I’ve mentioned the loss of desire and interests in many different spiritual posts over the years. There are many different reasons for the loss of desire as you evolve spiritually. One big reason is that many of our interests taught to us by society aren’t true to us. The bigger issue at stake is that true inner peace needs nothing external to you.
You are perfect as you are.
It’s this truth that a spiritual awakening drives us towards. Since desire is inherently about getting something to be happy or satisfied with ourselves, it is in direct opposition to the truth and the reality that we can be totally at peace just as we are. This is contrary to much of what people believe, but this is what ignorance does to us. It clouds and distorts reality. The truth is that the greatest peace we find within ourselves comes from desiring nothing. We can be totally at peace with ourselves and with life as is.
This probably seems like fantasy because of social beliefs. I also know that some people confuse peace as the inability to do things or even have basic urges to eat. So let’s delve deeper into this stripping away process to see the truth of being totally free from desires.
Releasing Your Demands on Life
We truly have a lot of demands on life. We want it to behave in certain ways according to the beliefs we were taught, and we expend huge amounts of effort to get the things we’re demanding. It’s almost like we’re holding life for ransom and are demanding it give us what we want or else.
However, it hardly ever feels like that, does it? We never really have that much control over life, and if anything, most people usually feel controlled by life, thwarted by it, and otherwise at its mercy. For those who feel like life gives them what they want and meets their demands, they may not want to think about the last part–that they’re at the mercy of life. But we are. We all are. At any given moment we could fall sick with a terminal disease or get killed or injured by a natural phenomena like a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane.
We do not control life.
Yet, we want to believe that we do, and we want to believe that we can get the things we desire from it.
A lot of times people think that they can barter with a spiritual awakening. They’ll say to themselves, “I’ll give up this desire for now. But later, I still want to get it.” Or maybe it’s like, “I’ll give up most of this desire, but I still need my fix from time to time. I have to have at least that much.” These desires can be anything from substances to experiences to relationships. In some ways, we are addicts, and we are addicted to desire.
But this bartering doesn’t work. It ultimately traps you and often doesn’t give you what you want. Consider that most of the things, relationships, and experiences are a means to some kind of happiness, contentment, or sense of safety. But more often you spend most of your time in the state of craving and only get brief satisfaction when you get whatever it is you think will give you the above feelings.
And of course, feelings come from within. Most of your feelings–aside from those caused by substances–are chosen by you and felt by you. So you see the misunderstanding here, do you not? We are trying to get an internal experience from external things, and usually, any level of internal enjoyment is brief compared to the amount of desire and uncomfortable craving that we live in.
Spiritual awakening takes us further than good feelings because these temporary respites from desire are illusions in the desire of craving. Instead, awakening takes us towards peace.
Inner peace is the thing we really want, but most people don’t know this. We’ve been taught to not look for it or not believe that it’ll bring us anything we really want. We are distracted by passing excitements, base sexual urges, and other temporary fixes that only mitigate our pain and unhappiness, most of which we do not fully understand. In this ignorance, many of people are walking wounded, but in a society so deeply self-hating as Western Culture, this shambling, self-destructing community makes one more wounded person seem normal.
And if you don’t think you have any wounds, be sure to read this blog post:
So we are deeply committed to our desires, and it’s that attachment that makes it so upsetting for so many when awakening starts ripping them away and reducing them to ashes. No bartering or negotiating will help. You have to surrender them all and surrender them all the way.
Sitting in the Ashes of Apathy
Those of you who find yourself on the spiritual path and stuck in a world of apathy have come a little ways only to cling to the notion of desires and probably a few deeply unconscious desires too. What is the notion of desire?
It’s the belief that you need to want something. Or you feel like you want to want something when you no longer desire the things you used to want. These remnants of desire are attachments to the old ego self, and those attachment can leave you in a charred, gray world of apathy. In this in-between world, nothing seems interesting, yet a part of you wants interests. It wants to find something to hold onto. It may want to find some new interest or exciting experience to have. Perhaps a part of you is also hoping to find some old pleasures again when “this whole awakening thing” is done. But these false hopes and interests mask deeper issues, and those deeper issues should be your next quarry.
If you find yourself standing hopelessly and hopefully in these ashes, it’s time to go hunting for the parts of you that want something. Even if it is wanting a different feeling than the feeling of apathy, you need to learn to accept whatever you feel without attempting to change it.
Ultimately, true inner peace is beyond a specific feeling; it teaches us to embrace all feelings, thoughts, and experiences. In so doing, that is precisely what enlivens our lives and gives them flow, vitality, and color. Holding on and wanting to want are dead-ends, and your awakening is trying to show you that.
So don’t stop here. Don’t hope for new desires or for old interests to come back. They are all ultimately leading you away from your inner peace.
The Fear of Losing Desires
The fear of losing desires tends to be a bigger issue for people earlier in their inner work. Some people confuse the ability to do things and engage with life as requiring desire. But life does not ask that of us. There are natural urges like the urge to eat or sleep that come up. We feel hungry. We eat. It’s natural, and it’s simple. Again and again, the spiritual path points us back towards simplicity.
We often find as we open more space within ourselves that there are intuitive urges to connect with others and do things that are only revealed as we let go of our other taught desires. These impulses are different because–unlike desire–we do not have to do them to make ourselves feel whole, complete, safe, or good in someway. We do them because they arise, and we trust them not necessarily knowing the outcome of these intuitive impulses where desire has to achieve its goal.
Ultimately, the fear of losing desires is just another fear. It’s another level of the unconscious ego that does not understand how life works, and this fear can show up at any time on someone’s inner journey. Usually, the more fears, desires, and attachments are released, the more someone sees how much more lively and beautiful their lives become. During some of the intense moments of awakening, that may not be readily apparent, but as you continue to heal and open up, the loss of issues tends to only bring joy, happiness, and peace. This is quite the opposite of what fear has said would happen, isn’t it?
Greater and Greater Spiritual Freedom With Each Loss
In this spiritual process, loss is gain. These desires that people cling to limit them. They limit people’s abilities to see other possibilities beyond what desires tell them they should have. They limit how people focus and use their energy. They limit where people can go in life and who they can connect with as well as how they can connect. In the end, ego desires do little more than to maintain the same forms of connecting and the same types of social structures that are already here. If you want to stay trapped in life, follow your desires. And be advised that a lot of times, they never give you anything at all and leave you stuck in constant craving.
Instead of following desire and this game of acquiring things, experiences, and relationships, become a spiritual loser. Lose everything. Lose your beliefs and desires. Lose your pain. See what arises after that.
I don’t mean get rid of your car and house. That’s a kind of ego hyperbole. Sometimes people think that getting rid of stuff is the means to inner freedom, but that’s wrong. The stuff you are losing is inside of you. Whether you have a million dollars or negative $4.67 in your bank account, the true richness is within you.
So lose the desires and the attachments to desiring things. With each loss, you can become more and more free.
Being at Peace Wherever You Are, However You Are
Without false beliefs like desire to agitate and upset us, we can be at peace as we are wherever we are. We can be at peace with war, sickness, stubbed toes, empty bank accounts, winning teams, birthday parties, orgasms, and everything else. In this inner peace, we allow our feelings and experiences to arise and pass. We do not hold on to them, and we do not fear them. It is a powerful space, and it is a space that is accessible to all of us.
All you need to do is to let go all the way.
If you feel you need help with losing ego desires, you can reach out to me about one-on-one sessions: