Let’s consider some information on the subject of desire:
- In Buddhism desire is considered one of the main hindrances to enlightenment
- Wise man once said, “There are two kinds of desire. One kind of desire reinforces the ego and its suffering while the other desire sets the ego aside and dissolves suffering. It is born out of generosity and appreciation.”
- Loa Tzu said, “…rid yourself of desire in order to observe its secrets, but always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.”
- Ram Dass once said, “Give it all up and you can have it all.”
- Abraham-Hicks says, “First fully allow whatever is to just be there. From there create your life and dreams without resistance, no struggle.”
- Deepak Chopra said, “In meditation go into the gap between your thoughts, release your dreams and desires into the gap and then watch how they manifest in your life. This is how you create your life”
While I have no argument with what those 6 fellas believe in, my understanding of how to deal, cope with, or manage Desire is as follows:
From my friends in various 12 step programs and my workshop and coaching clients I have learned that desire can easily become an obsession, and I believe that obsessions are all about trying to control things that are out of our control. I have also learned that the best way to regain control is to let go. To most people letting go of control in order to gain control is illogical, so they refuse to do so… and continue spiraling out of control. I equate letting go to the military practice of strategic retreat, which is withdrawing or disengaging in order to gain time to create a new strategy.
Think of it this way…
If you were in a battle with someone who “outgunned” you – by being bigger, stronger, and faster, you would be well advised to change your strategy. To do something different. And, fleeing might not be an option because your opponent would likely track you down and start the game all over again.
So, what’s to be done?
How about just watching a movie?
Yup. The movie I recommend is When We Were Kings, which is actually a documentary that was released to great acclaim October 25, 1996, and was about the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight boxing championship match between Muhammad Ali (formerly known as Cassius Clay) and George Foreman.
The actual fight was held in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) on October 30, 1974.
The film shows much of the fight itself, particularly Ali’s famous “rope-a-dope”, which was Ali’s “something different” and which caused Foreman to expend too much energy and resulted in his eighth-round knockout. It describes in detail Ali’s repeated use of the “right-hand lead” in the early rounds, a rarely used punch in professional boxing because it opens the boxer up for easy attack, and therefore the punch that Foreman was least prepared for. Ali is shown taking what looks like heavy blows from the hard-throwing Foreman, which are lessened by Ali’s quick reflexes and use of the ropes… and the training strategy whereby Ali’s Trainer had him merely protect his cranium while his sparring partners were allowed to pummel him without any interference.
What is captured on film is Foreman throwing with power while Ali mostly protects his cranium and from time-to-time uses his trademark quick hands to damage the heavyweight champion, and in the eighth round Ali knocks out the exhausted Foreman, regaining the championship taken from him for his refusal to be drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War.
Out of these contemplations it seems clear to me that if a desire feels like craving, yearning or lusting then there is a contracted, grasping energy that struggles and resists the way things are. We are cut off from the fullness and perfection of the moment. But if we are in the complete fullness of the moment and allowing things to be the way they are then we can release an inspired wish for something creative and uplifting, releasing it like a balloon into the sky. Then, if we have truly let go of it without yearning for results then it will manifest in our life.