Thursday, October 16, 2014

Desire and Destiny

Life's Desires by Florian Geiss
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Desire . . . a verb that means "wish, or long for," from the Latin desiderare. The original sense of the word may be, "await what the stars will bring," from the phrase de sidere (from the stars).

I love this connection to 'the stars.' It brings to mind a sense of destiny, spoken of in a beautiful quote from the Upanishad:

You are your deepest driving desire. 

As is your desire, so is your will. 

As is your will, so is your deed. 

As is your deed, so is your destiny. 

You are your deepest, driving desire . . . 

― Brihadaranyaka Upanishad


Some believe that desire is our undoing. They might even quote various teachings to support the thought, but are we really translating correctly?

According Mark Epstein in his book, Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life: to Buddhism, “tanha” creates suffering. This Pali term has often been translated as desire, but “craving” is more accurate. That's craving as in addiction.

Pure desire can be a positive, creative energy, a lust for life. It gets us out of bed in the morning, fuels our inspirations and dreams and leads us toward our highest expression of Self. As implied in the Upanishad, and the link to the origin de sidere, our desires become our destiny. They defines us.

What do you think? Is desire leading us to our greatest potential, or biggest bungle? Have you been inspired by a story of great desire? I'd love to hear about it.

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Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at kimfalconer.com or on the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter. She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month. Her latest release is"Blood and Water" in Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.

9 comments:

MsNikki said...

Kim,

I wholeheartedly believe that pure desire is an indication of what we truly want at the soul level. It is the basis of creation, partnership, etc. Everything first starts with a desire - a desire for change, a desire to create something such as artwrok, a desire to express sentiments, a desire to start a business, etc.

LadyAryn Fields said...

I feel it is correct to translate the term that is our downfall as craving opposed to desire. We often crave what we know is not "good" for us.
I like to think our desires are more pure and motivational. In our modern times many of the "old" words are loosely translated by many resulting in the original concept being muddled or lost completely.
One should choose perspective to match the feeling of the original scribe, otherwise we loose the point of the text via modern edits.
This is merely my perspective. Brightest Blessings! Lady Aryn

d said...

Kim, great article! I never knew desire meant from the stars. I like that a lot and helps make my choice potential, not bungle. If desire comes from the stars, we are at it's mercy, making our actions human. Great post!

Jamma said...

Everything I've ever done has been fueled by desire (desire for achievement, recognition, vindication ... love). Desire feels like a constant steady flame.
But craving ... craving burns fast and bright!
"Craving" evokes something urgent, visceral and terribly exciting. Just saying the word makes my eyes open wide and gives me that exquisite aching in the jaw that comes from yearning and anticipation – like when you're a kid and you can't, can't, CAN'T wait for Christmas. Or when you're in love and, with heart pounding, you count the minutes until your lover arrives and you can fly into his arms.
Craving is fierce and feral, an itch that must be scratched. It is the passionate creative force that not only assures the continuation of the species but also drives us to produce great works of art, literature and music. Let's celebrate it.

Anita H said...

Very interesting post. I totally agree that desire can be a positive and creative energy. Without desire life would be quite boring because it helps fuel our inspirations and dreams. Which then inspires us to go out and try to fulfill the need. This was a very thought provoking post, thanks for sharing Kim!

Ada said...

Desire is a very powerful force be it for good or bad. There's desire for power and prestige, while there's also desire for love and happiness. It all depends on the person with the desire and how they go about it.

Cate said...

Kim, Just getting around to reading this now. (I believe you want the word "addiction" after Epstein's quote?)

Desire is your way of telling you want you want. But what I have experienced, and am learning, is that the desire has to be distilled to it's purest form. Until then, it is full of inaccurate and ego-centric messages. So I use what Jeanette Maw suggests, "why do I want that? So I can ______, and why do I want THAT, etc." The inner work will lead you to the true Heart's Desire.

Alina P said...

I think it can actually be both potential and bungle? You can always learn from your mistakes so it's a win-win...
I can't say I've been inspired by one such story, but I'd love to be :)

Kim Falconer said...

I am loving all these thoughts and insights.

Thank you everyone for jumping in.

And Cate, yes, thanks for that edit!

:)