfillment. For, when people get what they want, they always want more, or something else. Running around trying to satisfy personal desire is an endless treadmill which leads only to exhaustion and then, inevitably, to depression. Trying to fulfill human desires is like trying to quench thirst by drinking salt-water: The more you drink, the thirstier you get, and so, you keep on drinking, until you are dead.

The enlightened want to turn their personal wills over to, or into, the "will of God." How can we best do this? It is not complex. But to do it successfully, we must learn a new pattern of thinking: We must learn to accept things as they are. For, with strong personal will, the impulse is always there to change everything, to make the world, and everything in it, the way that "I want it to be."

As we work to erase the powerful ego, replacing its total selfishness with the interior Love-nature, we see just how it clings, attaches, and sticks to its craving, with strong "Velcromind." (We then work to cultivate its opposite, Teflonmind.:)

How do we recognize the desires of Love ("will of God")? The old wisdomasters said that God's will came in two varieties: God's active will and God's permissive will. God's active will is for each and every one of His/Her children (creatures) to live in perfect Love, peace, joy, and harmony. But God's permissive will allows Her children to suffer in order to learn. It is never God's active will that we sow the seeds of negativity and harm, but Her permissive will allows for free will. And so, if we choose, we can choose any kind of negative or harmful behavior. But if we do, we create future suffering for ourselves.

So, looking at these two aspects allows us to see that everything that is is "God's will." So, even negative situations and events are embraced in serenity.

A practical example: Let us say that you visit your doctor, hoping and expecting with all your might that you are in perfect health. But the doc finds something (blood-sugar, blood-pressure, etc.) wrong. You are crushed and shattered, and the rest of your day, or week, or month, or year, is ruined. Your wish for perfection has massively screwed up a part of your life.

Let us say that an enlightened being goes to the doc. She goes without expectations, without personal desires, and finds that she has the same problems. Since she knows that she is an imperfect creature, she is neither disappointed nor surprised to find that her body is imperfect. So, because of her lack of personal desire, she leaves the doc's in perfect serenity and profound tranquility. She is literally undisturbed, in "transcendence."

Is it really possible to develop and cultivate such amazing and powerful detachment, from even your own body? It takes loads of practice, but, yes, it is possible.

Another example: A young woman sets up a date with a stranger. She expects him to be Prince Charming-- wealthy, generous, intelligent, good-looking, friendly, fascinating, and fun. When they meet, he is a fairly average human being-- not so hot! She is crushed and shattered. Why? Because of her many personal desires and expectations.

Let's say the enlightened person also has a date. She goes into the experience with no expectations, no desires. She reasons that all human beings are imperfect in many ways. So, when she meets exactly the same guy, she feels no disappointment whatsoever. In fact, she tends to note his (few) good qualities, and can honestly celebrate them! Her date is a megablast, and a great success! Why? Because she approached the event without expectations, demands, or personal desires.

You have probably noted that personal desire is strongly bonded with a second factor-- expectation. While no one can live without expectations, we create a more full and beautiful life as we minimize our expectations. For where expectations are fewer, disappointments are also fewer. If we could live completely without expectations, we could also live without disappointments. For we create our own disappointments by expecting.

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