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Desire


tariki
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How do others here see "desire"?

I'm reading a book at the moment (having fallen away from my attempt to restrict myself to just two books at a time.....😊) that is about the subject "desire" as it is found in early Buddhism, in the Theravada Canon. One startling fact was that the word "desire" as found in various translations of the Theravada texts has actually 17 different Pali source words! Astonishing!

But anyway. Desire. Good or bad? How does it differ from "willing" - if at all. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, tariki said:

How do others here see "desire"?

I'm reading a book at the moment (having fallen away from my attempt to restrict myself to just two books at a time.....😊) that is about the subject "desire" as it is found in early Buddhism, in the Theravada Canon. One startling fact was that the word "desire" as found in various translations of the Theravada texts has actually 17 different Pali source words! Astonishing!

But anyway. Desire. Good or bad? How does it differ from "willing" - if at all. 

Well, I see the word used to express that somebody really wants something.  I think we use the word to emphasize a greater 'willingness' to want the thing (e.g. he desires a very expensive car one day), rather than just to explain the more mundane things one is prepared to do (e.g. I am willing to go and check the letterbox but it's not really what I would call a 'desire').

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Thanks Paul. I find everything that relates to "desire" very problematic. It seems to get right down to brass tacks as far as our relationship to the world is concerned. 

That guy Merton (!) speaks of the return to innocence (the reversal of the Fall) as being the end of all willing/desire, a state where the good and the true follow spontaneously from our own "being". This in contrast to our self-conscious efforts to do the "good". There is implied a switch over of our consciousness. Sanctification?Enlightenment?

In Buddhism, the Dharma, "desire" (Pali "Tanha", referring to "thirst, desire, longing, greed" and more) is seen as the cause of "suffering" (dukkha) and it is often asked if the desire to end suffering is therefore in some sense self-defeating. It all gets rather messy, bringing in Grace and Not-Self (Pali "anatta") as the Interfaith Forums heat over!

As one bhikkhu (monk) has said, "at the moment of emancipation effort falls away, having reached the end of its scope."

 

I think "letting go" entirely has much to support it, especially for a couch potato like myself.

 

😊

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Funnily enough, I see this related to free will. No surprise.

I posted this before ... Will – rom's corner (home.blog)

Desire is an aspect of our will. Just be aware that we have them and try and get a sense of where our desires come from ... similar to our 'aversions'. Letting go of our desires is a little bit like letting go of our egos.  Somehow we want "better" and not being content with where we are now.

A desire to rid ourselves of desire.

Edited by romansh
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21 hours ago, tariki said:

Thanks Paul. I find everything that relates to "desire" very problematic. It seems to get right down to brass tacks as far as our relationship to the world is concerned. 

That guy Merton (!) speaks of the return to innocence (the reversal of the Fall) as being the end of all willing/desire, a state where the good and the true follow spontaneously from our own "being". This in contrast to our self-conscious efforts to do the "good". There is implied a switch over of our consciousness. Sanctification?Enlightenment?

In Buddhism, the Dharma, "desire" (Pali "Tanha", referring to "thirst, desire, longing, greed" and more) is seen as the cause of "suffering" (dukkha) and it is often asked if the desire to end suffering is therefore in some sense self-defeating. It all gets rather messy, bringing in Grace and Not-Self (Pali "anatta") as the Interfaith Forums heat over!

As one bhikkhu (monk) has said, "at the moment of emancipation effort falls away, having reached the end of its scope."

 

I think "letting go" entirely has much to support it, especially for a couch potato like myself.

 

😊

It seems to me that none of the above comes naturally (i.e. without effort), so presumably one 'desires' to get to this point?

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2 hours ago, PaulS said:

It seems to me that none of the above comes naturally (i.e. without effort)....

Yes, much the point. If "enlightenment" (whatever we want to call it) is the bottom line, then what is the scope of effort? What is given, what is earned. If "earned" in any way, what of "grace"?

Some Christian sects assert that God arbitrarily elects some to salvation. Pure undiluted grace. And heaven help those not so elected! No arguments. God does what He wants (always a great big HE in this context and for those sects - the mere thought of a She, a mother, and that whole line of thought becomes more and more absurd)

Then you have the lines from "Amazing Grace", "twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved". Hearing such, I've always thought......" Hey, why not cut out the middleman" and save a lot of bother? In fact, save any "creation" at all, any vale of tears. Simply decree a state of misery and one of joy and throw sufficient numbers in each. Then shut the doors and look for your next project. 

Dogen, the zen master, was troubled by the Mahayana teaching of "Original Enlightenment". If we are all born in such a state, why did past masters study the scriptures so assiduously? Why did they study at all? Why did the Buddha keep meditating after his own enlightenment? "Out of compassion for the world" he said. Suffering. We suffer, no matter the conundrums created by our feeble attempts at logic. 

But, "cutting out the middleman". Why is there a middleman? Why anything at all? I think we can dispense with logic. It was never my strong point anyway.

Koans:-

Why is a cat when it spins?

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

A clearly enlightened person falls into the well. How is this so?

Just as I have thought that the entire Bible is a form of Roschach Test, I see the Cosmos, Reality-as-is, as a giant Koan. Reality is beyond logic, yet what we see is what we get, which has its own strange logic, even ethics if we want to push it (but not too far) "We are what we understand" as Dogen said. Nothing in the entire universe is hidden, nothing is concealed. The present moment is the only moment, present "practice" is all, yet there is a movement toward Buddha. A deepening intimacy. Reality will always reveal more as it forever unfolds into novelty. 

Sorry, I am waffling. Rambling. I genuinely never meant to write so much, but I sit in McDonalds with my white coffee (just £1.29, what a bargain) and already I feel some of my morning blues evaporating. Therapeutic. 

 "Then, there is no suffering?" "That there is suffering, this I know"

Be kind. Love everything. 

(Oh, I am progressing with Thomas Mann's "Joseph and his Brothers". I would recommend it. Heavy going yet in a strange way, quite light. I just wish the font was larger)

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