“Desire is a spiritual/emotional impulse that inspires us to move to something greater, to embrace change. If we do not desire anything, the senses shut down. We lose our aliveness. We have no impetus to move forward. The object of desire may not be necessary but the feeling of desire is the soul’s longing to move forward” ~ Anodea Judith
Interestingly, the etymology of the word ‘desire’ translates loosely to “await what the stars will bring”. This is a derivative of the phrase de sidere “from the stars,” from sidus “heavenly body, star, constellation.”
Many people are taught that desire precludes their capacity for spiritual alignment, a detractor from evolving, from experiencing a presence of peace, divinity, God, or an otherwise transcendent, loving consciousness.
It seems the concept of desire too easily gets hijacked by the pursuit of acquiring material possessions, craving romance or erotic stimulation, or an overall sense of ‘not enoughness.’
Yet desire is ultimately a feeling that fuels energy in the mind and body, providing clues to what will generate and enhance a sense of being more alive. Without desire we have no energy, no inspiration to move beyond where we are. We need desire as impetus for the will. This is the momentum that moves us toward ever-expanding states of self-actualization.
So it is not necessarily the object of our desire that matters. Rather, it is the energetic fuel for taking action of some sort. And that action almost always begins with a vision, usually arising from a sense of ennui, i.e., boredom, listlessness, tedium. The poet Charles Lloyd described it well in his 1823 Stanzas to Ennui when he referred to that world-weary sensation as a “soul-destroying fiend.”
A soul-destroying friend. To me this suggests a life that has become so routine, so familiar, so automatic that we fall into a sort of trance in which we go through the motions of the minutiae of our daily routine, all the while slowly and surely losing our agency for enthusiasm.
Of note, the word enthusiasm derives from the word ‘entheos’ and comes from the Greek word “entheos” which means the God within. And the happiest, most interesting people are those who have found the secret of maintaining their enthusiasm in and for life.
Desire is not a fixation on something; instead, it is a catalyst that provides the fuel for action, for formulating a plan to create change. It is a combination of sensation and feeling, the genesis of passion and enthusiasm, both of which are essential for cultivating greater energy and power to transition or transform into something not yet experienced.
Only by staying in touch with and honoring our deepest feelings can we be truly intimate with our deepest, soul-level desire. This in turn fosters clarity that connects with our will to take action.
Desire then propels us to continually reach toward whatever it is that will bring us a sense of expansion, renewal, reaching toward a new level of aliveness, a lightness of being. This is analogous to the process of photosynthesis whereby the instinctive nature of plants is to move toward the direction of the greatest light to fully express and thrive. The Greek roots of photosynthesis combine to produce the basic meaning “to put together with the help of light.”
Are you leaning toward your true light? Do you recognize a distinctive loss of energy, enthusiasm, joie de vivre – a buoyant enjoyment of life?
If so, it’s time you start exploring and respecting what your desire may be at this point in your journey.
By honoring and following our desire(s) at whatever cycle of life we are in, we trust that there is an inherent wisdom in this, an organic and instinctive impulse that will move us forward.
We choose to believe that our desire is our soul’s impetus moving us toward that which ultimately reflects more of our essential light.