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Trying to Control Desire

Published May, 2024

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As we come into contact with this sovereign force, we find there are intersections between the thread of desire and the outline of our preferences. We are a fair-weather friend to desire, offering it our praise when this intersection occurs in a way that fulfills our positive preferences and cursing it as the devil incarnate when it flaunts them. We try to hold on to what we deem “good,” contracting around our narrow and shortsighted sense of “bad.” We contract in a few primary ways.

Manipulating Others

When we move out of relationship with desire itself, we try to control how others respond to our desire. We become focused on outcomes and, as a result,

— instead of being honest about what we want, we use seduction or flattery to obscure the vulnerability of its exposure. —

Alternately, we try to bully or cajole people into fulfilling our desires because we don’t trust gratification comes from being in relationship with desire itself rather than what it would potentially bring. We don’t trust gratification will come with all of the potential outcomes, including not getting what we desire.

desire consciousness

Internal Conflict

When our ideas or conditioning of who we should be collide with who we actually are, we constrict our desire. In the worst-case scenario, our efforts to dam desire succeed, and we experience shutdown, apathy, and desolation. For most of us, eventually, the dam breaks. We violate our “values” to discover our deeper desire, letting go into indulgence and consumption. We can, however, learn to deliberately uncover desire so that we are working in concert with it rather than being a victim to it.

Consequences of Constriction

In the process of constricting against desire, we generate the very detritus that has us mistakenly demonize desire itself; any feeling that is abandoned and unfelt will create residue. The now-orphaned desires we tend to demonize and legislate continue to permeate our consciousness like an itch until we finally tear off the scab. Having pent up our most concentrated desires, tearing off the scab creates a massive release of energy, which leaves us feeling depleted in the aftermath. We go unconscious, unable to accurately observe this pattern within ourselves, and we conclude that the desire itself makes us lazy.

Taboo Impulses

This creates a demonization of the itch: We judge it as being too nuclear and dangerous to work with consciously. The involuntary impulses become taboo. Finally, we decide impulses arising spontaneously will never be appropriate.

— Our demonization of desire is further supported because we have caged it for so long it has become contorted. —

We don’t recognize it in its unnatural form. This leads us to believe the contortions define it instead of realizing its condition is the result of our relationship with it. We have made desire into a shunned, feral animal, locked in a cage and pushed down to the basement of our consciousness. Because it has been denied a home within consciousness, it moves outside us; our projection of it manifests as a force coming at us rather than a power coming from within us.

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Related Sutras:

Sutra 07 | Desire Uses Us

Sutra 14 | Compensations for Desire

Sutra 16 | Fears We Have About Desire

Related Post:

Spiritual Sex: A Feminine Practice

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