We have spoken about passion. Many questions have come from you on this topic, so we will take another leap into it. Some of you in your spiritual training have learned that suffering is the result of desires. Let’s begin there. I would like to classify desires into two categories which could be called “lower” desires and “higher” desires. The term “lower” is not intended to express judgment, but to merely be descriptive. “Lower” desires are pleasing to the senses and have a more immediate pull on the heart. These might include (but are certainly not limited to) enjoying food and beautiful scenery, listening to music, dancing, drawing, sculpting, walking, having sex, talking, and being with friends. “Higher” desires are often connected with Right Livelihood, the gifts you have to offer to others, your purpose, and ascension.
In those times when you feel blocked off from an awareness of what your “higher” desires are or of the possibility of ever fulfilling them, your “lower” desires exist to help open the doors to trusting the “higher” ones. The bottom line in being able to achieve any aspiration is the belief that you deserve to realize it. Whatever you feel desire for – nurture that feeling and affirm that you deserve to have it fulfilled, that as an innocent, divine child of God, it is your birthright. See it done in your mind.
You may have the fear that if you allow yourself to pursue all of your “lower” desires you will become bogged down in a selfish, hedonistic lifestyle. I wish to remind you that your desires or passions are the way that your God-self speaks to you. Addiction and the self-destructive pursuit of pleasure is the result of self judgment and guilt. Selfishness and greed grow from the belief that there is not enough; that, therefore, what you get must be taken from another. The work that is cut out for you is listening to your passion (both “lower” and “higher”) and following it. Use your masculine side to affirm that there is an abundance of everything for everyone, that you deserve to have whatever comes to you, and that you are an innocent, loving child of God.
The opposite of acting out of passion is doing things because you “should” do them. It is just as important to begin to eliminate the “shoulds” from your life as it is to follow your passion. Each time you eliminate a “should” you create a space which you will want to guard carefully and fill only with a desire. For some of you your biggest “should” is your job. You have a passion to do something else but keep your current position out of fear. Your voices say, “How will I survive without this job”, or “Being a responsible adult means going to a work every day”, or “I need health insurance.” Here we would speak of “lower” and “higher” desires. Sometimes it is easier to focus on the “lower shoulds”, the little places where you say yes, but feel a no. These are perhaps the areas to begin to focus your energies, to remind yourselves that you deserve to do the things you wish to do, and that you are entitled to enjoy your life. You may have to begin by having the courage to change little things before you are ready to confront the larger ones, such as unfulfilling jobs or relationships. Sometimes by transforming the smaller issues the larger ones handle themselves. In other words, as you follow a discipline of obeying your “lower” desires and saying no to the little things, you may begin to experience that your job has improved and that your relationships give you greater satisfaction. You deserve it all.
God Blesses You,