Monday, July 23, 2007

Is Non-Greed Possible?

One of the philosophical precepts in yogic philosophy is aparigraha,or non-grasping. It is also translated as not reaching for things or non-greed. I want to share a thought with you. I think “non-grasping” is a much harder concept to grasp (interesting choice of words! :-) ) than people first realize. I notice how often spiritual writings speak of not wanting anything, detaching completely from desires, as a step toward self-mastery. Please understand that desiring is part of the human consciousness. As long as we are in our physical body, no matter how high our consciousness goes, we will desire something. (Sri Harold, a God-realized being, often refers to the trials he still encounters as part of his human consciousness.)

I am sure you have noticed your desiring has shifted as you have evolved. You probably no longer see things or other people as the source of your happiness. You may have detached from your work, you belongings, etc. But now you may desire more quiet in your life, less clutter, more free time, a higher consciousness. It is okay to not know what you are desiring right now, but please do not allow the illusion that you have no desire because that is not possible. You may have a more refined desire, but it is there nonetheless. The key to our desire is to not let it be a source of suffering, which would be an attachment to the desires, and that is where aparigraha fits. In trying to deny our desiring we suffer. When desiring is a source of suffering, we are held back in our growth. The purpose of desires is to propel us into more growth. We don’t want to be complacent, we want to constantly desire to evolve further in love, in compassion, in our spiritual awakening.

Here is a great quote from the manifesting works that I feel describes this idea well.

“We would describe the sensation of desire as the delicious awareness of new possibilities. Desire is a fresh, free feeling of anticipating wonderful expansion. The feeling of desire is truly the feeling of life flowing through you. But many people, while they are using the word desire, feel something quite different. Desire for them, often feels like yearning, for while they are focused upon something that they want to experience or have, they are equally aware of its absence. And so, while they are using words of desire, they are offering a vibration of lack. They come to think that the feeling of desire is like wanting something that they do not have. But there is no feeling of lack in pure desire.” (Hicks-Abraham)