Desire is the only thing standing between you and true freedom. But freedom is a desire. If you are lucky enough to be free of desire then you are free and can lose that freedom. If you desire not only attaining a state of freedom but also the continuation of that state, you are back where you started: with a desire. The desire to not feel desire. Luckily, I do not desire to feel no desire, therefore I can enjoy the freedom of no desire without the desire for it to continue indefinitely. Desire or no desire, it’s all the same to me, because I do not see a connection between desire and it’s attainment. Just as I have ceased to see a link between hope and possibility, fear and safety, prayer and a miracle.
A man with a cigar was smooth talking me with some philosophical and metaphysical jargon meant to entice my interest in his desire for me, which was based on my lack of desire for him. He took it personally until I explained to him that I had no desire for anyone. How can that possibly BE? he asked. What happened to you? – I told him that, like a rat pressing a lever for pellets of food, and being given the food but not the good food, I had somewhere along the line, stopped pressing the lever. Well how do you eat? he asked. I exist on the crumbs strewn by the rats who so frenetically press their levers that they are most happy that I can clean up their mess. Are you a bottom feeder? he asked? Aren’t we all, darling, I replied.
Without desire, one exists on the default of other lives, other people’s desires. They keep pushing their boulders up hill, exhilarated with the exercise in futility because futility fuels desire for a time. After a while, at least for me, the cycle of desire and its futility, as it breeds upon itself, hot and uncontrollable, time consuming, a falsity and farce, is a waste of time and energy. Dreams are also desires, and the worst of the lot. Dreams demand that we struggle to attain an ever fatter dream, with maddening specifics that betray the chaotic nature of our lives, and the throw of the dice, the law of averages, the random glory of a windfall.
And we are left, still, with desire, for what we left behind, usually, before our dreams came true. Buddhists describe this the state of the Hungry Ghost, and the man with the cigar, just a man with a desire, like all men, was playing the ghost like a pro, expecting that his desire would arouse in me at least a curiosity that might lead me to vicariously humor him, — as I had nothing to lose…. no thwarted desire to disappoint. Free. The freedom to collect the crumbs without disappointment. Crumbs or no crumbs, these or those crumbs.
But a lack of desire does not signify, necessarily, a world weary cynicism. It doesn’t carry that much weight, it doesn’t burden itself with a strong opinion. And therein lies the freedom……..