Saturday, January 9, 2010
Desire - from the stars!
I have been thinking this week about desire and how it often gets a bad rap in religion and magic. In Buddhism of course the second noble truth states that suffering stems from desire and ignorance. Thus in Sutric Buddhism you have a lot of work cutting off the root of suffering by renouncing desires of the flesh like sex and intoxication. In higher teachings like Tantra and Dzogchen, desire is revealed not to be the culprit, but attachment to your desires. If you can free the mind from grasping at this or that, it is perfectly reasonable to enjoy everything that arises as the play of awareness. You can desire your mate, or a posession, so long as you do not grasp at its permenance and allow that desire to interrupt your natural awareness.
In Thelemic circles, the idea of desire is often lumped in with "wants" and "whims" as opposed to "Will". The idea being that your true will is the only thing that you should be concerned with, and that all the wants that you may have are less important than following your true will. Some people seem to think that finding their true will is like finding a letter that tells them exactly what to do for the rest of their life in great detail. Go to school, become a doctor, marry Frank, have three kids, etc. True Will is not like that at all.
True will is any action that arises out of true awareness. It has more to do with a state of clarity and harmony than a laundry list of things that you are to do. If you can reach those states of pure awareness, than just about any action you take is an exercise of your true will, and carries with it the weight of the universe.
Of course a lot of people involved in religion and magic have some strange ideas about the material world. They haven't given up all their possessions to become monks, nuns, or wandering homeless sages, yet they still want to keep their spiritual life separate from their day to day reality. Refusing to see their struggle to buy a bigger house, take the family on a nice vacation, make a good retirement for themselves as something that is worthy of magic or a cause for inspiration. Some even go so far as to call any magic or spiritual effort in such matters as evil.
The word desire itself comes from de sidere or "from the stars". A good desire carries with it a lot of weight in the mind. When you want something, you should take a few minute to examine that want. Dont ask yourself if you need it., ask yourself if you desire it.
You are not a monk. Magic can be used for much more than just what we need. Check your mind to see if this want is arising as a reaction to a commercial you just saw or perhaps a temporary fit of anger or jealousy. If not, than decide definitely upon your desire. Magicians that only do things based upon the advice of spirits, or gods are not great magicians at all. You yourself are part of the mind of god - even when you are not in a full state of enlightenment it is your birthright to be the captain of your own ship. To simply decide on a course of action and carry it out, Your magic need have no more divine weight behind it than your own desire. When you fully comprehend the truth of it, you will realize what a mighty weight that is!