My Desire to Become Desireless

In almost all spiritual traditions, desire is seen as an impediment to happiness, the cause of suffering and illusion. Giving up desire is extolled to such a degree; it feels that enlightenment is nothing but achieving the state of desirelessness. But not wanting any desires, isn’t that a desire in itself?

I desire to become desireless. Isn’t this the grandest desire?

Every desire has a reward at the end of it. So ultimately, my being desireless equates to this: I tried fulfilling myself with desire, but since that didn’t work out, let me see if I can fulfill myself with desirelessness.

Take the example of Clare (name changed). Clare has been frustrated, miserable and unhappy with her material way of life. But she goes to an enlightened wise master who promises a state wherein there is peace, bliss and all her problems will finally melt away. To top it all that state is permanent. So she now desires to reach that state, the ending of all problems, the state of enlightenment or Nirvana.  To reach this state, she has to practice being desireless, as desire is the root of all suffering. And therein lies the trap.

desirelessness

 

It would be ironic if it wasn’t tragic enough to have kept seekers running in circles for years. Wanting a particular state of mind, be it desireless or becoming insanely rich, amounts to the same thing, moving away from what is. It’s an escape into a fantasy land. Every want is a movement from what is to what can be. Acceptance of the now and understanding that you are pure awareness can open the doors to profound wisdom and bliss.

I struggled with the concept of desirelessness for many years, trying to live a basic life, denying myself simple pleasures, hoping to find the ultimate state of enlightenment. Then one day, it suddenly dawned on me.

Desire has to be understood. Not shunned. Not repressed.

You have to be aware of it, without acceptance or rejection.  The silent observation of desire is like an explosion into eternity. Life is in the here and now. I was looking too far away, into the non-existent realms of desirelessness. In that very moment the conditioning of years came crumbing down. There was no more wanting to be desireless and no more wanting desires. With understanding comes peace.

Life is simple now. The division between “a better future” and present has dissolved. The present is the “blissful enlightened future” I was looking for. In this wonderful present awareness everything dissolves and only silence remains.

10 thoughts on “My Desire to Become Desireless”

  1. ANBUKKARASI MANOHARAN

    Every word is true. I too am leading the simplest life possible without entertaining any desire and its fulfillment. What you said is correct. Desire has to be understood. Not shunned. Not repressed.You have to be aware of it, without acceptance or rejection.

    I am eating only the basic food, keeping only minimum possessions but find full satisfaction in the way I lead my life fully content. The desire to be a Self Realised person and its achievement itself is enough for this life time.

    1. Anbukkarasi, leading a simple life in itself is beautiful. Your contentment is the direct result of your understanding your desires.

  2. “Desire is a want or something which we are seeking”.

    We as human beings have never ending desires. The mothers desire is always to keep her family happy. The rich people wanting more and more, the scientist in the research lab inventing and researching more and more things. Ministers, lawyers, doctors, CEOs, the middle class and the poor people, all are trapped in the cycle of Desire.

    What will happen to this desire of ours when we die? All burnt to Ashes.

    I think desire should be limited. Unhappiness is the result of desire and attachment to material things. A person can only be happy if he or she understands how to stop the desire, and that cessation will ultimately lead to what I call meditation, which can be seen in a real spiritual person

  3. I agree with all of you. First we have to understand where we are standing. When we will understand that we are walking on wrong path then only we can find or we’ll search the right path and we’ll get the right path only by meditation.

  4. Desiring not to desire itself is a desire, this conflict of desiring or not to desire is never ending. It is the result of the lack of knowledge of the purpose of life that people fall into this trap. the purpose could be well understood if you read the book “Laws of Spirit World” by Khorshed Bhavnagiri. Once you know it trust me you will have a stoical approach towards life & can free yourself from the trap of material desires.

  5. Physical body or desire are in fact synonymous. If we are body centric or psyche centric desires are attached to our mind .shift to higher realm of mind day in day out.then you need not leave desire at all but desires leave you. For this the way is keep observing the mind .

  6. I totally agree with you. The whole spiritual path is filled with advice of becoming “desireless”. You have brought great clarity to this and I can now understand how this can also be a trap on the spiritual path. I have been reading J krishnamurti for some time now and I think investigating and understanding desires is the only way out. Thank you again for this beautiful article!

  7. Krishnamurti_thoughts

    Jiddu Krishnamurti has said something very similar, and I love how you have captured the essence of it. There is a difference between the desire to abandon one’s self itself and the desire to become one with oneself in every moment of one’s life. The former must be accompanied by knowledge of the principle of non-selfhood.

  8. To desire to be desireless is a desire in itself…. maybe like a dog chasing it’s tail? Maybe instead to to just be.

    Jude

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