I intuited this after looking at a comic that said “What do you do when you have freed yourself of all desire except the desire to be free from desire?”
and BOOM it hit me!
Somewhere along the line, the teachings of the Buddha were mangled on the mistranslated of one word.
It isn’t “freedom from desire” it’s “freedom to desire.”
We don’t suffer because we desire something, we suffer because we don’t want to desire it anymore.
When your body desires sex, most people think “okay how do I satisfy this desire as quickly as possible.” In other words, they are thinking “how do I become free from this desire.”
And such a thinking pattern is the cause of almost all ineffective and destructive behavioral habits.
But, what of the person who let’s their sexual desire build in them and let’s it add vigor and enthusiasm into their life until they fully manifest exactly what their original desire called for.
Such a person would quickly rise to the capacity of a genius, achieve total fulfillment and most probably the highest ecstasy their desire could bring them.
And the same could be said of the desires for
or any other natural desire you could think of…
So go on, long for whatever it is you want, and long for it as hard as you possibly can, because that’s what the Buddha would have taught if his followers accurately dictated his message.
Drink the water..but don’t drink so much as to forget what thirst is like.
One of the goals of Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc is to break away from the bondage’s of concepts. It’s not that desiring status is the bad part, its that you believe in a such thing such as status. This is why we commonly put this as desire leads to suffering these days. We speak English and its a better translation of the meaning.
Desire isn’t the bad part- but desiring a concept with almost always result in fear. It’s like you prefer the map instead of the actual land, so you try absolutely everything to get the people of the mountain on the map to take the place of the real mountain in front of you.
This isn’t to say you cannot grow from concepts. I have a concept of perfection, and I use that to grow, but I can only do this because I am not attached to the concept of perfection. It’s a tool for me. I use it exactly like a map should be used, to get where Im going.
Hold on a second, what?
First of all, nothing you or I can say would make the doctrine more simple or more complicated. We can misunderstand and we can tell lies, but that doesn’t change how things actually are.
As for the simplicity vs complexity thing… well you misunderstood what I said.
It is about simplicity, and you did a great job at explaining that with this thread. Which is what we were saying.
Don’t rush when you read and reply, because that leads to misunderstandings like this.
Every type of personality oppression could lead to sickness. Oppressing the ego too. Lots of moralistic ideologies are unsuitable for society’s standards, but I wouldn’t say they’re wrong or not working when people simply can’t manage themselves to be able to care for each other. Culturally, societies are passive. For a truly healthy mentality everyone would be aggressively striving for the well-being of others. If you think aggression is destructive you must have no potent energy. The oppression of the ego, of the self, of your personality doesn’t come from not receiving because if you have an object of desire you would love, be a friend, could enrich others with knowledge and it won’t happen if you’re oppressed to do so. There can’t be oneness without singleness. It’s embarrassingly simple and the only thing that needs changing is the embarrassment. The only way to fight oppression or self-oppression is by not doing it and if you do, healthy aggression will come naturally to you to sustain you predictably. The trouble is, you won’t have anything if you bite more than you can chew. If you eat something bigger than your head you’ll feel sick. If you think money, fame and wealth will give you less troubles you’ll be surprised to learn you have more of something just so others would. “If you don’t get yours I won’t get mine as well.” Lots of people believe there is something missing in their life only because they’re already fed up. You can’t be happy when your capacity is full.
Here’s another one. “The trouble is, you think you have time.”
This means that no one can be the owner of time, not that there isn’t enough time. If you have desire already, why would you care about time? Nothing wrong with desire, there’s just nothing tempting about having nothing to give. The more you can give, the more it works for your well-being. There’s nothing wrong with Buddhism. :) There’s also nothing wrong with Christianity, Islam and the most savored philosophies. There’s nothing wrong with people always being inferior to their ideals, that’s why they’re called ideals.
I really liked this. You hit the spot on everything. No emotion is inherently good or bad. No thoughts are either. They don’t even belong to us! “Life is bright blue sky. Clouds are thoughts and feelings floating by. You have them but you are not them. Whatever you do, don’t let them have you.”
Sometimes being frustrated is a good thing. You gotta use it the right way. Transcending emotion and thought isn’t getting rid of them, it’s being aware of them, what their purpose is and using them appropriately.
Extremely well said @BeyondEarth
I think the idea that detachment from desires is the way out of suffering is fundamentally wrong. So much so that I don’t think the Buddha ever taught that. I think he taught the exact opposite, that allowing perfect freedom to desire would be the path out of suffering.
Here’s a simple reason why:
When you are fully immersed in a desire you’re actually partially hypnotized to the point where negative thoughts and feelings cannot enter your consciousness. The more intense the desire, the more invulnerable your are to suffering.
The only thought that actually can cause suffering is the thought that “I don’t want to desire this anymore” which is an unnatural thought because all desires are natural desire initially.
Natural desire unlocks energy which allows for and directs action.
The suppression of natural desire prevents energy from flowing and creates “thoughts” by which I mean thought loops, conflicted thinking, and other unproductive mind states.
Desire when fully satisfied disappears entirely.
Desire when partially satisfied persists forever.
The person who has fully satisfied their desire for physical life will be free from the cycle of rebirth.
The person who only partially satisfies this desire will always need to be reborn and likely not in a higher form.
Desire is the path toward God.
Suppression of desire is to run the hamster wheel or even worse.
So after saying this let me tie it together and say:
“You can only be free from your desire once you have freely satisfied your desire”
Therefore, it makes more practical sense to say the path out of suffering begins with the freedom to desire.
I wouldnt say it’s so simple. There are people that would say, “I have the freedom to desire little children.” So in their minds, desiring little children brings them closer to God.
Actually, I just stumbled on a real world issue. Maybe I just explained priests and child molestation with your philosophy?
That’s not a natural desire, that’s a warped desire.
Nobody is born a pedophile.
It isn’t a coincidence that Priests are notoriously known for committing acts of child molestation when the Church mandates that their lives be “free from sexual desire.”
If anything what you said supports my point, if they were free to desire sex like everyone else is, they wouldn’t be doing such warped and horrible things.