Ah, desire. It is a wily one. Desire can keep us chasing the insatiable dream and preoccupied with the future. Yet, it can fuel accomplishment, fulfillment and contribution as well. Buddhism points to its inherent downside. Indeed, the second of the Four Noble Truths holds that craving, lust and desire are the cause of suffering. How can one ever feel at peace when he or she is continuously striving for more?
Conversely, desire is hailed as an essential driving force of life. Napolean Hill, author of the classic, Think and Grow Rich, calls desire “the starting point of all all achievement.” Desire can prompt us to utilize our talents and live up to our potential. The appetite for answers, love, art, authenticity–even money and fame, have produced gifts from the likes of Thomas Edison, George Lucas and even the outrageously ornamented Lady Gaga. In the words of Jerry Hicks, “Between what you have and what you want lies creative genius.” Indeed, getting in touch with your deepest heart’s desire can serve as a compass, pointing to your inner truth.
In this non-dual world, it is not surprising that both the benefits and detriments of desire are simultaneously in play. While it is crucial that we identify and move towards our longings, we cannot afford to become slaves to them. The trick is holding both our desires and our contentment at once, in a harmonious balance. But is it possible? Can we want it all and be happy with what we have–all at the same time?