Monday, July 03, 2006

Zen and Desire

Not too long ago someone stated that true happiness came from the absence of desire, and attributed the idea to Buddhism. I can't see that.

All of the things that drive me stem from desire: I want my family to be happy, and I want success in writing as it's all I've ever really wanted to do. What I want keeps me looking forward, and makes me eager to get home at the end of the day. It vexes me at the same time, but I'd rather have frustration and longing than nothing.

And I hear Morgan Freeman's voice in the last lines of The Shawshank Redemption, "...I hope. I hope."

And the alternative is withering:

"I feel the autumn fail - all that slow fire
denied in me, who has denied desire."
from "The Sequel" by Theodore Roethke


Bernita said...

Well put...and a beautiful quote.

Cynthia Bronco said...

and then there's this:
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms”
--T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”

Bernita said...

I am excessively fond of Eliot.

kenguru22 said...

:"be you angels ?"
:"NO, we are , but men ...rock !
aaaaah !"

MTV said...

Zen and desire. The understanding of this transcends human thought. Desire is a "good" thing for it impels you onward as you suggest. It's your relation to desire that is most significant. Don't believe in your desire for it offers you nothing. It is just desire. It is the journey, with desire as the ultimate empowering energy which is significant.

When I say don't believe in desire, don't believe in its promise. If I am published then I will be happy. No ... if you are published ... then you will be published. If I have a million dollars then I'll be okay. If you have a million dollars then you will have a million dollars. Don't let the end-point of desire form the condition of your happiness. Let it be the driver that allows you to achieve an end point.

Ultimately the end-point is meaningless. You'll have a high for a few days, then begin asking, "What's next." Otherwise your life will become flat and you will begin to fade from this existence.

As soon as the desire becomes extinguished, a new desire must arise, for that is the nature of duality. That is the nature of the life we live in this realm. It is wise to accept this.

Desire becomes transcended when in its very seeds the knowledge exists that it is irrelevant and yet at the same time fully relevant.

Albert Einstein said discovery happens when two opposing things appear to be true at the same time.

And in the words of "Forest Gump" 'and that's what I have to say about that!'