Sunday, December 18, 2016

ENQUIRY ABOUT DESIRE ~ Atman NItyananda

 ENQUIRY ABOUT DESIRE
(The ways of desire)

The desire functions by: memory, imagination, association, identification, projection, superimposition.

DESIRE AS ATTRACTION

The first aspect or form that desire assumes is attraction. In the presence of objects our attention is drawn towards some object in order the ego to have a clear image of the object. Due to desire the objects like a magnet attract our attention; the attention illuminates the objects and makes them perceivable; thus the ego which is essentially desire has the opportunity to grasp clearly the object and according its appetites to consider it as favorable or not to its 'happiness'. The ego as desire projects (or not in other cases depending the circumstances and the objects) and superimposes on the objects the happiness or the pleasure that wants to experience and thus hypnotize the mind and convince us that is worthy to experience this object.

(Certainly due to the force of habit our desirous mind runs mostly towards certain objects that considers as a source of pleasure and enjoy them again and again until to be bored and find other objects similar to it or different, imagining that will get more pleasure or will be fulfilled).

DESIRE as LIKE or DISLIKE

First happens the attraction of attention and then the desire assumes the form of like or dislike. If our ego-desire considers the object as pleasant or pleasurable then assumes the form of like. Together with the like usually arise in the mind (from the memory) pleasant sensations or a taste of the expected pleasure that the desirous ego wants to experience.

If our ego remains indifferent for the object there is no any other mental or emotional reaction in us.

But if the object or the situation is not favorable (according our mind programming) then instead of like the desire assumes the form of dislike and aversion. Then our attention leaves the object and focus in the next one.

You can experiment these vital reactions of desire (attraction, like, dislike, aversion or repulsion), while you are in the metro, walk in the market, etc. and generally while you are in places with many sensory inputs.

DESIRE as the IMPULSE THAT IS COMPELLING US TO ACT

If like arises the next expression of desire is to compel the mind, intellect, the sense organs and the body to find the appropriate means and take action in order to get the object and enjoy it.

DESIRE as ANGER, DISAPPOINTMENT & DEPRESSION

If something impedes the fulfillment of desire then desire modifies itself as anger and finally if there is no possibility to realize the desire, the ego-desire modifies as disappointment, resentment or depression of which the intensity depends mostly on the intensity of desire and also the circumstances (our state of mind and external factors). Anger, resentment, disappointment and depression are only modifications of desire itself which has a great placidity to transform itself in various forms as the water can assume the forms of ice, snow, cloud, humidity etc.

DESIRE as FEAR

Our lower or vital ego (which is identical with desire) becomes anxious and uneasy (which are forms of fear) and fears not to get what it wants to or to lose what already possess. Psychological fear (not he instinctive one) always accompanies desire because it is a modified form of desire energy.

DESIRE as PRESSURE or TORTURE

When we begin our spiritual journey and we begin to renounce our desires, the desirous vital ego resists and reacts to our effort to free our mind from desires. Our vital desirous ego doesn't like to abandon what until know gave it pleasure and satisfaction.  
The ego-desire wants to continue have  the same pleasures; thus, each time we renounce to fulfill its demand for pleasure creates in us a painful sensation that is like a torture in order to make us give up and fulfill its demand. 

This is well known to all those which tried out cut off an addiction, (for example sweets, tobacco or alcohol). The desire-entity which have been created (through the repetition of the same experience) doesn't want to abandon the pleasure related to this object. The desire-entity tries its best to make us give in and repeat the same thing again and again (to experience the same substance or the same sensory experience) .

When the impulse of desire arises in us but we don't want to give in and eat for example the sweet or smoke the cigarette, then the desire assumes its torturing aspect in order to make us give up and fulfill it. Nobody likes or can stand the pain for a long. Since the ego-desire knows that we cannot stand the pain, the desire-entity assumes its painful form in order to make us give in. 

DESIRE as SEDUCTION 

Our vital ego in order to make us give in uses against our conscious will and reason not only its torturing face but also the seductive one. Normally first uses its seductive weapon, in order to make us 'want' to fulfill the desire. If this doesn't work then uses its torture weapon.

So, the desire-ego (related to sweet or any other substance) uses two strategies in order to make us fulfill it.  The torturing aspect but also its seductive aspect.  In order to convince us give in, in the twinkle of an eye the desire assumes alternatively the form of pleasure and the form of pain. If the ego-desire fails to convince us give in and fulfill the desire by creating in us pleasurable sensations that associates with this particular object, then immediately assumes its painful form to make us give in because knows very well that we cannot stand the pain. 
The desire assumes alternatively in the twinkle of an eye its seductive and its painful form until to make us give in.  For the majority it is very difficult to forbear this game of desire. That's why it is very difficult (once this desire-entity due to habit has become powerful mental entity in our subconscious mind) not to give in to the impulse of desire and that's why it is very difficult for most to overcome an addiction.

In reality all humanity is 'addictive' to desires and mostly to desire for sex, food, drinks and other substances that give  us pleasure. That's why when somebody begins the spiritual journey finds very difficult to give up his pleasures. The spiritual aspirants have to confront and overcome the same difficulties that faces a person who tries to be free from an addiction.

To free our mind from lust and other addictions to sensory pleasures and experiences, no doubt it is the most difficult task in the world, but for a sincere aspirant about Truth this is possible. By high aspiration and regular, sincere, incessant practice we can eliminate the egoism which is an aggregation of desires, passions and their modifications, jealousy, greed, pride, arrogance, vanity etc.  (negative emotions are also modifications of desire).

DESIRE & THE IMAGINED OBJECTS

The desire mechanism functions mostly with the mental images through memory and imagination.

The desire not only projects the imaginary pleasure to the external objects perceived by the senses, but does also the same with the imaginary objects that our ego creates in the mind by memory and the power of imagination. Thus, the same process that I have explained above in relation with the perceived objects happens also with the imaginary mental objects. 

DESIRE IN THE FORM LASCIVIOUSNESS

Sexual desire (lasciviousness) is the most fundamental desire. The desire for sexual pleasure  is satisfied by various means and ways, (natural or perverted) and most  psychological disorders (perhaps all) have to do with sexuality directly or indirectly. Sexuality influences our behavior in many ways. (Watch the video "The science of lust").

Gurgieff a great spiritual teacher once said: 

"At the same time sex plays a tremendous role in maintaining the mechanicalness of life. Everything that people do is connected with 'sex': politics, religion, art, the theater, music, is all 'sex.' [..] One thing only. Sex: it is the principal motive force of all mechanicalness. All sleep, all hypnosis, depends upon it. 

Paramahansa Ramakrishna said about lust:

 Lust is like the root of the tree, and desires are branches and twigs.". 

Swami Sivananda said about lust: 

"This whole world is a play of ego. Ego, sex and world are inseparable."

" Passion reigns supreme in all parts of the world. The minds of people are filled with sexual thoughts. The world is all sexy. The whole world is under a tremendous sexual intoxication." 

"A man has a thousand and one desires. But the central strong desire is the sexual desire. The fundamental desire is the urge for a mate. All hang on this central basic desire. The desire for money, the desire for a son, the desire for property, the desire for houses, the desire for cattle and other desires come later on.” 

"If lust, which is the source of all enjoyments in this world, ceases, then all worldly bondage, which has its substratum in the mind, will cease."

Lasciviousness and masturbation

I will use masturbation as an example because masturbation is one of the common expressions of lust of  humans on earth and an exemplar that can help us understand how the lusty desirous-ego functions in our psyche.

Lasciviousness arises as sexual thoughts and as an impulse to experience sexual pleasure periodically every day and if it is not satisfied for a long time (how long depends on various factors) then it becomes a big wave and demands its satisfaction. Desire for pleasure arises like a mental wave  with certain frequency in our conscious mind seeking to experience again and again the same pleasure. When lust assumes the form of a big wave then it compels our mind, intellect, the sense organs and the body to take action in order to get the object and experience pleasure.

If we have a partner then we try to get sexual pleasure by mating with our partner. But if we don't then we try to satisfy the lust for sexual pleasure by masturbation. We can excite our sexual energy by imagining a woman or man, in the form we like (imaging the hairs, breast, legs our lust finds more exciting and passionate) and by projecting on this imaginary form our sexual lust. The sexual pleasure we see on these imaginary mental forms is only our sexual lust projected on them. We can imagine certain postures or sexual scenes that excite more our sexual passion and we coordinate this imaginary pleasure with the pleasure that arises by caressing our genitals the way we like most. So, memory, imagination, association, projection and superimposition are the means by which we try to find sexual satisfaction by masturbation.

Nowadays the era of technology instead of using the memory one has the opportunity to use porn images or video; Watch porn is the most powerful addiction of earthlings, that´s why porn industry is one of the most profitable businesses. However pornography has its financial crisis because now there is a lot of free porn in the internet and it is very easy (unfortunately) even for kids and adolescents to access to porn. Statistics about porn watching and addiction are very disappointing. According my experience and understanding this is one of the major factors of quick degeneration of this humanity and its massive destruction.  
So, our lusty ego in order to excite our fantasy, our passion and the sexual energy instead of using the memory  uses some porn images or a video. Our lusty ego selects actors that have bodily characteristics that likes most; selects the postures, the scene, the environment that take place the sexual action etc. all these excite more its fantasy and projects on the actors its own sexual pleasure  (which is memorized in the astral body and in the subconscious mind). The unconscious projection of our own sexual lust on the actors creates the illusion that the actors themselves, experience sexual pleasure; we see that the actresses/ors (we project our lust on the persons of opposite sex) are actually sexually excited by doing this or that etc. while actually this happens only in our imagination and it is projected on them. The images and the video are only pixels, a play of the light on the screen, and there is no sexual pleasure at all in them. However due to imagination, projection and superimposition we experience that the sexual pleasure pertain to them; i.e., we perceive that the actresses in the screen are experiencing actually the sexual pleasure while in reality is only our imaginary sexual pleasure projected on them  (we are so fascinated and identified with the images that we don't think at all that this pleasure has nothing to do with the images.).
This illusory projection and superimposition excites our sexual energy and intensifies the experience of sexual pleasure in our system. Our sensory mind coordinates this imaginary pleasure that projects on the porn images with the sexual pleasure that arises to our genitals by caressing the genitals.
Although all this is a game of imagination, projection and superimposition, due to the very fact that for the emotional and sensational mind there is no great difference between the real persons and the artificial images of the video the sexual pleasure arises in our mind and activates the sexual energy in the genitals and in the body in general. 

In masturbation although there is some kind of sexual pleasure there is not the union of the two poles (masculine and feminine) there is not emotional interaction and sharing, there is no love and affection. There is only stimulation of the nervous system, of the hormones and the sexual energy which results only to the relief of the torturing form of passion and a superficial pleasure-satisfaction of the lusty-ego; in masturbation there is a great loss of sexual and vital energy (especially when there is masturbation with porn) and a great disturbance of the vata dosha which affect both: our physiology and our psychology. There is loss of ojas which of great importance for health, physical and psychological stability and endurance as well as for spiritual growth and higher states of consciousness. When masturbation is done by watching porn then there are more psychological disturbances and they are more intense. We develop various negative emotional and mental behaviors. 

By repeating this act of masturbation we create in our subconscious mind a specific psychological sexual-entity which after some time acts independently of our will and reason (the same happens of course with all other pleasures, but sexual one is the most powerful). If we masturbate with porn videos then this lusty-entity is associated with the porn scenes and tries to satisfy itself again and again by watching porn scenes. 
Since by repetition of masturbation a strong psychological entity have been created in us (how strong depends on various factors), if and when we want to stop masturbation this is not easy at all, especially if we haven't a relation to substitute this kind of pleasure with mating.. 

The same happens to the spiritual aspirants that have decided to stop not only masturbation but  the sexual pleasure totally in all its forms. The lusty ego as I said before, by the seductive weapon and by the torture weapon wants to keep us under its dominion in order to experience now and again the sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is one of the greatest obstacles to freedom and Self-realization. The second is pride and arrogance.

The same process of imagination, projection and superimposition happens not only with the porn images but also with the real persons. When for example we are in the metro our lusty ego projects itself on the other persons (usually of the other sex) and thus arises in us the desire to mate with this person; if is not possible (which is what happens almost in all cases) we try to find a substitute. So, our lasciviousness was excited by a person in the metro and we go to have sex with our partner at home, but if we haven't a partner, then we try to satisfy the lust for sexual pleasure by watching porn or by masturbation or both. In other cases we substitute sex pleasure with food pleasure etc.

One of the main mechanisms that the vital ego functions is displacement or replacement. Displacement is the redirection of an impulse onto a substitute target. Our ego directs its emotions and desires on other persons or objects. The target can be a person or an object that can serve as a substitute. Then if we cannot mate with the woman of metro we can mate with another one, if we cannot find any, we can watch porn and masturbate, if this also is not possible at that moment we can eat some chocolate and so on.  Sigmund Freud (1894, 1896), a pioneer of its era, have discovered various mechanisms that are used by our ego in order (our ego) to find a balance and protect itself from anxiety, insecurity, fear, guilty etc. According my experience our ego not only created strategies to protect itself from anxiety, insecurity, fear, guilty etc. but created also various mechanisms in order to satisfy its compulsive need for satisfaction, pleasure and recognition.   

Replacement and extension mechanisms

Except the seductive and torture mechanisms there is the replacement and extension mechanisms of desire. Replacement and extension are two strategies of the mechanism of desire to satisfy its insatiable thirst for pleasure. 
Replacement is the substitution of the object of desire with another when it is not available what we desire.
Extension is to continue on pleasure after another; for example we first go to dance  and drink, then to have sex, the to smoke a cigarette and then to eat something.

The discontentment, boredom, uneasiness, something is missing  mechanism

Τhis mechanism is similar to the torture mechanism. Desire most of the time,) especially when we are not engaged in some activity), modifies into a negative state of discontentment, boredom, uneasiness, something is missing, in order to compel us seek a pleasant or pleasurable experience. It is more easy for the desirous ego to drive us seek pleasure when we are in a negative (painful) emotional state because we don't´  want to remain in a negative emotional state even though it assumes a mild form. Since we cannot forbear for a long time this emotional state our ego easily drive us  towards some pleasant or pleasurable experience in order to overcome (at least temporarily) these painful emotions.  Our vital ego of course doesn't like to make an effort to investigate this emotional state and work in order to free the subconscious mind from this programming since it is the vital ego  itself that creates continuously this state in order to drive us towards pleasures. The most frequent objects are pleasure through mouth and genitals. 
As long as one lives identified with the vital ego  (named also rajasotamsic ego, read Beyond the lower and the higher ego) he will remain slave of all these desire mechanisms. 

Making love with our partner

The projection and the superimposition functions with our partner as well. When we make love, we project our sexual pleasure to our partner and we think that our partner experience the sexual pleasure we imagine. But this is only our imagination and has nothing to with reality. In reality our lusty ego projects on our partner its sexual passion in order our ego to experience more intense pleasure. Because when we imagine that our partner experiences great pleasure then automatically increases in us the pleasure. ( it is common that women  pretend that experience pleasure in order to satisfy the lust of their partners).
In mechanical passionate sex the partner is an object that helps us to experience an intensified sexual pleasure based on imagination, projection and superimposition. In cases that the partner is not what the lusty ego wants, then during sex the lusty ego imagines other woman or man and projects the imagined pleasure on the actual person.

Sexuality and gunas

If we can stop imagination and projection sex becomes a very natural enjoyment and there is a loving interaction between the mates and not a persecution of pleasure. There are three main ways to make love; the sattvic, the rajasic and the tamasic but also their mixture, sattva-rajas, rajas-sattva, rajas-tamas etc. All sexual perversions are related to tamas-rajas. 

Only when sattva predominates in our mind we can have harmonic, loving and happy relations and healthy, loving creative sexual life. Rajas and tamas are causing unbalances, disharmonies and perversions which result to sickness and suffering. 

Desire and Buddhi (intellect)


Fortunatly the desire mechanism is not the unique factor that functions in us. From our Soul comes the impulses and aspirations for happiness, love, intimacy, freedom, creativity, Truth, immortality etc.

Every human being is a field in which play all lower and superior powers and energies of the universe. Our lower self clings towards pleasurable exhilarating experiences which give short term satisfaction and sense pleasure and our Soul impels us find everlasting happiness , freedom, love, peace etc.

The intellect is between the lower self and the soul. If the intellect is hypnotized by the illiusive power of desire then we become victims of desire and suffer in various ways. If the intellect clings more to the deeper aspirations of the Soul then it becomes our faithful servant and the powerful instrument by which we can free our mind from the desire mechanism and all its modifications (The desire expands as greed, attachments, addictions, likes-dislikes, attraction-aversion and also as impatience, fear, anger, envy, disappointment, depression, etc. and then to all mental and emotional distortions).

Appendix 

SEX & ADVERTISEMENTS

Burger ad
The companies know very well how functions the emotional and desirous mind, that's why they use a lot of sex in their Ads. They want to cause an association between the desire mechanism (related to lust) and their product. Once this association has happened then we are at least positive with their product, and in the appropriate circumstances we will buy it. In relation with the cheap products that we can get easily in order to experience pleasure (like beers, chocolates etc.) the ads have great succeed. Most of the consummation of these products is due to ads. Since the majority lives identified with the desirous vital ego and hypnotized by it (and especially the kids and adolescents which they haven't developed their intellect and intelligence) they become very easily victims of the propaganda of the advertisements. The funny thing (not funny at all), is that young people think that they do what they like while are only imitating what they see, which is what some want to see. Young people are brainwashed by what they see in the media. 

(For those who know Greek can watch a video related to sex and advertisements ΤΟ ΣΕΞ ΣΤΗ ΔΙΑΦΗΜΙΣΗ και ο προγραμματισμός του νου