Friday, February 05, 2010

A Discussion About Desire

Leaving the Tibetan Buddhist lamasery, trekking down from the tips of the Himalayan Mountains, Kudra and Alobar discussed desire.

"I have been considering," said Kudra, a tad out of breath,"what you said about desire."

"Ah," said Alobar. "And now you agree that the devotee's desire to be without desire is the most insidious desire of all."

"Not exactly, Alobar. Look at it this way. The word desire suggests that there is something we do not have. If we have everything already, then there can be no desire, for there is nothing left to want. I think that what the Buddha may have been trying to tell us is that we have it all, each of us, all the time; therefore, desire is simply unnecessary." She stopped to catch her breath. "To eliminate the agitation and disappointment of desire, we need but awaken to the fact the we have everything we want and need right now."

Kudra and Alobar travel on for days, by foot, seeking the ancient caves of the Bandaloop doctors. Through physical setbacks and extremely poor weather conditions, with Alobar literally carrying Kudra, they make it to the caves. On the fourth day, they awoke and the discussion on desire continued.
Concluding his account of how he had swept her up and run with her, Alobar ventured the opinion that they had survived because he reached a point where he did not take his desire to live seriously. "My desire was no less than before, you understand, but I no longer identified with the desire. Perhaps that is why desire causes men calamity. By identifying with our desires and taking them too seriously, we not only increase our susceptibility to disappointment, we actually create a climate inhospitable to the free and easy fulfillment of those desires."

~Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

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