Excerpt About Desire

Conflicted Desire

So we end up having two forces, two tendencies, two manifestations, in our consciousness and in our experience: giving, open, generous love on one hand, and wanting, desire, passion on the other. And these frequently appear to be in opposition to one another. In fact, most people experience them as conflicting forces. For many individuals and in many spiritual teachings, spirituality means—and spiritual development requires—letting go of wanting, letting go of desire, letting go of the world and embracing the spiritual. Only this, they think, will make them more loving, more compassionate, selfless, and ultimately free. But most human beings have difficulty with that view because to them it means that they have to become some kind of saint: “I’m not sure that becoming free that way is for me. Who wants to be a saint? They don’t have much of a life; they’re always generous, always giving, and do nothing for themselves. Not only don’t you have much of a life, there’s not even a thought of having an erotic life!” We will be exploring how to be passionate and to feel a strong wanting without that desire being in conflict with the selfless kind of tenderness, with generous sweetness. We will come to see that there is such a thing as divine eros and that we can experience it. And we will discover how to be open to that possibility and access that dimension of reality.

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