Understanding Desire – Part One

The desire is the root for everything. We desire to live a good life. In that, we desire to earn more money, buy bigger house, want a perfect life partner, and want kids. From the deeper level, all these desires have some meaning. Living a spiritual or religious life itself is a desire. My mind is having a hurricane of thoughts on desires with so many questions. First of all why do we desire anything? Why do we have unlimited desires? We know that we cannot fulfill all our desires and still we cannot accept the same.

To understand the desire in more detail we need to compare ourselves with other Animals. For, e.g. a stray dog. It does not have any desire to wear good clothes or go for a vacation. What it wants is food to satisfy hunger. Sometimes may be affection at least that is what we think. What it wants is for its survival only. Nothing more than that. So, I am not sure if we can call its requirement for food as its desire. Let us assume that what we human and animal needs or ask for survival are not our desires. We just cannot live without those needs. But, as a human being we need more than our survival needs.

We just don’t want time to time food, but we also desire delicious and different kinds of foods. We want starter, main course and then we desire desserts as well. We just don’t want home to feel safe from nature and wild animals, but we want the most luxurious home with all the comfort possible along with servants. We just don’t want clothes to cover our body or to protect it from cold, but we want everything as per the latest fashion and of a high brand. Apart from all of these, we also want vacation, reputation, compliments, attention, possessions, power and much more.

As of now let us assume that nothing is right or wrong. These are just desires which we have in our mind. Now the question is why only human beings have all these desires? Why do we get another desire once we have satisfied the one? Desires does not satisfy on its own until we take any action. Some desires which we think we cannot fulfill might just calm down for some time, but it will take place in the mind somewhere. It might come on surface from time to time, but it will not go away.

Let us try to find out from where these desires come. Now I have purchased a decent mobile recently. After couple of months, I see a new variant of it or there is a launch of new Iphone. When I see the advertisement for the first time, I get the desire to let go of my current mobile and buy a new Iphone. Somehow I control this desire because I recently spent good amount of money on the phone and I might not have more money. After some days, I see new Iphone in the hands of my friend. He shows me all the exciting features it has. Now my hidden desire comes on the surface and force me to buy the new Iphone. My mind starts playing tricks. I started disliking my current phone which was best some months ago.

I still managed to control my desire, but I have to give it up at some point. The desire has become very strong now and will not allow you to rest till the time you fulfill it. You go ahead and sell the phone and buy your new Iphone. You really feel good. After some days, using your phone becomes routine and you no more get the same pleasure when you bought it. It happens almost similar way every time. Many people know this and they are all in the advertisement business.

Still the point remains as why a desire is born or why do we have this feature only in human being? Something has to be permanent in nature. All those desires we have right now does not have a strong base. I understand that my all desires should end when I achieve something. But, In reality it never happens. We are stuck in the vicious cycle of desires where there is no end. My thoughts lead me to a point that the birth of a human being is for some reason. The desire feature is added so that we can look for something permanent, something above all of us.

We all agree that when we desire something, based on the intensity of the desire we take action to achieve it. To live a good life it is important that we get desires and we take steps to fulfill it. I want to look at it from a different angle. I want to know the purpose of having desires. One way is in which adults and saints are telling us is that only desire God. They might be right, but in my opinion it sounds very religious and we all might not accept the same. The problem is that people who asks us to desire for God, they themselves have so many other desires like to be known, to get respect or to see their names on temples.

Another point which Buddha made was to look for enlightenment or nirvana and then all our desires will end. He has proved the same through his own life. To some extent I would agree with him because he mentioned about something that is permanent in nature. After desiring for enlightenment, I might not have any more desires and my mind will be at peace. But, then Buddha himself mentioned that don’t do what he says. Experience by your own self. This is our life and we are only responsible for the same.

If I have to look for something permanent, then I desire freedom. Somehow this word freedom has stuck in my mind and if we closely look at our life, then we will find that in different ways we are trying to achieve freedom. From superficial level we are trying to earn more money to get freedom from poverty. We want freedom from all those negative thoughts. We also desire freedom from all the diseases in our body. Maybe we are not acknowledging, but our soul wants the freedom from all the bondages that we are creating every day.

Recently many people are desiring minimalist and simple life because it has less bondages. When we desire freedom from depending up on things for our pleasure, we achieve the real happiness. When we desire freedom from expecting anything in return, we achieve loving relationship. When we desire freedom from laziness, we achieve a fit physical body. When we desire our freedom from all temporary life, we achieve our self. If we desire and accept nothing but freedom, then our mind will be at great peace.

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