Monday, March 2, 2009


Desire is one of the constructed qualities of human being, which is condemned by almost all religions and spiritual leaders with very, very few exceptions. But it is common sense to understand that there may not be anybody in this world without any desire; for that the want to be without desire itself is a desire.

If we understand desire and the cause of desire, we do not need anybody else to advise us whether we need desire or not, or what to do with the desire arising within ourselves and the effect of desire within us. Once we have these understandings, then it is not at all a problem if we have any sort of desire. This is because we understand the cause and effect of desire and with that understanding we are fully prepared to face the effect with complete willingness and happiness. As long as we are ready to face the effect of our action happily there is nothing wrong in our action, whatever may be that action. On the contrary, if we are troubled or disturbed with the effect of noblest of our actions in this world, that will be wrong doing with respect to ourselves. This concept has a great deal with respect to our intention of the change required in this world and hence it may be relevant to discuss about desire here.

We all know what is desire, but we might not have thought about the mechanism of desire arising within ourselves, unless we have ever observed any of our desires from beginning to end. That is, observing it from the birth of any of our desires to its grave, even the smallest of desires which we ever had.

When we see something, the brain process that information, identify it store the result as memory. In the process of identifying that item it leaves many unanswered leads with in our mind. Due to our nature or due to the method we programmed ourselves, the brain get hold of one or few of those leads and the reactive thought process shall be initiated to complete the unanswered lead, which is actually not required. The reactive thought process get hold of the projection of mind/brain already stored in our memory and further project to the extent of answering, what will happen if we possess that something. This is just a projection of mind and not a fact. The other constructed qualities like possessiveness, attachment, jealous, envy etc complement this projection of brain/mind. The projection will deepen to such a level that we will get attached to that something. Having attached with something but not possessing that thing invokes the urge to possess that thing. This urge is called desire. Once we possess something with which we are attached and if we are unable to remove attachment with that item, that will be the beginning of other constructed qualities like fear and sorrow.

For example, if we see a nice house (nice with respect to our experience/knowledge), the image of that house shall go into our memory. When we go back to our house, the reactive thought process starts comparing our house with the image of that nice house. As we do not possess that nice house, we will be having all sort of projections about that house and this projection of mind create attachment over that nice house. Now at various point of time and for various reasons, our mind start seeing that house and each time it does a projection within our mind about that house and finally the mind start projecting the scenario of owning such a house. The desire of owning that house is sowed within our mind. Depend on the frequency of our mind projecting the scenario of owning such house, our attachment towards that house intensifies, and hence the desire intensifies. IF we have the means to own such a house we own one and that is the ending point of that particular desire. In case we do not have the means to fulfill the desire, it will start becoming sorrow, pain, self pity, etc depend on the projected information in our memory/brain. And if we do not have the means but owned the house somehow, then another set of problem propels out of that due to cause and effect theory.

For somebody seeing a house invoke desire, for somebody seeing tasty food invokes desire, for somebody seeing a brand new car invoke desire, for somebody seeing a beautiful woman/man invoke desire and it is an endless list. This is the whole mechanism of advertisement industry, which creates desire to the listeners of those advertisements at various intensities. Only a fraction of the population distracted by the advertisement industry can fulfill that desire and the remaining vast majority of the population start living the life with the scratch of those advertisements. Only the intelligent people escape from this trap.

Let us now analyze the need for such desire. Like any other quality, desire also has two sides. On one side, we are here because of desire. All the comfort and luxury in this world are here due to desire. All the technological and cultural developments are here because of desire. On the other side, all our pain, suffering is because of desire. The corruption and crime in society are because of desire.

We can conclude that we have to have desire for a decent social life, yet we have to be untouched by desire to have a life without pain, sorrow, and suffering. This state of having desire yet untouched by desire can be achieved if and only if our intelligence works for us. For the intelligence to work, we need to have a complete understanding of desires we have and its utility and means. Once we achieve that state, naturally our intelligence will take over the rest and we will doing what is needed for that situation, instead of carried over by the projection of mind or desire. Intelligence works based on fact and not based on projection of mind. Hence the basic requirement shall be allowing our intelligence to work. For the intelligence to work, the thought process has to stop for projecting something out of nothing. For such a state we may have to reach a state of fearlessness. We already know few of the constructed qualities which are creating fear. We may analyze few of those qualities during coming days.

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