Yet, it is not in human nature to give up desire. Desire is the intention that has fueled great inventions and works of art. Desire has spurred all intellectual and spiritual growth. We want something better. We want to be better. We want to feel better. And we desire to feel secure in the future. Therefore we take action to accomplish our desires.
In this sense, desire is just part of the Big Picture of constant transformation, expansion, and growth. We don’t need to give it up, because it is built into the system of being human. We only need to give up our attachment to the outcome of our desires. Things may not turn out exactly the way we desired and we cannot control that. Therefore, we suffer and the present moment is something we’ve got to muddle through until our next desires impel us to act.
For example, we want to have a fun-filled family picnic. Then it rains, the flies come out and bite us, the ants consume the food, and the car gets stuck in the mud. We can either suffer through this because our desires were not fulfilled, or we can accept that life is full of surprises and have fun dancing in the rain. Our desire to control the outcome of our actions in a mysterious world is what causes so much psychological suffering.
As we begin to recognize that the results of our desires may not always produce what we were hoping for, we gain emotional maturity. We are able to cope with whatever life manifests and even welcome it. “Bring it on. I want such-and-such, but the Universe, in it’s infinite wisdom, has produced something else. Let me welcome this gift.” Desire is a great springboard into the future but contains the element of dissatisfaction that a keeps us looking for more, and more, and more.
And so, desires are not something to get rid of, but rather intentions that are to be put in their place. It’s great if things work out the way we wanted. Yet we are willing to accept whatever happens and not feel we can control everything through just wanting the results we crave. They dissolve all by themselves as an instrument of suffering and become simply the energy of intention.