Desire is an illness of the soul, and it is a chronic one. Desire always regenerates when you kill it. It’s like going round in circles. You desire something, you go on spending your energy in order to obtain it, and when you finally get what you want, guess what? You’re going to miss that feeling of desire, and you’ll soon find something else to obtain. And this process has been going on for millennia, and mankind has never been actually satisfied. The truth is, desire is like cancer. You can only temporarily cure the symptoms of it, but if the process that caused it’s still active, the cancer will come back. This is why cancer is so difficult to eradicate once it has reached its final stages. Because current treatments are only effective up to a point. As it happens with every disease, you will have to find a cure for desire, or live with it and suffer. But fortunately a cure for desire exists. It is a purification process that you can learn and implement in your life right away. There are three main stages to this cure: appreciation, self-fulfillment and trust.
Stage 1: Appreciation
The first stage is Appreciation. Appreciation is purely materialistic. It relates mainly to the material things that you possess, and will help you to get rid of the first layer of desire, which is the part that appears on the surface. Desire arises when you do not appreciate the things that you have. You feel that you have not enough, and you want more. A faster car, a bigger house, a better job… Then, when you obtain what you want, you soon feel like that is not enough either. You are still not happy, and you go on trying to obtain more and more useless junk.
You have been persuaded by society to think that obtaining more things will fill the void in your soul, but in reality it will only dig a deeper hole in it. A hole that can never be filled. It is a never-ending process, much like a chronic illness. And the more you cover yourself in useless things the more you are escaping from the true you. And someday you will fail in gaining something that you want, or you will lose what you already have. And I guarantee that you will fail, sooner or later. It is inevitable, because failure is part of life, and happens to everyone.
Also, at some point all material things that you have hoarded will be lost, because material things are only temporary. If you chase happiness through hoarding, you are destined to be miserable for the rest of your life. And you have never stopped for a second in your hoarding. You have never paused for a moment just to see how beautiful the sky is. You have never felt grateful to the sun. The sun makes your life possible every day without asking anything in return.
And you have been given the priceless gift of life. Waking up every day, breathing, seeing, hearing, moving… Stop taking your life for granted. Instead, start appreciating every single moment of life that you have been given. One day, when the sun rises you will be grateful for that too. One day you will see the miracle that life is, and you will realize how much time you have wasted accumulating. In fact, you will probably realize that you already have too much, and you will start to get rid of some useless stuff.
You will understand that you don’t really need many material things to be happy. You certainly do need food, water, clothes, and a place to stay. These are prerequisites for life. You may also need some other material things that make your life easier, or more comfortable. Likewise, you will have material things that fill your life with beauty or that can be used to produce emotions, such as musical instruments, books or paintings. And once you have found a balance in your material world, your constant sense of appreciation will help you to keep you from falling back into desire and you will not be a victim of false fears any longer.
Stage 2: Self-fulfillment
The second stage is self-fulfillment. This stage is a little more complex than the first, in the sense that more obstacles are involved that can hamper the healing process. Once you have learned how to truly appreciate material things, you have overcome the first layer of desire, which is the visible part of it. But a more subtle level of desire is still there, underneath the material surface. It is a psycho-emotional kind of desire. You might be able to find balance easily in the materialistic world and get rid of material desires through appreciation, but you will still be craving feelings, such as the feeling of being loved, admired, or respected by others.
This form of desire, much like the mental form of fear, is different from the material form because it can only exist through relationships. If you were to live alone for your entire life, this type of desire would never upsurge. Psycho-emotional desire is also more powerful than material desire, because it seeks a bigger satisfaction for your ego, and thus generates a stronger form of artificial fear when your psycho-emotional needs are unfulfilled.
This is because the ego wants power, and longs to possess people, even more than material things. In fact, the whole purpose of the ego is to reduce people to material things in order to possess them and control them. Hence you desire love, attention, admiration or respect from everyone, so that you can live in the illusion that you have power over people, and your ego can be satisfied.
But it is just an illusion, because ultimately, people are not objects and therefore cannot be controlled. Every illusion is destined to fall part against reality at some point. Hence, sooner or later you will fail in trying to possess people, in the same way as you fail when trying to gain material things. And this time fear will hit you even harder, because emotions are stronger than materiality.
Psycho-emotional desires touch deeper within you, and when these desires are unfulfilled, fear can girdle your mind and corrode your soul. Your emotional circuitry has been hijacked by desire, and you will think that getting people to give you attentions or respect is important. The only way you can disarm this hijacker and take back control is through self-fulfillment.
As simple as it sounds, you have to learn to be enough to yourself. You have to be able to relish your own company, and the emotions that you can create within yourself, alone.
Reading a book, playing an instrument, walking in the nature… so many things that can create joy within you. And it is so beautiful. You can be totally yourself when you are alone. You don’t have to please anyone: you are free to do as you please. You will then realize that you do not need people’s approval or attention at all. Remember: if you depend on others for your happiness you will always be unhappy.
In the same way, when you depend on others for your emotional fulfillment you will always be unfulfilled. It is like being a drug addict. When the buzz of the pill is gone, you will feel miserable, and after you get sober, you will start searching for more and more of that fake feeling, for more and more people to fulfill your emotional void with attentions. Until you reach a breaking point and just fall apart.
Stop chasing others for your fulfillment. Stop being an emotional slave, constantly working for other’s attention and approval. Learn how to fulfill yourself instead. When you are self-fulfilled you will be the master of your own attention for yourself, and you will not work for anyone else’s attention any longer. Gautama the Buddha said: “You, yourself as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”. And only when you have learned to cultivate love and affection within yourself and for yourself, your love and affection for others will be true.
Emotional fulfillment is something extremely personal. It is like a secret garden that you grow within you. You can make your garden full of different colors and fragrances: a beautiful garden that can bring perpetual joy to your life. But this garden needs to be taken care of, every day. Different plants will have different sustenance requirements, so you will have to be very thorough in your caring. Every emotion will be a flower in your secret garden. A lotus flower, a rose, a petunia… and you will have to take care of all of them, including the dark ones.
You will have to nourish the plants of happiness and serenity, but also the plants of sadness and fear. This may sound dangerous, and you might think that it is a little bit crazy. You would think that you should grow positive emotions only. But remember: you will be able to see clearly the colors of happiness only when you see clearly the colors of sadness. You can smell the fragrance of serenity only when you know the fragrance of fear well too.
And you have to be the only one taking care of your own garden. You will learn how to spot the weed of fake emotions, and you will learn how to recognize it and how to pull it up by the root so that it won’t grow back. No one else can, no one else knows better than you how to take care of your own garden. Nor you can take care of other people’s gardens. You are the owner of your own garden only and your emotions are yours and yours only.
So, if everyone makes their own secret garden beautiful, sharing emotions with others will be an amazing experience. You can invite other people in your garden, or you could be invited in somebody else’s garden. You will feel like a king showing his realm to a foreign traveler. Or you will learn of new colors and new fragrances from others. Your soul will be enriched by this sharing experience. You won’t be a beggar of emotions anymore, because you will have a flourishing home full of new blossoms to come back to.
Stage 3: Trust in existence
The final stage of this purification process is trust. This is the deepest of the three phases of the cure for desire, and by far the most significant and fundamental. Once you have taken back control of your material and your emotional world, you are ready to reach the innermost layer of desire: the core of all desires, which is the desire for life itself. It is important that you understand very well the nature of this type of desire, because chances are that you will misunderstand me.
Truly, it is inevitable that you will misunderstand me, because the more we enter the spiritual world, the more language becomes superfluous and confusing. But remember: when I use the word “life”, I am simply talking about the energy, the vital force that all sentient beings possess. I am not including a biological or philosophical significance whatsoever. Do not get drawn into the word “life” itself or its connotation, or an image that you associate with it. This will minimize any misunderstanding, and you will follow the healing process smoothly.
Once you are in harmony with your material and emotional spheres, you will start your journey into spirituality. Really, there is no other way to be truly spiritual. You have to sort out your mess in the material and emotional world first. Once this happens, your spirit will naturally start a process of awakening. It has been dormant all these years, but as soon as you clear your body and mind from all the garbage that society has thrown into you, you will start to become more sensitive.
It is a natural process, but it can only unfold once your body and mind are in harmony. This is because everyone has the potential to awaken naturally, but the spirit is buried so deep in the garbage that never got the chance to see the light and rise. When your body and mind are in harmony, your spirit will start to manifest, and you will then see life with different eyes. The gift of life will finally start to become clear to you. This is when you start to wonder what happens after death. Will this amazing gift be taken away?
It is a good thing when you are starting to ask these fundamental questions. Most people never really ask this question – what happens after death? – deep down in their hearts. Perhaps because they are scared of the answer. This is why mankind has created organized religion. To find comfort for the questions that cannot be answered. To engineer a “bogus” answer to those questions, which could then be used by certain elites to control people through fear and manipulation.
However, as far the question “what happens after death” is concerned, there is no need to worry. Also because, there isn’t a real answer really, so there is no need to become preoccupied with this question either! Nothing happens after death simply because you’ve always been alive, and you will always be. Nothing happens, and you just have to let go and trust the process.
So while asking this question is certainly a sign that you’re becoming a spiritual person, you will soon realize that he question is irrelevant as long as you are grateful to the existence. It’s not a question of what happens after death, but of what happens before death. How can you possibly think that life comes to an end just because your body and your mind perish? Life itself has a form and and essence which, much like anything else on Earth, cannot simply be destroyed and dematerialized, but rather undergoes a continuous transformation.
Fear of losing life, which is the ultimate kind of desire, has some kind of primal connotation. It is in a way similar to a primordial type of fear, a self-preservation instinct, which is inexplicable and animal-like, but at the same time powerful and deeply spiritual. It’s almost as by reaching the final stage of your process towards the cure for desire you are going back to the your original self.
You are however returning to your inner, primal core, after having experienced a profound healing of your material and emotional sphere in stage 1 and 2. You are now touching your deepest corner, in a softer, familiar way, as if you are now more accustomed to your own spirituality. Your touch has a different quality, and releases infinite kindness and forgiveness onto yourself.
By forgiving yourself for being naturally attached to the gift of life you will gain trust into existence, and you will be capable of escaping the trap of desire. This can only happen through forgiveness and gratefulness. Nothing needs to be prohibited or condemned. No battle against desire needs to be fought. Just a little awareness of what’s really going on at each of the three layers of desire. Desire is fueled by fear, and fear creates more desire.
Set out on a journey to meet your material, emotional and inner fear. Remember that only the innermost type of fear is the truest and the purest. And when you are finally able to see it for what it is, your false fears will dissolve like snow at the first morning sun, and your cure for desire will finally kick in.