The Blackboard Blog #6: Is desire undesirable?

Desire is undesirable, it says here…

More than one image this morning, the Blackboard being a space where there is more than one idea to follow. Hope you don’t mind the sort of random household feel, deep spiritual Power Seeds (yeah, right) mixed in with notes about scourers and frozen sweetcorn. We can go back to some of the other blackboard images in the blog and look at different routes to follow to get to Power Seeds for your Magic Minute. In case you haven’t come across those ideas before, they’re elsewhere on the blog, and a key part of the practice that the book talks about (The Ecology of the Soul: Unlock Your Seven Powers of  Spiritual Success) – get your downloads here. Plant a powerful thought – a Power Seed – for you to meditate on for a mere 60 seconds – your Magic Minute – which you can then apply to action, to change your behaviour. Sounds easier than it actually is, but there is anyway no question that if you want to change your behaviour (you do, don’t you?), it has to start with the consciousness that drives your thinking. Thoughts create action, but what creates thoughts?

Careful not to get sidetracked here. The ‘today I have been thinking about’ part (well, actually not today, but yesterday. Today it’s too early in the morning to have been thinking about anything) on today’s blackboard – which as you can see also contains peace, fear, habit and habitat, silence and solitude – is Desire. Whether it’s undesirable or not. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Buddha taught that desire is at the root of all our problems, didn’t he? All suffering? Isn’t that one of the Four Noble Truths? Let’s have a quote from Wikipedia: <<The first noble truth is the truth of dukkha. The Pali term dukkha (Sanskrit: duhkha) is typically translated as “suffering”, but the term dukkha has a much broader meaning than the typical use of the word “suffering”. Dukkha suggests a basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of life, due to the fact that all forms of life are impermanent and constantly changing. Dukkha indicates a lack of satisfaction, a sense that things never measure up to our expectations or standards.>> And, for the Second Noble truth: <<The second noble truth is the truth of the origin of dukkha. Within the context of the four noble truths, the origin (Pali: samudaya) of dukkha is commonly explained as craving (Pali: tanha) conditioned by ignorance (Pali: avijja). This craving runs on three channels:

  • Craving for sense-pleasures (kama-tanha): this is craving for sense objects which provide pleasant feeling, or craving for sensory pleasures.
  • Craving to be (bhava-tanha): this is craving to be something, to unite with an experience. This includes craving to be solid and ongoing, to be a being that has a past and a future, and craving to prevail and dominate over others.
  • Craving not to be (vibhava-tanha): this is craving to not experience the world, and to be nothing; a wish to be separated from painful feelings.>>

Which leads us to this image, a photograph I took of a page of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, a little book that has helped millions – or billions, if we are to believe Rhonda – but which I’m not so damn sure about.

‘Feeling is desire and desire love’. Really?

She’s quoting Charles Haanel, the early 20th century New Thought author and originator of the ‘Master Key System’. Her (and his, and many others’)  thing is the Law of Attraction, which as far as I understand it – and I must say, I believe there are more responsible authors writing about it – says that you get whatever you think about. The power of your thoughts brings your desires to you. Of course, every spiritual and ethical tradition has the idea of ‘as you sow so shall you reap’, ‘do as you would be done by’, the sense that you are responsible for your own actions and you will experience the results of those actions. It’s positive thinking. It’s even a version of the Law of Karma, that I happen to hold as an absolute truth, that simply says: ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ (sound familiar to physicists?). Given that thought creates action, it is kind of a logical step to make the claim that whatever you think will come to you. And that also has to be true, in a way. But a far more subtle and complex way, I would argue, than just ‘think about a parking space and it will magically appear’.

Haven’t really cracked this desire thing, have we? The philosphers’ problem with it is that to embark on a path of spiritual seeking, to wish and work for enlightenment – which to us lowly beings just means exploring our inner space and looking for a sense of our True Self, to drive our actions towards a desirable outcome, ie, our own and the world’s salvation – is also desire. Oops. Yep, it is. But you know what? I don’t think it really matters. If you desire your brother’s wife or the million quid cash inside that security truck, you’ll have trouble. If you desire to re-connect yourself to Your Self, the pure pinpoint of conscient, metaphysical energy that is the True You, I’d say you were on to a Good Thing. Don’t confuse it with Buddha’s idea of craving to be nothing: <<Craving not to be (vibhava-tanha): this is craving to not experience the world, and to be nothing; a wish to be separated from painful feelings.>> – That in itself is a kind of body consciousness. This is Soul Consciousness, you being the True You. Because once you get there, into that totally blissful state of pure, conscious but non-thinking Being, all desire –  and indeed all of everything else – just drops away. All you’ve got is the perfect, pure light that is You. And that, in my humble opinion, good and lovely people, is very much worth desiring.

About Aidan

The Ecology of the Soul is the culmination of a lifetime of study and practice of hatha yoga and Raj Yoga. Aidan studied with BKS Iyengar, and was a dedicated member of the Brahma Kumaris, teachers of Raja Yoga, during his 20s. The basic understanding of the Soul and God is pure Raja Yoga, but it is the 'ecology' principle that drives the system's emphasis on balancing our spiritual powers. We return to our natural state of happiness, contentment, peace – and power.
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2 Responses to The Blackboard Blog #6: Is desire undesirable?

  1. M Benesi says:

    I like what you’ve written. It’s interesting that you picked it up again at this point in time. Seems appropriate.

  2. You have some genuinely beneficial information composed here. Good job and keep posting good stuff.

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