‘to await what the stars brings,’ Is the origin of the word desire in Latin. We start each day craving a specific thing to do or get. Maybe that cup of cappuccino in your favorite coffee house that gives you a relaxed morning, or fresh breakfast to enjoy with your loved one that is going to set your day to a great start.
However, it doesn’t stop there; your urges continue throughout your lunch and your day till the end of the night, leaving you to long for a better way to spend your daily resources. Desires regularly arise in us, only to be replaced by other desires. Without this continuous stream of desires, there would no longer be any reason to do anything: life would grind to a halt, as it does for people who lose the ability to desire.
An acute crisis of desire corresponds to boredom and a chronic crisis to depression.
Nevertheless, our desires vary from a daily basis to future goals. We had acquired our desires since our species first emerged, leaving us and our fellow animals are driven by it because without it we wouldn’t survive to the point where you can sit down and read this sentence.
Aspiration is the thing that drives us to do more and evolve, but when not controlled, it can easily misguide us to the dawn of misfortunes. Moreover, that’s when the title comes into play. In Buddhism, desire and ignorance lie at the root of suffering. By desire, Buddhists refer to craving pleasure, material goods, and immortality, all of which are wants that can never be satisfied. As a result, desiring them can only bring suffering.
Try for just a moment to stem your stream of desires; This is the paradox of desire: that even the desire to stop desiring is in itself a desire. To get around this paradox, many eastern spiritual masters speak of the cessation of desire, or ‘enlightenment,’ not as the culmination of an intentional process, but as a mere accident. Spiritual practice, they maintain, does not invariably or inevitably lead to the cessation of desire, but merely makes us more ‘accident-prone.’ Also, in our present life where everything moves in a glimpse, you find yourself lost in choices between goals.
Most people would try to look for ways and shortcuts where they can get things that they don’t need or want; this is due to our materialistic lives which we can’t help, let me give a simple example of my encounter with such events:
As many of you know, I work as a bartender, and in my work, I pour drinks, plate desserts to customers and coworkers. I’m sure most of you know that every worker has some privileges in his work, in my work you can give the waiter a coffee or juice, for instance, a meal per shift and a discount. However, what amazes me is when my coworkers try to get more drinks reaching about 4 drinks per shifts or things that they should pay for, for instance, ice cream or a smoothie for free etcetera. However, I can understand why, since I’m not so innocent either, when I started working I would occasionally grab that scoop of ice cream or a draft for free, and I thought it was okay because no one was saying anything. until I realized that I’m not better than my coworkers plus I didn’t really need to drink or eat anything in my shift other than water. So I cut back on everything, even my meal and I started to see progress in my work, with more time to focus.
That’s one of the reasons some religious practice self-control, by quitting their daily habits putting their energy on their priorities, a significant example is the “Monastic Silence” While the purpose of control is not the main reason for its practice. Still, the self-power portrayed by it is a great example.
“Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can’t have,” said Meredith Grey in the show “Grey’s Anatomy.”
“Desire leaves us heartbroken; it wears us out. Desire can wreck your life.” So while desire may have been there to help us, it’s a dangerous thing if not used properly.
Moreover, the harder the thing becomes to get, the more desirable it becomes. One of the practices used in getting a person that you like to like you back is “playing hard to get” it might sound cliche, yet it works in persuading someone to want something that he/she didn’t want or need.
Also, I can’t stress but to talk about how the big corporations that get created on the sole purpose of getting their products sold use desire in their massive marketing schemes.
Our desires evolved to support our survival and reproduction. They did not develop to make us happy or satisfied, to ennoble us, or to give our life any meaning beyond them. Neither are they adapted to new circumstances. Today, survival is no longer the most pressing issue, and, with more than seven billion people thronging our polluted planet, breeding can seem almost irresponsible. Here we are, attached to our desires like a slave to its master.
Most importantly, I suggest that for the next week observe yourself and your actions, try to see if you’re consuming things that you don`t really need and if you achieve on doing that, try a 30 day challenge, for instance if you’re consuming too much and you feel like you don`t really need it, try to test yourself from taking any for a month