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The Power of Desire - Part 1


What is Desire? Let us see! Webster tells us that it is: "The natural longing to possess any seeming good; eager wish to obtain or enjoy," or in its abnormal or degenerate sense:"excessive or morbid longing; lust; appetite. "Desire" is a much-abused term - the public mind has largely identified it with its abnormal or degenerate phase, just mentioned, ignoring its original and true sense. Many use the word in the sense of an unworthy longing or craving, instead of in the true sense of "aspiration," "worthy craving and longing," etc. To call Desire "aspiration" renders it none the less Desire. To apply to it the term "laudable aim and ambition" does not take away from it is character of Desire. There is no sense in endeavoring to escape the fact that Desire is the natural and universal impulse toward action, be the action or good or bad. Without Desire the Will does not spring into action, and nothing is accomplished. Even the highest attainments and aims of the race are possible only when the steam of Will is aroused by the flame and heat of Desire.

Some of the occult teachings are filled with instructions to "kill out desire," and the student is warned to beware of it even in its most insidious and subtle forms, even to the extent of "avoiding even the desire to be desireless ; even desire not to desire. Now this is all nonsense, for if one"wishes", or "wants", or "is inclined", or "thinks best to", or "is pleased to" Kill Out Desire ; in any of these cases he is but manifesting a Desire "not to desire", in spite of his use of other names. What is this "wishing to; wanting to; feeling like; inclination; being pleased to;" and all the rest, but just plain, clear, unadulterated Desire masquerading under some of these names. To proceed to "kill out desire" without "desiring" to do so is like trying to lift oneself by pulling on his own bootstraps. Ridiculus. What is really meant is that the occultist should proceed to kill out the lower desires that he finds within his nature, and also to kill out the "attachment" for things. Regarding this last we would say that all true occultist know that even the best "things" are not good enough to rule and master one; nothing is good enough for the soul to allow itself to be unduly attached to it so that the thing rules the soul instead of the soul mastering the thing. That is what the teachings mean, avoidance of "attachment. "And in this the occult teachers are clearly right. Desire is a frightful master, like fire it sweeps away the supports of the soul, leaving nothing but smoldering ashes. But, also like Fire Desire is a splendid servant and by its harnessed power we are able to generate the steam of the Will and Activity, and to accomplish much in the world. Without proper Desire the world would be without activity. So do not make the mistake of using Desire any more than you would refuse to use fire, but in both cases keep the mastery in your own hands, and avoid allowing the control to pass from you to Desire.

Desire is the motivating force that runs the world; as little as we care to admit it in many cases. Look around you and see the effects of Desire in every human act, good or bad. As a writer has said:"Every deed that we do, good or bad, is prompted by Desire. We are charitable because we Desire to relieve our inner distress at the sight of suffering; or from the Desire of sympathy; or from the Desire to be respected in this world, or to secure a comfortable place in the next. One man is kind because he Desires to be kind, because it gives him satisfaction to be kind; while another man is cruel from precisely the same kind of motive. One man does his duty because he Desires to do it ; he obtains a higher satisfaction from duty well done than he would from the neglecting of it in accordance with some weaker desires. The religious man is religious because his religious desires are stronger than his irreligious ones, because he finds a higher satisfaction in religion than in the pursuits of the worldly minded. The moral man is moral because his moral desires are stronger than his immoral ones.He obtains a greater satisfaction in being moral than in being the contrary. Everything we do is prompted by Desire in some shape or form, high or low. Man cannot be Desireless and act in any way. Desire is the motivating power behind all actions, it is a natural law of life. Everything from the atom to the monad; from the monad to the insect; from the insect to man; from man to Nature, acts and does things by reason of the power and force of Desire, the Animating Motive. "

All the above at the first glance would seem to make of man a mere machine, subject to the power of any stray desire that might happen to come into his mind. But this is far from being so. Man acts not upon EVERY desire, but upon the STRONGEST Desire, or the Average of his Strongest Desires. This Average of Desires is that which constitutes his Nature or Character. And here is where the Mastery of the "I" comes in! Man need not be a slave or creature of his Desires if he will assert his Mastery. He may control, regulate, govern and guide his Desires in any directions that he pleases. Nay, more, he may even CREATE DESIRES by an action of his Will, as we shall see presently. By a knowledge of psychological laws he may neutralize unfavorable Desires, and grow and develop ; yes, practically Create New Desires in their place... all by the power of his Will, aided by the light of his Reason and Judgment. Man is the Master of his Mind.

End of Part 1, Part 2 is comming soon...

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