What is a desire or emotion?
Let’s start perhaps with an abstract question. What is happiness? The happiness everyone is yearning for, which forced Siddhartha to leave his family and palace searching the Path to achieve the true happiness. In Wikipedia we find that happiness is a state of a person which corresponds to the greatest internal satisfaction with conditions of the life, completeness and meaningfulness of life, fulfilling the life purpose. Rephrasing this definition, we receive that the main obstacle to happiness is the dissatisfaction with material or spiritual status in life. How does this feeling originate and why does it occupy our whole life? After all, the moments of happiness are so evanescent. The thing is that we don’t build the form of our happiness. The society does it. Starting from the early childhood the compounds of happiness are being inculcated in our mind. Then a well-debugged mechanism is launched and it doesn’t give us even a minute to comprehend, it automatically drives us from one goal to another, forming our desires. The desires imposed to us from the outside are the true source of sufferings as they don't correspond to our internal essence. People like the actors in the theater that forgot who they really are.
Desire is a skillful tool to manipulate our consciousness. In fact, desires are emotions, because an emotion is our reaction to the outside world. We show this emotion when we want to obtain something. You have probably heard about a Samsara and the six Realms. The Hell Realm, the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – preta, the Animal Realm, the Human Realm, the Realm of Asura and the Realm of Devas (Gods). In the first four Realms desires dominate. Simply put – our cravings. Both Devas and Asuras – demigods - suffer only from the desire of existence as they already possess everything they want.
The source of all desires and emotions is ignorance. Thus the initial ignorance led the Absolute to a desire to be divided, the duality: division into good and bad, right and wrong, craving and disgust. Therefore, we will try to dispel it a little. First of all, ignorance leads to peoples’ blindness to laws of cause-effect relation. That means they do something without understanding the reason of their actions and what future effect it would bring. For example, women wear high heels. But they don’t even realize what for. Will your child or husband love you less without them? Hence in the movie "La Belle Verte" the main character genuinely doesn’t not understand why women wear lipstick as if it would attract love. Goddesses have slender legs and scarlet lips, but imitating them, you will get a bunch of health problems and also to create a karmic precondition for the next birth with a much duller appearance. It happens because of the reality distortion. Figuratively speaking you are taking a loan and sooner or later you will have to repay it. Ignorance doesn’t allow us to comprehend the perfection of the world and ourselves. The Law of Karma is flawless: good deeds lead to happiness while bad ones- to suffering. Ignorance provokes desires and attachments or hatred and aversion. That’s the duality of the perception system. We perceive everything in this world as good if we like it or we want to possess, or as bad and we are trying to avoid it. Besides desire there are two basic emotions - anger (spite) and ignorance (stupidity). These two originate many others, for example:
- Exasperation – long lasting spite
- Rage – when the causes of anger and exasperation become unbearable
- Rancor - lack of love and compassion , contempt for others
- Jealousy is caused by attachment to respect and property
- Deceitfulness – a combination of desire, ignorance and anger
- Hypocrisy – to acquire property and respect you pretend to have qualities that you do not possess; attachment and ignorance
- Immodesty - all three poisons of the mind : ignorance , desire (attachment ) , anger (repulsion)
- Dishonesty - arises in relation to the others – ungratefulness
- Reticence - combination of affection and stupidity, so no one could tell us how to behave
- Greediness - a strong desire to keep one’s possessions
The Buddha said: out of power comes vice; great wealth brings great greed.
- Vanity – a kind of pride - attachment to a good health , beauty, youth and so on – self-admiration
- Disbelief – a sort of ignorance
- Laziness combined with three poisons gives aloofness for performing good actions and avoiding bad
- Obliviousness, unconsciousness, drowsiness, anxiety -imbalance of mind, distraction.
Where do desires and emotions come from?
It seems we personally create and control them, but is it so? Has it happened to you – having said something rashly you then regret or try to hold back, but you can’t stop the offence? As for desires - it seems that you understand that indulging your passion will bring no good, but you still give in. Why one person can’t resist a heavy meal, while another is not concerned about food but can’t hold back emotions. The fact is, as mentioned in a famous movie: “We are not masters of ourselves” - as long as we stay idle, take everything for granted and do not think about our lives.
We live in an era of consumerism. People are double-crossed for mindless waste of energy. There is an opinion that the entire physical world is divided into areas belonging to someone. For example you won’t be able to build a house in the center of Moscow even if you find a space for that. In such manner energy world is also divided. And those energy areas are being controlled by larvaes – spirits who feed upon energy including our emotions. The stronger the emotion, the more and faster the energy drains. The strongest emotion is anger. Few minutes of anger and you are empty. Have you noticed such phenomenon? It will take a little longer to drain the energy on sexual pleasures and engorging. Much more time takes to drain energy on admirations of one’s possessions, status, accumulation of material goods, personal achievements.
Energy moves in our body through the Nadi-channels. There are three main central ducts: Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. They connect at special points of intensity called chakras, there are seven of them. If the Nadi-channels are wide and clean, the energy freely goes up, filling the man entirely just as a bowl filled with water up to the top.
If Nadi-channels are clogged, a person is exposed to mundane desires; energy can’t circulate freely through clogged channels and accumulates in the points before congestion. Excess energy begins to seek its’ a way out: overburden, suddenly appears a desire to do something, go somewhere to dump it. And here come spirits – Larvaes. These are all psychological complexes such as: shame, self-doubt, suspiciousness, tediousness , fear, guilt , etc. These also include all bad habits: smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual perversion, etc. Furthermore these include all predilections that are not harmful but demand a lot of time and energy: collecting (stamps, coins, toys, etc.), a passion for hunting, fishing, sports, and fanaticism in creative or scientific work. Moreover these include all the mental pathologies and neurological disorders associated with obtaining pleasure from the humiliation of others (sadism), persecution mania, pathological liars, megalomania and other pathological obsessive ideas.
Maintaining ignorant, you are feeding your specific larvae every day. And as long as you are giving them your vital energy, they will not harm you, vice versa – they will guard and preserve you. But once you say «No», you will have to collect all the courage and power of will to resist them. They will leave you only if you become “tasteless” for them or your energy level will reach zero-point. What does it mean “become tasteless”? This means living consciously, controlling your attention and thus your live. In such way, it is much harder to seduce a man of a healthy life-style with a bunch of sweets with chemical preservatives than the one that doesn’t think of it. Depending on the chakra where the excess energy is accumulated, or in other words is blocked, the relevant impacts occur:
The first chakra is Muladhara. When Nadi are clogged in legs, a person undergoes states of fear, anger, mistrust, doubt and stupidity. The ones whose energy level doesn’t go higher this chakra always have to find ways of survival.
If Nadi are clogged at Swadhistana chakra, a person experiences sexual desire and the desire to enjoy meals - the so-called gourmets.
If Nadi are narrow or blocked in Manipura chakra area the person experiences greed and attachment to conceptual thinking. He collects property and gets pleasure of owning. Overeating can be the type of draining energy at this chakra but in this case the quality doesn’t matter – quantity prevails.
Nadi blockages around Anahata chakra lead to the exposure of pride, selfishness , conceit , easily falling in love with others. A person has a highly developed understanding of individuality.
If a person has blockages at Vishuddha level there is a tendency for rudeness, lies, quarrel , pride.
If Nadi are clogged near the Ajna chakra , the person has a persistent attachment to conceptual thinking and there is no capacity for overall vision of problems.
All worldly desires are caused by the movement of the impure Prana through clogged Nadi. When Prana moves through the Pingala channel, these desires are manifested externally; when it moves through the Ida channel, desires influence the consciousness and a way of thinking.
When the Nadi channels are purified the desires leave a man. Cleansing the Muladhara chakra will remove anger from a man’s life. Cleansing the Svadhistana chakra will wash away lust. Cleansing the Manipura chakra will free one from greed and material attachments. Cleaning the Anahata chakra releases a person from attachment to family and friends, spreading the love for the whole world. Cleansing the Vishuddha chakra one is freed from envy, backbiting and evil speech. After cleaning the Ajna chakra , the person is released from the constraints of thought patterns, dogmas and theories and can think outside the box entering the intuitive level.
For example, a modern consumer society basically lives at Svadhisthana chakra level. It’s easy to notice: enjoy your life, open relationships, pleasure and fun are at the first place. When such person accumulates energy it would not raise higher than this chakra as there is a congestion in energy channels and they are not further developed. And he is bursting with this energy. He sees some sexual object and drains the energy to this certain larvae which is attached to him like a leech that will leave only after complete energy devastation. At such moment a person feels content and desolated. At this point larvae leaves but it makes comebacks much easier as it once took energy at this manner. Thus, the person becomes a sort of feeder: accumulates energy - drains, accumulates – drains. When suddenly a break-up comes and an object of passion walks away, it will be impossible to drain the energy at this certain point. Energy will accumulate again and again occupy his thoughts. Then he would find new larvae. Maybe he would go and get drunk. And the sad thing is that it is pretty much impossible to control this process. Even advanced yogis do not succeed.
The only effective way is to raise the energy up. The higher it rises, at a slower rate it drains, and thus part of the energy will still remain for practices and self-development. Have you noticed that spiritual people are absolutely detached to comfort, things and goodies. They possess nothing, ask for nothing and are happy with what they have.
But since it’s a long process and we need to take actions now - try to keep track of when you accumulate energy and use it yourself quickly for something good if there is no possibility to lift it up. For example, the energy came to you in the form of money, but you get the idea and donate them for charity - for the development of a healthy lifestyle or to help a good man.
When you feel like eating a ton of sweets – go to the yoga center yoga mat and Pranayama for an hour will help you struggle with this larvae. When you arrive home from a trip to the sacred places - share energy with allies, don’t wait till it takes over and force you do something you will regret about. In other words, we are not able to resist this system while going through our Karma. But we can try to live more efficiently, try to apply the energy for development of other people, give more and thus less and less attach ourselves to desires. They can not be satisfied. You can’t get enough of neither food, nor impressions, nor love, nor power. There are many examples when people (even great ones) went crazy indulging their desires.
“Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.”
Bhagavad Gita 3:19
The fewer attachments we have, the less clinging to this world, the more complete our happiness is. Lots of examples can be found here. Take a look at children - they are happy with little. Can a rich man, burdened with satisfying his addictions, feel this happiness?
Wishes have another dangerous quality - concentrating on something and sending there your energy you ensure the implementation of this into the material world. You will have to go through all your desires, and most likely you will need more than one life for that. In the future you will have to spend energy for fulfilling the wishes of your past. And your desires are the cling that keeps you in Samsara. And now try to remember what you dreamed of when you were a child? Do you still need that toy or candy? The same thing with the soul – evolving it no longer needs old desires, but it is forced to go through them. Have you noticed how difficult it is to get rid of your passions? Perhaps we should now begin to live deliberately, to avoid strong opponents in the future. But don’t go to the extremes: you don’t need cardinal change like spending the rest of the life in the woods. The most important thing is not about what Karma brings you but how you react and handle it.
Regarding emotions - the more you resist them, the stronger they become. So in a difficult situation try to not be involved, be an observer, perceive what is happening as a movie, nothing more. Try to keep track of times when strong emotions appear and watch them. Gradually, these emotions will become like old friends , you will perceive the situation quite differently through the prism of emotions, you will see emotions and events separately. You will not be involved, and hence will not feed them with your energy.
Do not tie yourself with desires and strong emotions, stay calm and aware - that is the basis of happiness - to see things as they are. You are the source of your sorrows and happiness, do not let outside forces to control your life.