Your Greatest Desire is your Greatest Obstacle
Desire is not just limited to the mind and body, but we have become so obsessed with the idea of our minds and bodies. Since our entire identity is built on this life – our life – then desiring becomes just a way of fulfilling the already-existing desires of the mind and the body. All kinds of desires simply become extensions of one fundamental desire, which is your body and your mind. That desire is your obstacle; it’s your biggest obstacle, because it blocks out your existential desires. It blocks out your deeper questions. It blocks out solutions, while only projecting problems. That’s why our desiring process is so deeply connected to our day-to-day problems. We desire to go beyond our daily problems and our obstacles. In a way, the entire process is trying to find solutions for imaginary problems which appear to be tremendously real, while real problems are not even addressed. What if you cannot find peace of mind, certainty, or happiness before resolving the fundamental questions of “Who are you? Where did you come from? What is life?” What if these deeper philosophical questions are the basis? If you don’t solve those questions you will never be able to find certainty. What if existence functions that way? Then, you’re not even scratching at the surface of your problems. You’re not even looking in the direction of solutions. You are simply obsessed with the mind and body.
So, our desires are our biggest obstacles. Without the very process of desiring, you would not be able to ask fundamental questions. There’s got to be a desire inside you to know, to explore, to understand. That existential desire is a part of us; it’s already there, but we rarely acknowledge it. We rarely give it space, because the mind is so crowded already. The conversations are set. The mind has already decided, These are my priorities, these are the things that I want to think about. What is it based on? It’s not based on you, it’s based on what’s happening around you. Many of our desires are simply mental projections of the desires of others.
Where are we Going?
Think about it: Many times you cannot even make the distinction between your desire and a desire that is being imposed upon you; a desire that you just picked up subconsciously, unconsciously. In fact, the whole world is gripped by this collective desire to go somewhere. If you ask you – the individual, “Is this going somewhere accomplishing something?” Becoming successful, striving for something that you’re not, is not a part of you, because there’s a part of you that knows that your happiness does not come from that; it’s just a mental projection. “If I’m not able to find my happiness here in this moment, with whatever my mind is capable of now, whatever my body is capable of now, by fully acknowledging my limitations, by fully realizing that this is my life, it doesn’t matter whether I’m rich or poor, successful or a failure, my happiness is independent. It is not connected to any of this.”
The moment you realize that, you will see the futility of all your desiring process, and that’s when you realize these desires did not come from you; they were added on to you. You picked it up as a child, as a process of growing up, as the noise of society. In fact, your individual desires more often than not are simply society’s noise constantly buzzing in your head: You have to be there, you have to be that, you cannot be this, you cannot be that. You’ve got to be sensitive. You’ve got to be caring. It doesn’t matter whether these desires are good or bad, if it is not yours it can never be good. It can never satisfy you, because even if you find a solution, even if you’re able to satisfy all the desires that you have, you will still feel empty and hollow because you have not acknowledged your desires. You have only been trying to chase desires of your images, projections, of people, and experiences.
Drop your Desires
If, for whatever reason, you decide that I’m going to stop desiring for a few minutes – just remember that it’s only temporary, and you can always go back to your desires. You’re not going to lose them; they’re always floating around. Make a conscious decision and say, “For the next ten minutes I’m not going to desire anything.” If you’re able to stay in that zone of no desire, you will hear your existential desires loud and clear: The desire to be, not to become. The desire to experience and not just entertain. The desire to feel life pulsing through you and not just contemplate on it. The desire to accept yourself without any judgments, because all judgments come from the mind – comes from the thought process, That’s when you realize there is something beautiful happening right here. I can recognize it as life, as aliveness, as consciousness, as my being. Maybe that is the solution to all my problems. Maybe my fundamental desire is simply to be. What else can be the objective of life? If being is not the objective of life, then why are you perceiving yourself as a being? Why do we call ourselves human beings, and why do we call existence exist-ence?
Don’t be a Ghost
The whole purpose the game of life is about being and to move in that dimension, experiencing a few other things. But the fundamental purpose is to be. You can be an artist, you can be a dancer, you can be a cook, you can be a mom, you can be a friend. Being is the most important thing. You’re not trying to become those things, because becoming is an illusion. Becoming is a desiring process gone wrong. Becoming is desiring for the sake of desiring; Not to find yourself or find something meaningful, but desire for the sake of desire. Just like any other process of life; when you forget the fundamentals and when the periphery becomes all important, when your desiring process becomes more important than you, then that desire is an obstacle, because desire has taken over you. Buddha said, Desire is the root cause of all suffering. He was absolutely right. Where is suffering without desiring?
As simple as it may sound, it is actually that simple: Drop your desires and you will experience peace. Peace and desires cannot coexist, because peace is a state of not desiring. In fact, peace has the very opposite definition of desire. This word desire is a very cunning word. It’s actually another word for disturbance. If you think about it, there cannot be desiring without disturbance. What is desiring? You are trying to become something that you’re not. You are trying to go somewhere where you’re not. You’re trying to do something that you have not done. You’re trying to experience something that you’ve not experienced. That is what desiring is. Desire is an emptiness that you’re trying to fill. By its very nature, it’s got to be disturbing. How can you experience peace, certainty, serenity, or bliss when you are all the time desiring? You have to come to the conclusion that peace is a real thing; it’s not some ephemeral magic stuff that can be here, there, everywhere at all times, irrespective of what you’re doing or thinking.
Peace is a physical thing, literally like a desire. You can only accommodate one thing on your plate at a time: You can either have peace or you can have your desires. Once this becomes clear: I cannot accommodate both. This is life. When I’m desiring, I’m just desire. I am no being, I am no mind, I am just a desire. Desire has no existential root. A desire is a ghost. It has no home, it is trying to find something, and it is just floating around. That’s what a desire is. So when you are desiring, you’re not you. You’re just a ghost. How can you find peace and certainty when you’re a ghost? The very definition of ghost is that you are not there; you’re not a being. I’m a human being, I’m not a ghost, because I have some basis in existence, in reality; I have a body, I have a mind. You are a ghost because you don’t have anything real. You are just a desire floating around.
Hard to Let Go
Fundamentally, you have to come to the conclusion that peace is very physical, it’s a real thing. Once you understand that it’s a real thing, then you have to make a choice: What do I want this moment? I’m not even saying that you have to only be desiring for peace. But at this point in time your desires have taken over you so completely that you’re not even able to accommodate peace, even for a few minutes in a day. If you tell your mind, For ten minutes just stop desiring and be peaceful, your mind goes crazy because it has identified itself with its desires. Once that identification breaks, once you
realize that desiring is happening to you, you are acknowledging it and you don’t have to become that desire. You can have control over it. You can choose. So that’s what gaining control is. To say, For the next ten minutes I want peace, which means I cannot have any desires. So just sit and drop your desires and try to find that peace. It’ll take a few days, it might take a few months, it might take a few years, it doesn’t matter.
Eventually, you will get to a point where those ten minutes will be yours and yours alone. That is what we are searching for. We’re searching for that one minute where we have full control over our lives, which means we have full control over our thought process. We have full control to think or not to think, to be or not to be. Whatever you want to do, you will have full control. That’s what we’re striving for. That is what peace is. Peace is knowing that you are above your mind, you are above your thoughts, and you are above your desires. Disturbance is to not find you amidst all these desiring processes. There are so many desires, so much happening, but you are lost. Think about it: The world is a perfect example. Your so-called successful people, people who have made lots of money, who have become really famous, just look into their lives. You will see anything but peace. You will see anything but certainty. In fact, they’ll be more confused, because now they’re filled with so many desires and so many false self-projections and images. They are totally lost. A person who has fewer desires might be confused about life but if he decides to find himself at least he can find himself because he only has to navigate through those few basic desires: How do I take care of my mind? How do I take care of my body? How do I take care of my identity? A few simple questions. But for a guy who’s built his life on his desires, his identity is built on that. Now if he tries to get rid of it, it’s like trying to get rid of something really big.
Silence, Peace, and Stillness
Imagine that you work all your life to become the president of the country. Here a meditator comes and says, “Even if you become the president of the country you will not find peace, because that is not your desire. That is still a projection of society that is gone into your head, taken root, and it has grown, and you’re trying to nurture it.” Even if you become that, you will still lose yourself. You will still not know who you are. That is when you start thinking, Okay, how do I drop this? I’ve worked all my life for this. So, you have a bigger problem than someone who just wants to be himself, who’s not trying to become a president. I’m just giving an example. We can get lost in any of our desires. That is why desire is an obstacle – is our biggest obstacle – because it’s a projection; it’s not a real thing. When projection replaces reality, the natural consequence is disturbance, lack of certainty.
When we come back to the fundamental question, the fundamental process of desiring; which desire has nothing to do with our minds, which desire has nothing to do with society, it’s about existential desires. To listen to that existential voice that says, “Silence is what you’re searching for, not noise. Peace is what you’re searching for, not disturbance. Stillness is what you’re searching for, not movement.” Then you realize that all these things are abundant gifts of nature. You don’t have to run after these things. These things don’t belong to somebody. There’s no tax for these. You don’t have to pay to get these; it’s all right here. How stupid and how dumb I should be to be running behind these things all my life without realizing that it’s right here within.
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