Excerpt About Desire

Desire as Negative Merging Affect

Another of Buddha’s insights is that desire is suffering. A superficial understanding of this deep truth can inspire seekers to undertake all kinds of renunciations and deprivations in the guise of spiritual discipline. Desire is the expression of undischarged tension; this is, in fact, the usual understanding of desire. However, when we study the feeling of desire itself we find out that it is pure negative merging affect. When desire is a result of a real need, like hunger, then its tension can easily be discharged by the adult individual. But when it is tied up with past experience, it is the expression of a chronic undischarged tension, which again is negative-merging affect. One can experience this directly in states of expanded awareness.

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