The Heart and Soul of Desire

Heart and soul of desire

My earliest encounter with Eastern philosophy came via Hippy culture, in the early 80’s. The take-away message went something like this: “Let go of all attachments. Let go of all desires.”  One cold winter’s eve, I attempted to follow that guidance and be “spiritual” by throwing away a box of photographs and memorabilia from my childhood.  That rash act may have cleared out some space in my closet, but it didn’t do a thing for my enlightenment!  These many years later, my understanding has deepened and become more nuanced. We don’t need to let go of all desires in order to be “spiritually-correct”. In fact, our desires can actually lead us along our spiritual way.

Our hearts’ desires and our souls’ intentions are naturally aligned.  Their shared purpose is to support our evolution and spiritual awakening.  A Course in Miracles describes the “prayer of the heart” and how our hearts know, perhaps better than our minds, what we truly desire. “What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying…The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience.” (A Course in Miracles, Teachers Manual)  For example, your heart may be asking for a deeply connected, loving experience. Your heart isn’t saying “Give me a single professional who loves Salsa dancing and sushi.”

Spiritual teacher, Bentinho Massaro writes: “If you have passionate desires raging within that are not just revolving around protecting yourself, but feel truly inspired, that bear with them a spark of excitement, of joy, of possibilities…then they have a very real purpose. They are a glimpse into your possible future…Let it all out, and act on it with respect and integrity toward your environment and the beings in it…Everything you see is the result of desire. Without desire, there wouldn’t be creation. Thus, even The One, The Absolute, has desires. Why try to be more non-dual than The One?”

The important question is not “Should I have desires?” but “Where is the desire arising from?” Is it coming from ego or from your essence?  The litmus test is this:  Is the desire driven by fear? If so, that’s your ego talking.  The ego is based on separation consciousness, which breeds fear and a belief in lack.  Yet the heart and soul are rooted in your essence, which is love. Your heart and soul know that you are already whole and interconnected with all of life. From that place of love, wholeness, and interconnection spring the profound intentions of your soul and the precious prayers of your heart. What are they whispering to you?

4 Comments

  • Samantha says:

    Its so great to see that this wisdom is being spread! The Dalai Lama himself said that we need desire, as it takes intense desire to walk the Path of Enlightenment! Its can be quite hard work living consciously, after all… If one didn’t have that strong desire to reach their spiritual goals, we wouldn’t get anywhere!

    Thank you so much for this wonderful piece. I really enjoyed reading it and will be sure to share it. 🙂

    • Sajit says:

      Thanks for your comment, Samantha, and I appreciate you sharing this post with your friends. As I look back over the past 30+ years of my spiritual journey, I can see how my ego took hold of various spiritual teachings and then used them to beat myself up. Thoughts like “I shouldn’t have any desires” or “I shouldn’t have judgments” were judgments against myself. That created a lot of frustration and hopelessness. So, here’s to desire and our ability to follow that inner flame as it guides us on the spiritual quest!

  • Carolan says:

    Beautiful article. I am a new fan of you and Eric, Sajit. I am currently taking Eric’s class which, by the way, is the bomb, and I as I read your words I am hopeful that at some point I will encounter you as well. You two have some serious mojo going on, and I am grateful to be on the receving end of it. Many blessings for the love/work you are giving to the world.

    • Sajit says:

      Hi Carolan, thank you for taking the time to make a comment. We are glad that our work is touching you in meaningful ways! Let me know if you ever have a suggestion for a topic you’d like to hear more about. Blessings! Sajit

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