What do you want in your life? The most fundamental question of all the questions. If I could change one thing about the world, it’s that everyone I met would know in detail–in exciting, wide-eyed detail–what they want in their life.
I would go so far as to say that this is the only thing “wrong” with the world. The only thing preventing what we could only call a utopia from descending upon the Earth. The fact that people, by and large, do not know, in any detail, or in any fashion, what they want their life to look like. And thus they do not move in the direction of their desires.
In fact, in a beautiful twist of cunning logic, we have gone so far as to live in a world where many people preach that desire is the root of separation and of evil. Many think that their desires are in fact a problem and do whatever they can to avoid them or make them go away.
The mind reels at the dazzling twists and turns consciousness has created to wrap itself in knots of resistance and confusion.
The Real Deal
Trying to make your desires go away is like trying to get a tree to just move a little bit to the left. Good luck with that one. Your desires are nothing more and nothing less than the physical manifestation of the themes you actually chose to explore in this life. They are your key to salvation. And on an even more fundamental level than that, they are the only way through the maze of maya. Repress them you can not, for eventually they will push through again and again, forcing you to deal with them, to go through them, to learn from them, and then to discard them, on to the next. Until one day, you find yourself doing something like sitting under a bodhi tree, with the only remaining desire to just get to the bottom of the nature of reality once and for all.
Until then, all you can do is follow them where they lead you, no matter how foreign the locale.
Due to the crazy world we live in, it is probably necessary at this point to make certain caveats or explanations, to quell people’s fears about desire. “What if I desire to kill someone?” “What if I desire to hurt other people or steal from them or blah blah blah?” Well, let’s just say two things. The first is, you’re reading the wrong blog if that’s where your mind is at. I’m not the person to help you with that. I write for the ridaz, those people who are focused on living a light-filled life of fun and joy and positivity. So that’s who I’m writing for. The second is that when I talk about desires, it is more synonymous with dreams, and dreams tend to reveal themselves at times and spaces where you are calm and focused on expansion. These are the “true” desires that don’t go come and go with the wind. These desires are going to stick with you throughout your life until you exhaust them through actively pursuing them.
Life is Simple But Hard
Life is fundamentally simple. There is not much to it. Complexity arises in our society because when things become complex, there is a lot of money to be made. All kinds of time-saving devices and services to manage all of the artificial complexity. And artificial it most certainly is.
For when you strip away the nonsense, you basically come down to shelter, food, clothing, relationships, transportation, and passion. Each of these things can be quite simple. You can live in a small house with a few utensils, armed with a small wardrobe, some good friends, a mode of transportation (bonus points for this not involving the complexity-causing automobile), and a hobby/passion/dream that could also be called a “career.”
In fact, when you simplify your life, you also remove the endless distractions that keep you focused on all of your stuff and how to manage it or acquire it or discard of it and thus suck up all of the time you could otherwise be spending focused on figuring out and then pursuing your dreams.
I would posit that the reason we live in an endless sea of stuff is that it is a physical manifestation of self-created confusion and distraction, so that we don’t have to figure out and thus live our dream.
The reason for this is simple. Your dream is fucking scary. Fucking scary as shit. 100% of the time it involves becoming what feels internally like a completely different person that you “could never be.” It involves doing things you don’t know how to do. It requires putting yourself out into the world in ways that are as terrifying as they are foreign. And most of the time, it involves doing this in front of other people. Sucking all the way to the top. Always just outside of your comfort zone. Always raw, always vulnerable. Who wants that? TV dinners and a home in the country sound downright heavenly in comparison. As the Floyd put so well, why not trade
a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage.
If life didn’t have so many mechanisms that force you into your very own walk-on part in the war, I wouldn’t even recommend pursuing your dreams. The shit kinda sucks a lot of the time. You are often insecure, hanging on by a thread to some kind of pipe dream, while others “succeed” around you. Fortunately, the reward is twofold. The first reward is your life. A life of exhiliration, purpose, and meaning.
The Second and Most Important Reason That You Must Follow Your Dreams and Desires
And the second is that when you don’t follow your dreams, you begin the process of stagnating, rotting, and dying. This isn’t conjecture. This is algorithmic algebraic formula.
Life is expansion, death is contraction. When you do not consciously choose to expand, you are unconsciously choosing to contract. This contraction first appears as lowered energy followed by general malaise followed by physical ill-health followed by disease followed by death. Like I said, life is simple–but it’s hard. It’s not easy to be expanding all the time. But shit, it’s not easy being a seed that turns into an oak tree either. As Thaddeus III would say,
It’s a tough tittie, but it’s the only one mama’s got.
So really, at some level, you have no choice. Your dreams will kill you one way or the other. It’s just whether you want to die in a state of grace or decay. And I would say that that’s a pretty simple choice.
In Which We Finally Get to the Passion Thing
I call this one On Passion and not On Desire because the passion is what we’re after, the desire is simply a means to an end. As Bashar would say, ultimately the idea is to
Become passionate about being passionate
but it helps to know what we want as a stepping stone in getting there.
See, the truth is, to verge on redundancy, that shit is hard. Anything really worth doing is going to push you way beyond who you currently think you are. Shit is in fact so hard that the only way to really have the perseverance to stick with a dream is to uncover those really deep down dreams. The ones that keep you up at night and won’t let you go. Those dreams fuel you with such desire and create such passion that you are willing to keep expanding, to keep breathing through the challenges, because you just want it so damn bad.
And when you find one of those, you mine it for all its worth and take it as far as you can and you begin to see real, actual, demonstrable progress and growth in your life. And then, perhaps, the dream changes or fades and you wait around until you find the next dream and then you ride that one. And on it goes. For all of eternity. In this life and the next. And the next and the next. That’s the formula. That’s life in a nutshell. Simple as it sounds, hard as it feels.
How To Find A Desire Worth Having
There are two processes for finding a dream worth having. One is intentional and one is iterative. The intentional process is the Perfect Day game while the iterative one is to begin following your excitement right this second and just run with it until a major dream is revealed, whether that takes seconds or years.
Since all roads lead to iteration, we’ll focus on the iterative version here. The idea is as simple as it is confrontational. You begin by dreaming up what the most exciting thing you could imagine doing right now is and you go do it. Whether that’s take a walk, book a flight, do some pushups, dance around, sit and meditate, watch a movie, whatever, you just go do it. You do that until you again do not not know what to do and then you do the process again. What is the most exciting thing you can imagine doing right now? You keep doing this until your life is one that you can hardly believe due to how amazing it is and then you continue doing this for the rest of your life. You now live in the New Reality on the New Earth. It’s a good place to be.
Quite likely, at some point you are going to find it exciting to do something that is scary to you. That could involve throwing out old things that are “meaningful,” starting or ending a relationship, changing physical location, applying for or quitting a job, beginning a new hobby. The list goes on and on. This is when the rubber meets the road and when the skills of courage and determination and patience begin to seem much more important than they once did.
As you do this, you will find yourself becoming increasingly passionate about everything. About possibility, about dreams, about other people, about life itself. This is as it should be. The only reason you weren’t feeling these things before is because you weren’t actually on the path of your destiny. You were just middling around. Once on the path, everything gets better (and worse, but that’s another story) and life. becomes. simple.
What’s the most exciting thing you can think of doing right now? For me, it’s going to the grocery store for some quinoa and lentils and tempeh and kale, so I’ll check you later…