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Desire(=want=lack) for realization/enlightenment

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  • Desire(=want=lack) for realization/enlightenment

    Hi,
    I'm writing this in the "conversations" category because probably there isn't the "right" answer.
    But if anyone could give me any input, your thoughts etc. it would be appreciated.

    Anyway, now I understand that desire(=want) is the same as lack. My understanding is therefore in TSM we release/let go of sense of wants (approval, security, control, separation and oneness).

    However, Lester says (in his book) you must strongly desire for realization to get it. He uses a story in the past where a disciple of a master asks the master how he could get enlightenment and the master pushes the disciple's head into water. He struggles very hard and then after a while the master releases him. Then the master says "you have to desire enlightenment as strongly as you desired the air just now." I have read this story somewhere else too and I believe it is a well known story. But the point is Lester used this story (analogy) too. Lester also said that you should drop all the other desires except for the desire for enlightenment/realization.

    Now, my question is, isn't "Desire" not "lack" in this context too? If desire for something is so strong that you attain it, then shouldn't that apply to other things in life? But as mentioned above, in TSM "want" is lack and something that should be released. In that case doesn't it follow we should let go of desire for realization/enlightenment too?

    Hope you understand my confusion!

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Hi Terrym

    This is about words and their interpretation/translation, and the analogy is just a pointer to describe something. Letting go of wanting to figure it all out, of wanting to know is REALLY the best thing to do (welcome all the longing/wanting to know, to understand, etc., and then let it go). There are so many subtleties in these words, trying to explain or sort it out can become even more confusing or contradictory and leads to nowhere. This has often be said here, and I have come to agree with that, through my own experience :-) But when you let go, all of a sudden you will understand it, somehow, deep inside, even if you may not be able to explain it to someone else. Even seeming contradictions make sense.

    Check for yourself how you feel when you notice a "desire" for something. Does it always feel like lack? Maybe not. It's really important to notice what you feel/experience, not what your mind thinks you're "supposed" to experience (based on all the things you read).

    To me, want does not always equal lack (it's not like 2 + 2 = 4). It does at times, but not always (remember your post where you got an answer from Susan). If you would always replace "want" with "lack", step 1 of the Six Steps wouldn't make much sense either. Yet it does make sense.

    Imagine you were the disciple in the story. Once you had your head out of the water, you would desperately gasp for air. Not sure if you have to go for enlightenment THAT desperately. But in that very moment, getting air is more important than anything else, nothing else matters, all you want in this moment is air. If your desire for enlightenment/realization is strong, more important than any other desires, you are motivated and very determined to go in that direction. Having a specific car, lots of money, etc. is not important anymore. You can/may have it, but you are not attached to it. (Remember Delilah's answer to your previous post re Lester - one doesn't exclude the other). And as you let go of all your desires, the biggest and last desire, for enlightenment, drops away by itself as you get there.

    I myself am not even sure what enlightenment/realization means exactly, and I don't use it as a "goal" (yet). What I do want more than anything else, what I "desire", is inner freedom and peace, no matter what. I don't use the word "imperturbability" either because it includes "perturbable" which doesn't sound so great to me. But ease/peace feels good (most of the time).

    Here's an example: One of my biggest "desires" is having a nice home, in a quiet and healthy environment (right now I have the exact opposite). Now, when I'm exposed to a lot of noise/dirt, sometimes I feel ok about it, it doesn't bother me (anymore!!), and sometimes another layer of resistance and the desire for something else stir up strongly, it feels like ALL I really want is a nicer home, and it does feel painful, desperate, like lack. Then, apart from releasing, I often kind of "reasoned" with myself, like "ok, what if I had that perfect home, and then went to some place where it's noisy, what happens then?". And I quickly came to the conclusion that I would be much better off if I could feel at ease/peace all the time, anywhere, no matter what was going on around me. And that reinforced my "desire" for inner freedom and peace. That desire is stronger than the one for a nicer home. Now, at times, when the resistance doesn't drop away that easily, for a while this desire can also feel a little painful, like lack, out of reach - and at times it feels just fine, calm, a steady moving forward to more inner freedom, and it often feels like I'm almost there.

    Not sure if this makes sense to you, but you can apply this to any other desire.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by terrym View Post
      Hi,
      I'm writing this in the "conversations" category because probably there isn't the "right" answer.
      But if anyone could give me any input, your thoughts etc. it would be appreciated.

      Anyway, now I understand that desire(=want) is the same as lack. My understanding is therefore in TSM we release/let go of sense of wants (approval, security, control, separation and oneness).

      However, Lester says (in his book) you must strongly desire for realization to get it. He uses a story in the past where a disciple of a master asks the master how he could get enlightenment and the master pushes the disciple's head into water. He struggles very hard and then after a while the master releases him. Then the master says "you have to desire enlightenment as strongly as you desired the air just now." I have read this story somewhere else too and I believe it is a well known story. But the point is Lester used this story (analogy) too. Lester also said that you should drop all the other desires except for the desire for enlightenment/realization.

      Now, my question is, isn't "Desire" not "lack" in this context too? If desire for something is so strong that you attain it, then shouldn't that apply to other things in life? But as mentioned above, in TSM "want" is lack and something that should be released. In that case doesn't it follow we should let go of desire for realization/enlightenment too?

      Hope you understand my confusion!

      Thank you.

      Hey Terym,

      My understanding is that we are actually already realized/enlightened. What stops us from seeing this truth is desire. We want this and that to make us feel complete, which takes us further away from seeing the completeness we already are.

      When we desire realization more than wanting control, aproval, security and oneoness, it allows us to easily drop all these other desires so we can see what we really are, which is enlightenment. We don't become enlightened, "enlightenment" happens. What keeps us from seeing our true nature is our desires for things, which can be trace back down to control, security, seperation and oneness.

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually the word either way doesn't matter. If you haven't got it, you're not there yet and there is resistance within you. There is a two sided coin of wanting and desire, and the opposite side is resistance, that which we desire. If there is no resistance, we just expect it to come about with a sense of knowing, so neither desire or wanting are holding you back. It's the resistance connected to the want or desire that needs to be addressed.

        Rather than getting stuck in wanting verses desire, try holistic releasing, could I allow myself to want this as much as I do / could I allow myself to resist this as much as I do. And. Could I allow myself to desire this as much as I do / could I allow myself to resist this as much as I do.

        Detach on desire / wanting /resisting and you become more open to the possibility of having that which you seek.

        Alex

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you everyone for your reply.
          Before writing further, I want to say that every time I get clear insight from the answers here, I get released. For example, as Canary mentioned I asked about want where Canary gave me a great reply with Coach Susan's quote(s). It became clear to me and I got totally "released" on the matter after that and I no longer hesitate when I feel "I want to" play the piano better (for example). I think "understanding" something gives you (or me at least) release. I'm writing this because I thought I might have given you an impression that I want to understand it just intellectually. But to me understanding it is very practical and that's why I asked this question!

          So wording matters to me to clarify/understand. I'm not a native speaker of English and it might be part of the reason, but I don't think it's just that. In this specific matter, I do sometimes feel very strongly "desire" for realization/enlightenment. But not as "natural" as I reach my hand for water when I'm thirsty. So I would think it is something to be released. But when told like "drop all the desires except for enlightenment then you'll get it," then it sounds like it is encouraged to keep having that kind of "desire" rather than drop it. I think Mangos' reply here is almost exactly what Lester said in the book. If desire for enlightenment has different quality than other desires and doesn't mean lack - since you actually already have it - then maybe desiring for it is encouraged(?). My confusion is the same word is used for it!

          By the way, to clarify, Alex, I am not stuck between want and desire. Unless someone corrects me here, I understand desire and want is the same thing in at least TSM wording. My confusion is using the same word "desire" and for one(enlightenment) it is encouraged to have it and for the others encouraged to drop it.

          Canary, thank you for your detailed reply with your personal experience. I really appreciate it every time. With your examples, I feel it is starting to clear up although not completely yet. At this point it feels like "desire" for enlightenment (and it's another wording issue, but I use it for perfect peace) has different quality or meaning than used for other wants (sorry can't verbalize it accurately...).

          Anyway, thank you all again for your input.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by terrym View Post
            T


            By the way, to clarify, Alex, I am not stuck between want and desire. Unless someone corrects me here, I understand desire and want is the same thing in at least TSM wording. My confusion is using the same word "desire" and for one(enlightenment) it is encouraged to have it and for the others encouraged to drop it.
            It doesn't matter which you use, I want, I desire... if you haven't got it (you wouldn't want or desire it if you have) means you are equally resist having what you want or desire. Go ahead and use either statement and then release to hootlessness. Which is not giving up. it's where you're fine with the fact that it's not here yet and know it will show up if it is what you really need to get ahead. I want, I desire = cue to ask yourself, Could I let go of this? Or at least welcome the wanting or desire. Because if you don't look at it any further, you're resisting.

            Alex

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by terrym View Post
              T


              By the way, to clarify, Alex, I am not stuck between want and desire. Unless someone corrects me here, I understand desire and want is the same thing in at least TSM wording. My confusion is using the same word "desire" and for one(enlightenment) it is encouraged to have it and for the others encouraged to drop it.
              It doesn't matter which you use, I want, I desire... if you haven't got it (you wouldn't want or desire it if you have) means you are equally resist having what you want or desire. Go ahead and use either statement and then release to hootlessness. Which is not giving up. it's where you're fine with the fact that it's not here yet and know it will show up if it is what you really need to get ahead. I want, I desire = cue to ask yourself, Could I let go of this? Or at least welcome the wanting or desire. Because if you don't look at it any further, you're resisting.

              Alex

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi terrym!

                Yes, you release when you think you understand something. That's true for everyone. The mind lets go because it feels it got THE answer. What's ALSO happening is that you feel you got what you wanted. The mind is not as evil as so many folks make it out to be so that's not the point of my present comment. Understanding something has its uses. Right now, for your releasing ease, it would be more useful for you to feel what it's like to want to understand, to want to figure it out. Look inside from the chin down and find where that wanting to understand is located in the body. Notice that too is a feeling. And it has a sensation. Could you welcome the feeling/sensation of wanting to understand? And then see if you could let go of wanting to understand? Welcome what ever answer you got. Even if it's "no".

                See if you can allow the questions to wash over you. Let go of wanting to understand every question or even releasing and just notice the reactions you have to the questions. Really important to answer the questions honestly, not how you want to or how you think you should. So if you get a "no" to a question, WELCOME IT, just let it be "no" for the moment. You will still have a great release even if you get "no" for an answer. You don't have to understand anything in order to have a let go.

                An interesting experiment: Can you let go of wanting to let go? Would you let go of that if you could? When would you do that if you could? Again, just welcome your answers. No is as good as yes in the process. It takes time playing around with the process to see that this is really true. It just doesn't matter what the answer is as long as you just answer the questions honestly.

                Keep playing around with the process and everything will fall into place. An everything will make sense. Even not understanding will start to make sense! I promise.
                Delilah
                www.theaccordcenter.net

                Comment

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