Desire seems to be the cornerstone of society, whether we are embracing it and buying things we do not need, just because we want them in the moment, or we feel compelled to strip all desires from our psyche. In my religious upbringing, my only desire was supposed to be to serve God by becoming a wife, mother, and homemaker. Since this decree was far from what I truly desired, I was leery of what the first section in the new chapter was going to tell me about what I should desire to be happy.
The first section of lesson four advises me to think of myself like an ocean wave. I am not the cause of my existence but the effect. My birth was supposed to have been caused by a sea of love, and now it appears that I am separate because I believe that I am a single wave. The analogy was a fun though, but I wanted to know what my desires are supposed to be. The text assures me I
According to the section I have an identity problem. It even suggests that when anyone asks, I should respond:
“Who am I? I am the extension of Love in form. I have never been born and I will never taste death. I am infinite and eternal. I shine forth as a sunbeam to the sun. I am the effect of God’s Love. And I stand before you to love you.”
I’m certain that I will not be responding like this anytime soon because I appreciate being regarded as sane. I read on to the next section: Desire is everything.
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Another analogy is delivered to help me understand what life is about. I should imagine that I see my life like a movie where everyone is an actor, and I am the director and producer. Each stage I made choices that stemmed from an underlining desire. The text goes on to explain that all creations flow from desire. That seemed axiomatic so I continued. It appears that I either allow or block my desires because of fear. This fear comes from the belief that I may be seen as a sinner, or that I think a desire is evil. I can believe that since there are all kinds of rules for the appropriate cravings in society, as a woman, daughter, and citizen. Further on the text requests me to allow all my desires because that is what love and creation are, expansion. The end of the section takes an odd turn for me when it advocates that I release all relationships which would distract me from my source swearing the only relationship which matters is one with God. With a sinking feeling in my stomach, I continued to the next section: Releasing judgment of desire.
The section opens with an exercise by asking:
“What do I want right now?”
The text offers a myriad of things I could want including taboo wishes. I am warned that if I judge the desire, then my emotions will be in an terrible knot. That made sense, and I read about why I may be denying desires. It was not very flattering to religious figures, and then ended with the question:
“Have you ever had that feeling that you are putting more energy into staying constricted than you are into allowing expansion?”
I could relate to denying myself, things or experiences and the feeling of littleness that it brings. The next unit seemed to be leading to the answer I asked in the beginning. What am I supposed to want?
Desire links you to the will of God. Nervously, I proceeded to read that I should allow whatever thought crosses my mind to be and pass by without judgment. Apparently every thought I disallow reminds me that I believe that God and I are separate. I might not necessarily to act on the thoughts, but I should register them as just a thought unless compelled by an inner guide to take action. Then I receive the invitation to ask myself again what I truly want despite what anyone my think of me. As the images pass by in my mind, I should to notice what I approve of and what I want to judge. The text explains that desire is my direct connection to source, and that I should trust whatever my heart desires. That was a perfect introduction to the next section: An exercise in trusting desire.
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The exercise begins by asking me to induce a meditative state for ten to fifteen minutes. I can place my hand over my heart and ask, what do I truly want? I must then write down any images, feelings, or wants in a journal. After seven days of this exercise, I should look for similarities in the journal entries and there will be my current life calling. My calling seemed to be traveling the world and playing. The text further on cautions me that if I stem the flow of my wants, then I will never know peace, joy, or happiness. The unit took another odd turn and explains that desires alone will not be satisfactory. I need to align my will with source and create what God wants me to make. The creations I make with God are the only thing that will make me happy in this life, but if I wander out on my own, then life will be miserable.
I felt like this whole chapter was a bait and switch routine. I am free to desire because they are just thoughts, and I am an infinite creator, but I’ll only be happy if I do what my source wants me to do. I do not feel like I have come any closer to the answer of my question, what should I desire? The answer provided by the book that I should do whatever God wants me to do is less than fulfilling. Have you found answers while reading The Way of Mastery? Please feel free to share in a comment.