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A Thread of Love

Once or twice in your lifetime a spark awaken is you, in your heart.

Sometimes it feels if you are completely empty and sometimes you feel unhappy, without a particular reason.

On other moments it is because of seemingly mondaine reasons.

Maybe you don´t realize, but this is how the spark in your heart awakens in you.

It is the beginning of the soul, the first stap of the revelation of love.

Switch On the Light

Darkness is lack of connection with others.

Like an electrical circuit, whose elements are disconnected, preventing conduction of current.

If we truly desire to connect, that desire will switch on the light.

Handling Desires. Lesson 2, part 2

Old methods

Now that we know that desires generate progress, let’s see how we’ve handled them throughout history. For the most part, we’ve had two ways of manipulating desires: 

1. Turning everything into habits, “taming” de- sires, or harnessing them into a daily routine; 

2. Diminishing and suppressing them. 

Most religions use the first option, “tagging” each act with a reward. To motivate us to do what is considered good, our tutors and those around us reward us with positive feedback whenever we do something “right.” As we grow older, the rewards gradually stop, but our actions have become “tagged” in our minds as rewarding. 

Once we are used to something, it becomes second nature to us. And when we act according to our nature, we always feel comfortable with ourselves. The second way to handle our desires—by diminishing them—is primarily used by Eastern teachings. This approach follows a simple rule: Better to not want, than to want and not have, or in the words of Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC), “Manifest plainness; embrace simplicity; reduce selfishness; have few desires” (The Way of Lao-tzu). 

Old methods no longer work

For many years, it seemed that we were getting by with just these two methods. Although we did not get what we wanted—because of the rule that when you have what you want, you no longer want it—the chase itself was gratifying. Whenever a new desire came along, we believed that this one would surely fulfill our wishes. We were hopeful as long as we kept dreaming; and where there is hope, there is life, even without actually fulfilling those dreams. 

But our desires grew. They have become increasingly hard to satisfy with unfulfilled dreams, with an empty Kli, devoid of the filling it was meant to have. And thus, the two ways—taming desires and diminishing them—are facing a major challenge. When we can’t diminish our desires, we have no choice but to look for a way to satisfy them. In that state, we either abandon the old ways, or somehow combine them with a new way of searching. 

A new desire in town 

We have said that there are four degrees to the will to receive: a) physical desires for food, reproduction, and family; b) wealth; c) power and respect, sometimes separated into two distinct groups; and d) the desire for knowledge. The four degrees are divided into two groups: 1) animal desires, the first degree, are shared by all living creatures; and 2) human desires, degrees two, three, and four, which are uniquely human. The latter group is the one that’s brought us to where we are today. 

But today there is a new desire—the fifth degree in the evolution of the will to receive. This new desire is not just another desire; it is the culmination of all the degrees of desires preceding it. It is not only the most powerful desire, but it contains unique features that differentiate it from all other desires. 

When we talk about the heart, we aren’t referring to the physical heart, but to desires of the first four degrees. But the fifth level of desire is essentially different. It wants satisfaction only from spirituality, not from anything physical. This desire is also the root of the spiritual growth one is destined to experience. For this reason, we call this desire the “point in the heart.” 

The wisdom of the hidden

When the “point in the heart” appears, one begins to shift from wanting worldly pleasures—sex, money, power, and knowledge—to wanting spiritual pleasures. Because this is a new kind of pleasure that we’re seeking, we also need a new method to satisfy it. The method to satisfy the new desire is called “the wisdom of love”. 

To understand this new method, let’s look at the difference between the wisdom of love, whose aim is to fulfill the desire for spirituality, and the methods used to fulfill all other desires. With our “ordinary” desires, we can usually define what we want quite easily. If I want to eat, I look for food; if I want respect, I act in a way that I believe will make people respect me. 

But because I don’t quite know what spirituality is, how can I know what to do to attain it? Because in the beginning, we don’t realize that what we really want is to discover. This desire is so utterly different from anything we’ve ever felt before; it is unclear even to us. This is why the method of discovering and satisfying it is also called “The Wisdom of the Hidden.” 

Correction

As long as all we wanted was food, social status, and—at most, knowledge—we didn’t need The Wisdom of the Hidden. We had no use for it, so it remained hid- den. But its concealment does not mean that it was abandoned. Now this level has appeared, and those who recognize it feel the need for the wisdom of love. To receive pleasure, you must have a vessel for it, a well-defined desire for a very specific pleasure. The appearance of a vesselforces our brains to search for a way to fill it with light. 

We have already said that the will to receive is a Catch-22: when I finally receive what I’ve been looking for, I almost immediately stop wanting it. And of course, without wanting it, I cannot enjoy it. The desire for spirituality comes with its own pre- installed, unique mechanism to avoid this catch. This mechanism is called correction. A desire of the fifth level must first be “coated” with this correction before it can be used efficiently and pleasurably. 

In opposition of nature

The will to receive has been the driving force behind every progress and change in the history of humanity. But the desire to receive has always been one to receive pleasure for self- gratification. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to receive pleasure, the intention to enjoy for self-gratification places us in opposition to nature. Therefore, by wanting to receive for ourselves we are separating ourselves from nature. This is our corruption, the reason for every misfortune and discontentment. 

A correction happens not when we stop receiving, but when we change the reason for which we are receiving, our intention. When we receive for ourselves, it is called “egoism.” When we receive in order to unite with nature, it is called “altruism”.

An example

For example, would you enjoy eating the same food every day for months? Probably not. But this is exactly what babies are required to do. They have no choice in the matter. In fact, the only reason they agree to it is because they don’t know anything else. But surely there is only so much pleasure they can derive from eating, other than filling their empty stomachs. Now, think of the baby’s mother. Imagine her face glowing as she is feeding her child. She is in heaven just watching her child eat healthily. The baby may (at most) be content, but the mother is elated. 

Here’s what happens: Both the mother and the child enjoy the child’s desire for food. But while the child’s focus is on its own stomach, the mother’s pleasure is infinitely greater because of her delight in giving to her baby. Her focus is not on herself, but on her child. 

Uniting with nature

It is the same with nature. If we knew what nature wanted of us, and fulfilled it, we would feel the pleasure of giving. Moreover, we would not feel it on the instinctive level that mothers naturally experience with their babies, but on the spiritual level of our bond with nature. 

The correction we need is to place the right intention over our desires. The reward for making a correction and having an intention is the fulfilment of the last, the greatest of all wishes—the desire for spirituality, for being one with nature. When this desire is fulfilled, one knows the system that controls reality, participates in its making, and eventually receives the keys and sits in the driver’s seat. Such a person will no longer experience life and death the way we do, but will effortlessly and joyfully flow through eternity in a never-ending stream of bliss and wholeness. 

The Evolution of Desires – Lesson 2, part 1

I am an egoist

The statement that human nature is egoistic is unlikely to make any headlines. But because we are naturally egoistic, we are all, without exception, prone to misusing what we know. This need not mean that we will use knowledge to commit a crime. It can express itself in very small, seemingly trifle things, like getting promoted at work when we didn’t deserve it, or taking our best friend’s loved one away from them. 

The real news about egoism is not that human nature is egoistic; it is that I am an egoist. The first time we confront our own egoism is quite a sobering experience. And like any sobering, it is a giant headache. 

There is good reason why our will to receive constantly evolves, and we will touch upon it in a little while. But for now, let’s focus on the role of this evolution in how we acquire knowledge. 

Evolution creates evolution

When a new desire appears, it creates new needs. And when we search for ways to satisfy these needs, we develop and improve our minds. In other words, it is the evolution of the will to receive pleasure that creates evolution. 

A look at human history from the perspective of the evolution of desires shows how these growing desires generated every concept, discovery, and invention. Each innovation, in fact, has been a tool that helps us satisfy the mounting needs and demands our desires create. 

Different levels of desire

Unlike the first level of desires, all other levels are uniquely human and stem from being in a human society. The second level is the desire for wealth; the third is the desire for honor, fame and domination, and the fourth level is the desire for knowledge. 

Happiness or unhappiness, and pleasure or suffering depend on how much we satisfy our needs. But satisfaction requires effort. Actually, we are so pleasure-driven that, we cannot perform even the slightest movement without motivation without somehow benefiting oneself. Moreover, when, for example, if we move our hand from the chair to the table it is because we think that by putting our hand on the table we will receive greater pleasure. If we didn’t think so, we would leave our hand on the chair for the rest of our life.

Egoism is a Catch-22

In the previous chapter; we said that egoism is a Catch-22. In other words, the intensity of the pleasure depends on the intensity of the desire. As satiation increases, desire proportionally decreases. Therefore, when the desire is gone, so is the pleasure. It turns out that to enjoy something, we must not only want it, but keep wanting it, or the pleasure will fade away. 

Moreover, the pleasure is not in the desired object; it’s in the one who wants the pleasure. For example: If I’m crazy about tuna, it doesn’t mean that the tuna has any pleasure within it, but that a pleasure in the “form” of tuna exists in me

Tuna

Ask any tuna if it enjoys its own flesh. I doubt it would answer positively. I might tactlessly ask the tuna, “But why aren’t you enjoying it? When I take a bite of you, it tastes so good… And you have tons of tuna! If I were you, I’d be in Heaven.” 

Of course, we all know this is not a realistic dialogue, and not just because tuna don’t speak English. We instinctively feel that tuna fish can’t enjoy their own flesh, while humans can very much enjoy the taste of tuna. 

Desire is a vessel that wants to be filled

Why this human enjoyment of the taste of tuna? Because we have a desire for it. The reason tuna fish can’t enjoy their own flesh is that they have no desire for it. A specific desire to receive pleasure from a specific object could be referred to as a vessel and to the filling of the vessel as pleasure. When you can build a vessel,a you will receive the filling and to stay fulfilled we have to keep growing our desire. 

The Engine of Change is Desire – Lesson 1, part 1

Plato

Plato once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and he was right. 

The only way we can learn anything is by first wanting to learn it. It’s a very simple formula: when we want something, we do what it takes to get it. We make the time, muster the energy, and develop the necessary skills. It turns out that the engine of change is desire. 

The way our desires evolve both defines and designs the entire history of humanity. As humankind’s desires developed, they urged people to study their environment so they could fulfill their wishes. Unlike minerals, plants, and animals, people constantly evolve. For every generation, and for each person, desires grow stronger and stronger. 

History

This engine of change—desire—is made of five levels, zero through four. About 5,000 years ago, the will to receive was at level zero. Today, as you might have guessed, we are at level four—the most intense level. But in the early days when the will to receive was at level zero, desires were not strong enough to separate us from nature and from each other. In those days, this oneness with nature was the natural way of life. People didn’t know any other way. They didn’t even know that they could be separated from nature, nor did they want to be. 

In fact, in those days, humanity’s communication with nature and with each other flowed so seamlessly, words were not even necessary; instead, people communicated by thought, much like telepathy. It was a time of unity, and the whole of humanity was like a single nation. 

But while still in Mesopotamia, a change occurred: people’s desires started to grow and they became more egoistic. People began to want to change nature and use it for themselves. Instead of wanting to adapt themselves to nature, they began wanting to change nature to fit theirneeds. They grew detached from nature, separated and alienated from it and from each other. Today, many centuries later, we are discovering that this was not a good idea. It simply doesn’t work. 

Wanting to be in control 

Naturally, as people began to place themselves in opposition to their environment and their societies, they no longer related to others as kin and to Nature as home. Hatred replaced love, and people grew apart and became detached from one another. In consequence, the single nation of the ancient world was divided. It first split into two groups that drifted to the east and to the west. The two groups continued to divide and splinter, eventually forming the multitude of nations we have today. 

Ever since that split—when our desires grew from level zero to level one—we have been confronting nature. Instead of correcting the ever-growing egoism to remain as one with nature, we have built a mechanical, technological shield to protect us from it. The initial reason we developed science and technology was to secure our shielded existence away from nature’s elements. It turns out, however, that whether we are aware of it or not, we are actually trying to control nature and take over the driver’s seat. 

Seeking but not finding

The level of egoism in humanity has kept growing, with each level driving us farther away from nature. The distance is not measured in inches or yards; it’s measured in qualities. Nature’s quality is wholeness, connectedness, and giving, but it is only possible to feel it when we share these qualities. If I am self-centered, there is no way I can connect to anything as whole and altruistic as nature. It would be like trying to see another person when we are standing back to back. 

Because we are standing back to back with nature and because we still want to control it, clearly, the more we try, the more frustrated we become. Certainly, we cannot control something we can’t see or even feel. This desire can never be filled unless we make a U-turn, look in the opposite direction. 

Moving to true health and happiness

Many people are already growing tired of technology’s broken promises of wealth, health, and most important, safe tomorrows. Too few people have attained all these today, and even if they did, they cannot be certain they will still have them tomorrow. But the benefit of this state is that it forces us to reexamine our direction and ask, “Is it possible we’ve been treading the wrong path all along?” 

Particularly today, as we acknowledge the crisis and the impasse we are facing, we can openly admit that the path we’ve chosen is a dead-end street. Instead of compensating for our self-centered oppositeness from nature by choosing technology, we should have changed our egoism to altruism, and consequently to unity with nature.

To realize our oppositeness from nature means that we must acknowledge the split that occurred among us (human beings) five thousand years ago. This is called “the recognition of evil.” It is not easy, but it is the first step to true health and happiness.