In this week’s lectures, Ram Dass said, “We can’t make-believe we are not westerners and don’t have desires.”
In fact, the Vedas tell us that the Soul is born with four desires – Dharma (purpose), Artha (the means to fulfill our purpose), Kama (the desire for pleasure and enjoyment), and Moksha (liberation). And that it was desire that initiated the creation of the universe itself.
What are some of your typical desires? Can you track their origin? Culture, upbringing, soul? Does it matter where they came from? What can we do with them so they will help us become free? What attitudes might help ?
The further along I get both with studying the curriculums of Ram Dass and Alan…of studying any form of spirituality… in addition to simply the closer I get to my mid-30’s, the more desire is becoming about the results of the specific things I long for in a heart-forward fashion, than it is about the object of desire. I’m starting to glimpse the inherent and profound spiritual truths that apparently lie dormant in the frameworks of the very conventions of our secular culture here in America, our American Pie.
I have a guitar pedal that is supposed to arrive in the mail today…it’s more of a whole guitar-sound system; it’s one of those monolithic pieces of equipment that is as all-encompassing as the instrument itself, and it, in so many words, is an Infinity machine; I can make my guitar into a piano with it (which is absurd). There are 100 different levels I could be thinking about the machine and it’s intersection with one of my favorite hobbies…but where my brain spontaneously has been at with it all is the notion of gathering people and creating a scene/throwing a few public events (concerts)…of doing the very same thing the regional rockstars did for me when I was but 10 years younger, showing up, being that source of inspiration, and also creating an opportunity or two for the next generation on the come up…because that’s essentially the only people who go to concerts where I’m at (lol)…aside from the captive dinner crowds booking agents snag…
Working these paths has a very real and meaningful impact over how desire spontaneously intersects the individual. The most important thing that can be said about both society or spirituality…it’s a rule of Transcendentalism… is that it works if you work it.
To put it simply, money. In our society money brings safety. Living pay check to paycheck in a multigenerational home, it’s the thing I think about on a daily basis: how to make more, what I need to spend on, what spending can wait until later, what new emergency I have to figure out how to pay for. I live in a working class neighborhood so it’s also the main topic of conversation. A lot of fundraising going on for different families with emergencies. It’s the central stressor and the solution to a lot of the day to day problems.
My family lineage is poverty on both sides. Like, my parents got their first pair of shoes in their preteen years. My dad was able to buy the house we live in at 60 years old. He supported his parents and grandparents financially. Now he helps support me financially in that we live together. I think a lot of my shame and resentment with money stems from not being able to do better than the previous generations despite doing the “right” things.
I identify with these headings in a major way. Dharma (purpose) and Artha (the means to fulfil our purpose) are major drivers for me and a large reason I’m doing this course and have been working through Alan Watts and Ram Dass over the past six months. In particular that I have discovered my purpose is to awaken and also to use my experiences to help others via coaching.
Kama (the desire for pleasure and enjoyment) is also a massive one for me and I have loads of desires under this heading. Too many to list in fact but I’m definitely a sucker for yummy food and qualioty wine. 'm working on these and wanting to become more conscious about them.
Finally Moksha (liberation) is absolutely critical to me. This is the journey we are all on to become free spiritually. In addition, I don’t handle well any restriction put on me especially financial restrictions or freedom to pursue my chosen line of work, freedom to socialise, freedom of speech.
Sorry to be so longwinded. X