desire and most of the 7 sins

An object of desire is whatever we would like to have or to ‘be’.
The subject, (s)he who desires, is the person who wants to acquire the object of desire, or already has it, or the person who already ‘is’ it.
Wanting to be something usually has to do with status(job, position,…), fashion or personae(the masks we wear). Wanting to be enlightened is not different in any way.

... an unfulfilled desire for knowledge ... ?

… an unfulfilled desire for knowledge … ?

The possession of the object of desire often leads to being attached to it.
The attachment itself is the source of the fear of losing the object.
Pride is often the initiator of an unhealthy desire. To be proud to be or to have at least as much, and preferably more, than my family or my neighbour or my colleague.

When the object of desire is with someone else, then envy might be the result.

When the object of desire is present, avarice (treasuring, not using and certainly not sharing) or greed (always wanting more of it), or both might be the result. There is also the possibility of addiction (an unhealthy focus on use, becoming abuse, disregarding the integrity of the self). Pride of achievement, acquirement or possession might be another result.

When the object of desire is present but under thread, fear and jealousy possibly followed by anger might be the result.

When the object of desire is lost due to another agent that can be blamed (person, circumstances, …), permanent hate against the agent might be the result.

When the object of desire is lost, anger or sadness might be the result.

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23 thoughts on “desire and most of the 7 sins

  1. Oh how desire and attachment takes us away from the heart of our BEing. So much better to be happy with me, my world, my life and my day…ever on the road and peaceful BEing on it.

  2. We live in an apt. in New York City so it’s the same– a new thing means something old goes out. Our lives are complicated by having a little barn upstate but since we had to rent it out last year we did a huge purge for everything and since we may have to rent it out or sell it we have kept all at a minimum. This complication allows us a piece of nature to escape to and find wondrous things and God so that is why we would like to keep it. I remember the post you did about cleaning out your office and finding drawings of your daughter’s. That is what is hard to throw away.

    Used to be really interested in NDE’s. Still am however a friend rightly pointed out they could be a reaction the brain has to dying– brain chemicals and, thus, prove nothing. What makes me believe are personal experiences with spirits. My own I tend to doubt more since I am Bipolar etc. But my brother, who was a macho cowboy type who thought he had a wacko older sister told me that he was absolutely certain that my dead parents appeared in his truck when he was driving home one night from work. Coming from him that was something and he said they were young again and healthy. My own experience was different– I had a feeling of my father’s spirit literally whooshing by me shortly after he died while I was waiting to go see the body and I knew the exact moment he died though I was at work. And I had a vision of our dog’s spirit going to the white which was all the more believable because the vision was from a dog’s perspective close to the ground.

    I am not attached to having an afterlife despite the above. But I don’t think we get off that easy. And there have been various stories over the years of children knowing places they have never been to and people and languages they have never met or learned. Again could be other things going on. Again have experienced strange affinities to people and places alien to my background. Of course, object relations theory could be at play here– perhaps they have some similarity to things from very early childhood that are similar enough. Hard to know but the feelings are so strong…

    • … finding drawings of your daughter’s …
      there is no need to throw it away, it doesn’t weigh much. But you are right, throwing away the deepest and most cherished memories might be close to impossible. Even if we could throw the material memory, throwing out the memory itself or to stop being attached to it (the reason why we keep the memory in the first place) would be very difficult. The other side of the story is that the person who made these drawings is much more important and available for conversation every day. We don’t need to be reminded of that. That person is not a sweet 5 year old any more with tantrums and narcissist points of view, but a flower finding its way in this crazy world. Viewing those old drawings releases the emotions recorded around those days,and not unlike watching tv, a second hand emotion.

      I used to be very interested in NDE’s from a very early age. 8 year old boys usually don’t get hooked to this kind of literature … think of it, 40 years ago. But right now it is not important any more. Reading second hand experiences only yields belief or disbelief. Two opposing opinions, disconnected from my own experience. I saw what happened when my mother was dying. She told me what she saw. I have had experiences like you talk about. But my mind is disconnected from it now. My mind used to ponder about it in right or wrong terms. Stopping that process stops the belief or the disbelief. There have been and there will be experiences. Mind doesn’t have to formulate an opinion about them to feel and experience what is happening. That is very liberating in itself. To stop the machine turning around in circles.

      There are stories and accounts, and there are experiences, but I know for sure that my mind, all its thoughts and opinions, and all its mental memories, not even my character will survive in an after world. The mask that wants to attach itself to continuation will stop. But whatever is left, and the mind cannot grasp this, will probably continue to be.

      • Yes, an interest in NDE’s at 8 is remarkable! I was always preoccupied with loss and it has only gotten worse. Death actually seemed beautiful to me but not loss. I found out about NDEs and altered states of consciousness in grad school and then became obsessed. Can’t remember much from age 8 but a few years later had a very close relationship with Jesus through Christian Communion. Went to take the host every day before school but was sure I would wind up in Hell. Only reading Yogananda can give me a glimmer of the Christ I used to feel so close.

        How are you so definite the mind does not go on? I am not challenging you– just curious. I don’t know what to think anymore though I fear we reincarnate with the same lessons to learn that we did not learn now.

        • I am afraid that metaphysics is not very accurate, to say the least. Metaphysics is the study of what goes beyond the mind. Mind for me is thoughts, opinions, memory and logic. Emotions can not study the mind. Emotions see mind as cold and calculated, but mind isn’t. Mind is just a tool. An extension to our senses, an interpreter, an analyser. Mind sees what goes beyond it as something great, or as nothing at all. But mind will never know. It will interpret with earth logic and a yard stick, and it can not measure what goes beyond a zillion times.

          Consciousness for me is bigger than mind. Its your body, your emotions, your mind and beyond. I feel, or think, or even intuit that there is more, but I have realized that my mind is never going to really know about that beyond. Like the memory of a dream, very fragmented, devoid of logic and time, the mind builds a story around this experience. The story is often very far away from the original dream.

          Mind also does not understand the body. It is probably some hormonal reaction that makes us fall in love. Mind feels cold about that, and trivializes or minimalizes ‘falling in love’ or it does the opposite and makes it into something divine, because before the hormones race around, there might indeed be some other forces at work that bring people together. Mind doesn’t feel, mind doesn’t intuit, only consciousness does.

          This mind of us interprets feelings, sensations, perceptions and experiences in all the realms. It is a necessary machine.

          The internet is comparable to the mind. But the internet is not the experience of communication, or the experience of knowledge, or the experience of seeing through the eyes of google earth. The internet is the machine that makes all this possible.

          Switch the internet off. What remains? I could still phone you, or use a book or map, but not at an instant.

          When death arrives, switch body and mind off, what remains?
          That is a great question. Nobody knows, All will experience. But mind will not go with us, as this tool is only necessary on earth. Tibetan buddhism talks about something called ‘clear light’, and that might be the same as ‘a soul without a mind’

          So if consciousness goes beyond mind, and if it survives after our end of life on earth, then there is indeed a metaphysics. But why waste our time here thinking about it. Would you waste your time in an afterlife thinking about eating?

          • Thank you so much for your analysis which is very clear and something to keep as a guide as my mind could not produce this clarity and logic. Perhaps your interests at age 8 set you way ahead in your thinking. In any case I appreciate it. I don’t know quite how this fits in with Yogananda’s teachings but in terms of the last line– one of the Self-Realization monks talks of a poor soul in the after-life who gets a momentary desire for pizza and, poof– he finds himself reincarnated in Maya. A joke,of course, but he was talking about desires and reincarnation.

            • I think I have great teachers. You are also one of them. Yogananda is also one of them. The conversations I have online with you and many other mystics and seekers are very inspiring. Many conversations with many people lead to discernment, I think. The rest is self analysis, replaying the tape of something important. Trying to see the sequence of events. Already doing that now for 10 years. Having had one year to experience (2 months) and digest (8 months) a crisis of existence has also led to some important breakthroughs.
              To come back to Yogananda: I never experienced him myself. I don’t know how it would have been to have deep conversations with him, or ask him to teach me kriya yoga. Written words in books, lose a lot of the passion and spirit.

            • It is true that following others online is inspiring. Certainly your posts and photos have inspired me and I regard you as a teacher!! Thanks for saying I am one of your teachers– my Aspieness makes me a little uncomfortable with that but that is my problem. Rumi says “I have one small drop of knowing in my soul.” Rumi certainly had more than one drop. I think we all have at least one drop.
              I have heard Yogananda speak and I think he was a tough teacher but full of heart. His guru was loving but tough on him. His writings exude something for me. Shaktipat. But I sometimes have trouble with them. Wish I could have been in his presence– I think that would have been enlightening. Like you said, he was a great saint.
              Sorry for your crisis of existence. Pema Chodron says pain has its virtues. That will be a future post. But it is so hard to go through our crises. Send you healing.
              P.S. Found out yesterday my aunt has one shot at survival– a surgery today. So some hope and happiness.

    • Thx, actually it’s a great owl, living in captivity, Otherwise it would have been quite difficult to photograph it like this.
      Attachment is a consequence of a fulfilled desire. The more effort it took us to fulfil the desire, the higher our attachment will be. Although we might also already be attached to the path leading to an as yet unfulfilled desire.

      • Thought it was an owl– I took some good shots of an owl at our local zoo, too. They are so mesmerizing and mysterious creatures! Thanks for the distinction you made between attachment and desire. Made perfect sense. Non-attachment seems well high an impossible feat in my case. But one can contemplate the ideas & take baby steps. Anyhow, thanks!

        • There are plenty of things now, that I don’t feel any attachment for. Like children would never give up their toys, there comes an age when they lose interest in them. I’m giving away some (not all) books these days … I thought I would never ever do that …
          So it is not impossible to lose attachments, but losing all of them … probably makes you very different.

          • It does feel good to purge oneself of “things”– material as well as, mental. I have a friend who lives out of a trunk and desires to be alone although he is now living with someone. I admire this about him but do not think of him as enlightened. I am working on clearing my life of things but have a long way to go and live in terror of losing my husband. This is clearly unenlightened! Yogananda says as long as we have desires for Maya we will reincarnate. The very desire will send us back to earth (or perhaps elsewhere) to learn our lessons.

            • I need to stand on the break all the time considering stuff. We live in a relatively small house that is full enough with furniture and stuff. Something new goes in, something old should go out. But it is not easy. Cleaning out my own office room 12m² only took me a month, and I must have thrown away half a ton of paper and other stuff. Another 300kg moved downwards, close to being thrown out, but ‘not yet’ and stored vertically in the garage.
              I don’t think that desire will lead us back to earth. I don’t know much about an afterlife. For a long time NDE stories kept me believing, but I don’t seem to need them any more.
              Moreover, all the things our mind is so attached to in this life will not be taken with us: from those 7 billion people on earth nobody can remember things from a previous past by the physical memory, neither has any of them carried over the previous processor of thoughts and opinions. No human on earth carries his mind over (if anything) and it is exactly the mind that is attached to being transferred from body A to body B. Whether that is in a new incarnation or in an ethereal afterlife.
              All our afterlife stories let us continue our daily treadmill activities, postponing anything to be done to realize ourselves right here right now.

  3. This from p61 of The “Quo Vadis?” File III has a bearing on what is written here:
    Note:- “ments” = my word for “thoughts” (from mental activity).
    Cessation of Karma.
    The fundamental law of physics is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    Karma, literally, means action and action is caused by mental activity or, as I call it, menting.
    The fundamental law of Karma is that for every ment there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    So, every time our mind (moul) generates a ment the opposite is also generated and this continues until we cease to generate ments.
    We cease to generate ments when the mind is finally stilled, when the moul has finally been eliminated, when all attachment is nullified and we have total non-attachment, and all that is left is the Spirit Self – that which was created in the image of the Great Spirit.
    This is the cessation of Karma, the cessation of birth and death.
    This is Buddhahood, this is Christhood!
    Ω

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