I pulled the card “Turning In” from my Zen Osho tarot card pack today. It means that when you stop desiring, when you stop thinking and simply observe the mind, then you achieve a certain type of freedom.
But how do you blend the compulsive, lush, richness of the desires of a glorious physically-based life? Should we all just shave our heads and meditate?
Surely there is more to life than stillness and reflection? Like chocolate chip cookies for instance. The enticing crunch of nutty bits combined with the tantalising soft sweetness of the chocolate lumps…
So where do goals, desires, and reflection collide and coexist? And will this help me lose weight?
This is what Osho has to say: “All journeys are outward journeys, there is no inward journey. How can you journey inwards? You are already there, there is no point in going. When going stops, journeying disappears.”
“When going stops, journeying disappears.”
This is either utter brilliance, or complete twaddle. Not helpful, Osho, my man!
So here’s my little crack at the dichotomy between desires and desireless-ness, and whether we want either.
Insight 1: Desires (and their more project oriented cousins, goals) keep us lusting for life, for more, for growth, for adventure, for expansion. Desires = good, juicy living. Yeeha! Keep on filling Santa’s list with those sweet little wishes.
Insight 2: Unfulfilled desires, when yearned for, really suck. Unfulfilled desires = longing, frustration, despair. Attachment to desires creates longing that can be awful and heinous. This happens when we have a subtle shift from thinking, “It would be so fantabulous to own a little seaside mansion to romp around in” to, “If I don’t get that seaside mansion my life is a train wreck.”
Hmm… perhaps that is a little extreme. Let’s try something different. How about,
“It would be fantabulous to double my income.” That somehow morphs into something like, “If I don’t double my income I am a failure.”
It’s the stories and meanings we attach to our desires with the little nasty hooks of, “if…then”, and “when…then” that upset the apple cart on desires. It turns them from tingly fantasies into screeching monkeys nipping our backsides.
Desires in their most potent form are really just appreciation in advance. No attachment, no expectation, no longing. Just eagerness.
Insight 3: There is a role however for ‘desirelessness’, or the ‘turning in’ bit that my Osho card prompts. I think of this as centering, releasing, or just simply being. It’s about changing the frequency of thoughts so they are more fluid, less provocative, more calm.
When you’re in this state you can be more open to whatever IS. And when you’re there you experience peace and freedom. You realise you do not need anything more than this moment. This moment is enough. It is utterly and completely satiating.
And it is only then, in that moment when you are feeling utterly complete, that you are truly ready to allow desires to float in, knowing that they are appreciation in advance, that you don’t need them, that they are there to enhance the is-ness of the moment.
So what do you think? Goals – are they good or bad? What are the pitfalls and the benefits? Are there any other aspects that are worth mentioning?