The contrast between addictions and desire is a big topic for this writer at this time. In the last month I have found myself letting go of a three-year addictive relationship at the same time that I’m letting go of my practically life-long sugar addiction. I feel clean and true and vulnerable and shaky. I’ve also had two bouts of illness in the last two weeks that have had me questioning my choices. My oldest son says maybe I should have gradually let go of sugar. He might be right.
Fortunately, I added daily blogging at the same time, with its addictive qualities, which is helping. 🙂
It’s challenging to let go of our addictions, because it often feels like we’re letting go of desire forever. Yet, I wonder if we feel this way because our minds confuse us. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, there is also a certain celebration of desire that could be fun if it weren’t so much of a marketing holiday.
We live in a society that scorns people who exhibit addictions, yet almost everything in our society is set up to create addictions. We overlook the extremism of American culture because we grew up in it. We feel the stress of competition, winning at all costs, extreme ideals of beauty and achievement, and an overall unhealthiness, but we accept this is the way it is and there’s nothing we can do about it. Since we all have healthy desires to achieve our goals, to be seen, to be desired, and to feel prosperous, many of us end up resorting to one or more addictions instead of living out of something bigger.
We only tap into the upper layers of desire when we succumb to our addictions, while the deepest level of desire is actual closer to a state of being.
Try this. Get into a relaxed and comfortable position. Then, feel desire in your body without having an object for your desire. Can you do this? If not, imagine you are in the most beautiful natural place you can imagine. What do you feel? Might you want to stay in that state all the time?
As I was watching an Eckhart Tolle video and blog discussion at eitheory this morning, I wondered if the state that Eckhart Tolle claims to reside in could be seen as being desire.
These ideas of layers of desire might sound esoteric or like a question of semantics or philosophy, but there are also some practical implications to approaching our writing as a way of being desire and understanding our addictions that I’ll be discussing in the next few days.