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The real reason asian spirituality is afraid of desire

There is a trend in many modernised ancient spiritual asian traditions that is directed towards the detachment from desire. By annihilating desire - these traditions say - disciples annihilate everything that causes suffering in the world.

A habit that many followers of asian spirituals traditions practice, is the avoidance of foods that are considered stimulating for desire, such as garlic, ginger and onions, or other stimulants.

One recently popularised trend rooting in this tradition of annihilating desire, is the semen retention and/or no-flap practice, that is being widely diffused in social media in the west. The practice - that applies to males - is the discipline of not ejaculating and or not masturbating for long periods of time. This - according to such traditions - preserves energy and controls desire.

But there is one major fallacy in this philosophy. Firstly, the teachers of this doctrine ought to question themselves: if desire is the root of all suffering - why is it such an intimate part of our everyday experience? Do we really condone the idea that the creator - or the universe - or whatever god is for their ideology - has created us with such enormous fallacy, that we have to invest so much energy to fight ourselves every day?

Another question they need to ask themselves is: if desire is the root of all suffering, how come it can create such beautiful, satisfying, and valuable experiences in our life? For instance, being able to fulfil the purpose and potential we desire in life, or being able to be close to the person we desire, or having an experience we deeply desire, are all moments worth living for, and that indeed give life its significance.

It is no wonder then perhaps, that so many of these non-desire philosophies are focussed on detaching from life, on avoiding it by focusing on spiritual experiences, on not immersing in the wealth of different emotions, feelings sensations that our physical experience generousely offers us - both negative and positive.

It should not be surprising that many followers of this doctrine choose instead to quit on life, to live as recluse, or indeed without tasting and experiencing much at all, or to take drugs to repress their feelings.

And finally the last question I have for these people, and perhaps the most important one is: why is it that they desire so much to get rid of desire? Perhaps what they think they desire is not really what they actually desire?

Here is my view: I don't believe desire is the root of suffering, as it is the force of expansion of this universe, it is what drives creation and transformation, and its eternal movement to evolve.

Disconnection is. Not all disconnection, because to a degree we need to be temporarily separated in our egos to experience each other - that is the whole point of experience. But specifically disconnection from things that need connection. For instance our heart.

Usually the argument given regarding desire, is that when people just follow their desire freely, they will selfishly do whatever they want with no regards to others or for consequences, causing much damage and suffering; but this is a very distorted perception of desire. It is not that these people selfishly do what they want at the expense of others due to their desire, they do it due to following their desire from a space of disconnection, specifically a disconnection from their heart.

Our heart is what keeps us balanced and in harmony with the surroundings, it is the chakra of rythm, of resonance, that transcends the space-time limitations of the ego. If we are disconnected from our heart, and we repress its emotions and wisdom, we fail to listen when our thoughts and actions are out of resonance. We fail to empathise with the world around us and to feel what it feels, so we can act in its best interest. Instead we are able to only feel what is good for us, disregarding our surroundings. And this is what leads to selfish behaviour, this is what leads to narcissistic actions. Not desire. When our heart is closed, we live in the opposite vibration of love: fear. Fear makes us completely ego-driven.

Therefore, while sexual experiences connected from the heart are beautiful, satisfying, and energising, when they are practiced from a heart disconnection, they leave us empty and alone: no wonder that so many men feel drained after sex then.

It is a bit like the hydration movement that has taken foot recently in the health biz in the United States. If we weren't so disconnected from our bodies, we would not need to remind ourselves to drink water, for our body communicates that need through thirst. But as it stands, in current society people are so disconnected from their bodily signals, that they need to remind themselves to drink enough water.

Smilarly, if we weren't so disconnected from our heart, we would not have to stop ourselves from acting selfishly. This is the case because we are so disconnected from it.

Without desire the universe would not move, the yin-yang wheel would not spin, there would be no evolution, no experience. Desire is key to the evolution of this universe.

But desire disconnected from the heart is dangerous, it is narcissistic and predatory. And that is because the heart was never meant to be disconnected from us, it was meant to be our greatest ally, master and guide.

So perhaps the true desire of people who think they desire to get rid of desire, is actually to connect to their heart.


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