Fear and desire are the fundamental energies that drive our lives. We act either out of a desire to achieve something or reach somewhere, or out of a fear of not wanting to experience something. Attraction and repulsion are not merely forces of molecules, but also essential to human behavior.
One of the major driving forces in human life is desire. If you look into your life, you can see most of the time we are driven by either desire or fear.
We have so many desires and often we feel we don’t have energy to fulfill them. According to the Jain tradition, the Divine sends us with enough energy and capacity to fulfill all our desires. But most of us don’t feel this way. Why?
There is a difference between our true desires and ‘borrowed’ desires. Our true desires are called our ‘needs’. Borrowed desires are called our ‘wants’. We have enough energy to fulfill our true desires or needs.
What are our true desires?
During one of my programs, we have a session where people are asked to make a list of their desires, needs and wants. Then they meditate on these desires. At the end of the meditation, I ask them to recollect from memory their list of desires. What they can recollect is usually a fraction of what they have written! It is as if they started with a large tree full of leaves, their desires, and during this meditation the tree sheds almost all its leaves, as if the leaves were dried and dead. What it retains glows like golden leaves.
If you can understand which desire is innate and which is accumulated, spiritual growth happens automatically.
Whatever is left in their memories, those desires glow like gold. They are the ones that carry the energy for their fulfillment! These desires are the true desires. If the process is done with awareness, these desires are always selfless desires. They may benefit the individual, no doubt, but they always benefit humanity. Only such selfless desires carry the energy of the universe with them for fulfillment.
When our desires are our own true desires, when they reflect our real needs, when they express themselves in our inner energy, we don’t feel any desperation about trying to achieve them. The realization comes that as a matter of the natural course of events, these desires will be fulfilled. We are not driven and we are not troubled. We accept that these will happen.
To truly love someone whom we spend our life with, to prevent familiarity from breeding contempt, we need to drop our feelings of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. As long as we consider our spouse as a possession, what arises in our mind and heart is violence, not love. We feel we must control the other being and we feel we must prove that we are the owner. To even comprehend the meaning of true love, we need to drop the feeling that we possess.
This is how Khalil Gibran* speaks on love in his book, The Prophet, ‘Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.’
When you have a headache, you are not comfortable with that state, because you know that it is not your true nature. Your true nature is having no headache. In the same way, when you have some desire, you immediately want to come out of it, because deep fulfillment is your very nature and desire causes an imbalance in that fulfillment.
Two important truths you need to understand:
1. Your whole life is a long chain of events performed towards the one goal of fulfillment. Whatever you may do, whether it is eating or drinking or having relationships, wealth or joy, it is all to experience fulfillment. You seek fulfillment in different directions instead of seeking it directly.
2. Fulfillment is within you, it is your very nature. That is why you are trying to come out of non-fulfillment.
The fact that you are searching for fulfillment means that fulfillment is known to you. Otherwise you would not search for it! In the instances in your life when you have felt some fulfillment, there is also a hope that you will experience it again. That is why you extend your life.
The desire that is pure and not directed towards any particular object or person is simply an overflowing energy that is called iccha shakti or the ‘desire energy’. From the navel, energy comes as pure energy. In the heart region, this energy gets converted to the power of desire. This further gets converted into words in the throat region. When this energy gets converted into words, it is called vaak or the ‘speech energy’.
To give an analogy, the energy that comes from the navel is like loose cotton. The cotton becomes thread in the throat region. Or you can imagine it this way: the energy that comes from the navel is like molten iron. The throat is like a forge where the product is formed! The speech energy moves further to the brain. There it stays as knowledge or gets converted into a command. In the brain, the energy could stay as the power of knowledge or jnana shakti. For example, the desire energy related to the body can become knowledge of the body. The other option is, the words get converted to a command and get executed as well. The command goes to the entire body and moves you. This is called the power of action or kriya shakti. For example, the desire energy related to your body can express as the power of action like moving your body.
Pure iccha shakti or desire energy which comes from your being gets converted to jnana shakti or the power of knowledge and kriya shakti or the power of action.
If the energy is not processed and channeled properly, the knowledge and action become disconnected from the power of the pure desire energy. The knowledge and action should be in tune with the desire energy. Then it forms a virtuous circle of desire leading to better knowledge and action, which in turn leads to clearer desires!
Say you have a desire to make a million dollars. If it gets converted properly as knowledge, you will have a clear plan and do the right actions to become a millionaire. If the desire energy gets converted as too much knowledge and less action, then you will end up only thinking more and more, building castles in the air.
On the other hand, if the desire energy gets converted as too much action and less knowledge, then you will end up working blindly. For example, you may work really hard like driving a truck from Los Angeles to New York, but can you become a millionaire this way? There is action but not the right knowledge. So the proper conversion of the desire to knowledge and action has to happen.
The reason why this conversion doesn’t happen properly is lack of awareness.
When you are honest and integrated with the desire, there is no conflict and the conversion happens properly.
source: Living Enlightenment