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Compensations for Desire

Published May, 2024

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A gap forms in our consciousness when we lack intimacy between ourselves and our desire. We find ourselves unplugged from our power source. In the same way the loss of a limb gives rise to a phantom, we will manufacture desire substitutes to fill the space. Unlike true desire, these decoys are no threat to our deeper identity as they are concretized rather than dynamic truths. They allow us to maintain our vanity—not just looking good but looking great! True desire would naturally reduce us to humble vulnerability. The following is an exploration of some of the common ways we compensate for disconnected desire.

Pride and Ego

— With pride, we make courageous, benevolent, or compassionate gestures fueled by spiritual hubris rather than true desire. —

The result? Instead of being infused with truth and wholeness, the ego becomes inflated, rooted in a legalism that keeps it safe rather than immersing it in the desire-based waters that would lead it to a much-needed reduction/dissolution. There is also a tendency toward insatiability. Because we deem various aspects of what desire is asking for as unacceptable, we deny and cut ourselves off from those expressions. But the energy of desire must go somewhere. When we shun that energy, it ends up fueling whatever vestiges of desire remain inside us far more than is beneficial, as in the experience of binge eating.

conscious intimacy

Insatiability and Fixation

We can become unsatisfiable. Objects seem to have the power to keep us chasing them. Insatiability cannot operate in the face of intimacy with our desire—the connection itself creates satisfaction as it is felt, met, and allowed. We may have a fixation with signifiers. We can become confused between the signifiers of desire and desire itself. Desire is dynamic so it prevents fixation. But it may be we become fixated with the objects desire brings into our awareness to the point that we exit the flow of desire and begin holding on to objects.

Dynamic Tension

We need to develop the capacity to remain in a state of having and wanting concurrently. Consciousness is perfectly taut in this place where the interior self is reaching for more sensation and absorbing what is here. If the wanting is too great, you get anxiety. If the having is too great, you get lethargy. This is where the Erotic artist aims to live. It’s how you release inexhaustible energy the way a perfectly taut rubber band has the most vitalized molecules. Both the habit of having and the habit of wanting can bring us out of the flow of desire, but when we hold both concurrently, we remain in that dynamic tension that confers the sensation of aliveness.

Sensory Training

Then there is the inclination for pumping. Oddly, as a result of lack of training of our senses to perceive the abundance that is always present, we switch into the habitual mind that must progressively increase impact in order to feel.

— In this state, we demand more from our instincts—our drives for security, connection, sex, safety, and nourishment—than they can offer, and as a result, we deplete them. —

For example, if we don’t feel the dynamic tension of creativity, we may self-soothe through eating. If we are avoiding the shaky alive truth of what needs to be said, we might resort to heavy-pressure sex.

Problem-Solving Fixation

Last, there is that old chestnut of fixing problems. Instead of tuning into desire, we derive our happiness and worth through problem-solving, thinking we have to earn our belonging. Instead of rooting in our worth and investing there, we chase problem-solving as a way of trying to prove it.We may even perpetuate the brokenness of ourselves or others as something to fix, because it protects what will ultimately turn out to be a hollow sense of self-worth.

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Related Sutras:

Sutra 13 | Duty and Desire

Sutra 16 | Fears We Have About Desire

Sutra 17 | Trying to Control Desire

Related Post:

Spiritual Sex: A Consciousness Practice

What is Feminine Spirituality and the meaning of Divine Feminine Energy?

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