Happiness… Desires… Gratitude… Acceptance… Appreciation… Release Resistance… Reprogramme Your Beliefs… Confusing, right? All this stuff to remember just to have what you want? I’m not surprised the Buddhists swear off of desire all together…
Have you ever wondered why so many times wanting something leads to suffering? But then on the same token, why some desires are easy to align with and attain? It all comes down to the nature of our beliefs relative to what we are desiring…
There are two forms of desire: Replacement Desires and Actionable Desires. Desires themselves are in fact neither Replacement nor Actionable, it’s actually our beliefs relative to our ability to attain the experience we desire that turns what we want into something which feels attainable or unattainable. It seems pretty simple, right? There’s actually a whole emotional and intellectual process behind which sort of desire we are most inclined to experience. Let me explain this a little more…
Before we look at the two types of desire a little more closely, let’s just take a second to get on the same page about what happiness is because, after all, happiness is what we’re all looking for, right? Our quest for happiness is where our desires come from in the first place! So what is happiness? It’s a feeling state. And there are two types of happiness…
2 Types Of Happiness:
- Conditional Happiness – Conditional happiness comes as a result of the satisfaction of our senses. Conditional happiness comes through eating delicious food, smelling a pleasant scent, wearing comfortable or attractive clothes so on and so forth. This sort of happiness is transitory and fleeting. It comes and it goes. That doesn’t make it wrong or bad to desire these sorts of experiences, not at all. However, if we are decidedly attached to conditional happiness, we will find ourselves feeling distressed or depressed when the conditions necessary for this happiness disappear. When we finish that chocolate bar, the taste and enjoyment only lasts for a short while, then it wanes and dissipates. Then we want more. If we are aware of this then it’s possible to appreciate the conditions for this sort of happiness more so, without feeling sad when it passes because we are aware that it will end from the beginning.
- Unconditional Happiness – Unconditional happiness comes as a result of cultivated appreciation and gratitude for all that is, be it transitory or consistent. We begin to discover unconditional happiness by understanding that within the human experience, three things are always present… These three things are: Love, The Moment & Choice. Love because the entire universe is built on the vibration of love. Attraction is love after all – the marrying of resonant energies – and this entire reality is built upon the Law of Attraction. Furthermore, in the microcosm, once we feel love for someone or something, that never goes away and that is beautiful. The Moment because we are experiencing an ever-present Now and the only time we are without The Moment is when we are not alive in human form any more. And when we are no longer alive in human form, our perception of the universe is entirely different. And so, for as long as we are alive, we have the present moment. And Choice because in any moment, in any love, we always have a choice. Even when we don’t feel as though we have a choice, it is our choice to maintain that belief and the thoughts which reinforce it. Once we have an understanding of the 3 constants of the human experience, we have access to Unconditional Happiness and the fleeting nature of conditional happiness becomes easier to handle; it also becomes more enjoyable.
So how does this apply to our desires?
The two forms of happiness and two forms of desire are closely related. If we are exclusively focused upon Conditional Happiness then we will forever be wanting something more than where we are. If we are exclusively focused on Unconditional Happiness then we will never play an active role in creating the life that we want. The most beneficial state then is to be on the middle path between the two – in balance. If we are able to balance between the two then we can enjoy sensory satisfaction and at the same time we can appreciate the consistent presence of Love, The Moment and Choice.
What are the two forms of desire?
These are the desires which comes as a result of dissatisfaction, anxiety and a general discontentment with life. If we are continually focused on Conditional Happiness then we will be consistently trying to fill a void within ourselves with the satisfaction of our senses, not realising that the hole is only there because we have divorced our true nature – the nature of the whole, the eternal being. When we are in a cycle of Replacement we are always wanting more, needing more, feeling rushed or feeling like we are running out of time. Replacement desires sound like, “I’ll be happy if…” Or, “I wish that…”
Some common examples of the larger Replacement Desires are: Heaven, Ascension, The Rapture/Paradise/Promised Land, Nirvana and breaking Samsara, enlightenment, perpetual happiness and the desire to ‘fix’ oneself. All of these desires are the result of the dissatisfaction with and disconnection from where we are at any given moment. This is evident in the fact that if we were content with where we are we would not desire release from the physical dimension in the form of heaven or ascension. If we were content with this world then we would not desire rapture, paradise or the promised land. If we were content with the ebb and flow of life and with the reality that suffering is a natural part of the expansion of our perception, we would not desire to break Samsara – the cycle of suffering. If we were in love with who we are we would not want to fix ourselves, and the same activities which before were surrounded by the desire to fix ourselves would become activities which add to an already present happiness. So on and so forth.
These desires are the ones which come as a result of our belief in our ability to achieve what it is we want to achieve. The primary difference between an Actionable Desire and a Replacement Desire is that Replacement Desires tend to be focused towards a goal which we feel is more difficult to attain – often a larger goal. Actionable Desires feel within our immediate control and feel easy to acquire. In other words, Actionable Desires are desires which we have less resistance to attaining. The ability to attain a desired experience – and thus manifest an Actionable Desire – comes through Unconditional Happiness. The reason this is the case is because if we are happy where we are already then to desire anything would be to add to further happiness to our experience. If we are unhappy in our lives then the desire becomes Replacement and Inactionable. Actionable Desires sound like, “I’ll be happy when…” “This will make me happy…” These desires, while coming from a state of unconditional happiness are still based on conditions.
Some examples of common larger Actionable Desires are: A new home, a new partner, new friends, relocation to a new country, any desire to increase the amount of something within our lives for example, music, art, food, dance, movies so on.
Notice that the Actionable Desires are primarily ‘new’ versions of something we already have awareness of. What this means is that for us to have a *new* home, we must already have a home. If we want a *new* partner we must already know what having a partner feels like and as such we have the contrast necessary to manifest an apt partner. And herein is the answer with Actionable Desires, our desires are Actionable because we believe that we are able to access a reality in which we already possess them. We know we can have a new home because we already know how it feels to have a home, we know we can have a new partner because we already know how it feels to have a partner, we know we can relocate because we are already somewhere! So forth and so on. It is because we are aware of our ability to have these things already that they become Actionable as opposed to Replacement.
Whether or not we are replacing an old home with a new one – which is in truth a Replacement Desire – the nature of an Actionable Desire comes down to our confidence in our ability to achieve the life we really want.
The Difference Between Replacement & Action And How To Find The Balance
If we are wanting something other than what we have already while holding the belief that we are unable to experience whatever that is, then we are trying to Replace a part of who we are with something that we deem is better. Remember, you are that which is all around you – and that doesn’t just go for your immediate environment. If we are wanting something other than what we have already while holding the belief that we are able to experience whatever that is, then we are much more able to achieve what we desire, however if we believe that this change in circumstance will make us happy then we are relying on conditions in order to be happy.
As I said before, our desires themselves are not Replacement or Actionable, they are just desires. It is the meaning we attach to these desires that give them shape and form and give them character. If I say, “I want that but…” Then I am building an energetic wall between where I am and where I want to be. Naturally, the acknowledgement of any challenges that may be present is important – If the runner does not look at the floor in favour of only thinking of the finish line, he may trip and fall. And so realism is important, note though that you are cultivating realism but not pessimism or cynicism cloaked as realism.
If we are only focused on Replacement Desires then we will perpetuate our dissatisfaction with the way things are. If we are only focused on Actionable Desires then we are disallowing ourselves to dream big and as such we will lead ourselves to dissatisfaction which will breed Replacement Desires. Exclusive or resistant focus on either form of desire will only serve to create a stagnant reality in which we are provided with circumstances which facilitate a feeling of powerlessness.
So what’s the key? As with Unconditional and Conditional Happiness, the middle path is always the most effective, most balanced way of being… This is true also of desires. As I mentioned before, if we are only focused with what we want to change in our realities then we will perpetuate dissatisfaction and if we are only focused on what is within our power to change within our realities then we will be limiting our experience. And so, as with many things, the balance of the two is important.
How is this balance achieved? Here’s a process for guiding the flow of desire which encompasses both Unconditional & Conditional Happiness as well as both Replacement and Actionable Desires…
- Breathe the desire in. Experience it for what it is.
- Breathe the desire out. Allow yourself to maintain the inclination towards the desire to experience what it is that you want to experience, while simultaneously becoming okay with not experiencing it. This allows you to release your resistance to it.
- Assess what is within your current capabilities in relation to moving towards that desire while still cultivating the acceptance for it not manifesting. In other words, want it but find a way to be okay with it not manifesting. This works most effectively if we decide upon actions which bring many benefits when the benefits include but are not limited to being able to experience the initial desire manifesting in our reality. If you want to learn how to bake cakes but only have cooking chocolate your home out of the ingredients you need, instead of halting your desire to make cakes, work with the chocolate to create something else in the meantime. This way when you come to make the cakes, the chocolate will be exquisite. Cultivate skills which enable you to do many things, not just the big thing that you really, really want. Give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime – that sort of thing.
- Decide on inspired forward movement while holding gratitude for what you have. Take steps towards aligning yourself with what it is you initially desired while reminding yourself that even without this desire manifesting in your life, you have a pretty great life anyway.
This process is like walking in a zig-zag towards your goal – enjoying and gaining the benefits of the equally green grass on both sides of the path while never straying far from the path. When we are feeling caught between Replacement and Actionable Desires, we end up trying to push on relentlessly and resistantly. Doing this is to be like the runner who doesn’t look down at the ground. If we are exclusively in Replacement or Action then we are either only zigging or only zagging and the longer we do either for, the further from our actual desire we end up being. It’s like starting on a path and just walking diagonally to either your right or your left. Before too long, you can’t see what you really want anymore because you get caught up in “I’m not happy here,” (Replacement) or “I have to do this,” (Action). If we are only on one side, we don’t reap the benefits of the other and if we just power on through in a relentless, resistant manner we will not receive the benefits of either. And so, ZIG-ZAG!
It goes… Big Vision; Actionable Steps; Assess The Terrain; Reassess Your Vision; Actionable Steps And Assess The Terrain so on and so on.
I trust this will serve you well. I appreciate that it’s a vast concept and is very paradoxical so it may be confusing. If you have any questions, please feel free to pop them in the comments section below and I’ll respond in full!
Onwards & Upwards!
Live, love and play!
NOTE: The teaching shared here is a teaching which was created and honed by myself and my wonderful girlfriend and partner Rosa. The two of us together are an unstoppable team of spiritual awakening. We also have a process for discovering your true self which will be released soon.