Monday, July 26, 2010

desire is the design flaw

Dear friends,

I started India last night.  This is the second third of Eat Pray Love.  I am in love with this section because already it has got me thinking.  

In her 38th bead Liz talks about Yoga.  I've only ever participated in Yoga once.  I was in middle school, clearly much too young to appreciate the value of this ancient practice.  It was my favorite choice in gym class for two reasons:  first, it allowed me to get out of playing basketball (which I hated most), and "all we had to do" was stretch and lay on the floor in the dark listening to classical music.  Obviously the meditative part of this was lost on me--or never explained because our culture fears and forbids conversation of anything deemed religious--especially in school.  So, instead of clearing my mind and finding my balance I lay on the floor thinking about whatever boy I currently was crushing on, a chronic condition of my life.

I still don't know anything about meditation over ten years later.  When I have tried I fall asleep or boredom kicks in--perhaps, I don't know how to do it, how to clear my head of toxic thoughts and let the universe rush in.

Liz explains Yoga,which comes from the root word yuj meaning "to yoke," to attach yourself to a task at hand with ox-like discipline. "And the task in yoga is to find union--between mind and body, between the individual and God, between our thoughts and the source of our thoughts... It is a dedicated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying over the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and your surroundings with poise."  Oh, to be able to do this.  Sometimes, I think I am, or wonder if I'm just "faking" living in the present.  And I do this so very well.  I think I fake it so well that I trick my mind into a state of transcendent bliss.  This doesn't always last because I inevitably go back to dwelling over past events or worrying over future plans.  How do I live in a perpetual state of "now?"  

She also says that we need to try to disentangle the built-in glitches of the human condition, which "I'm going to over-simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment."  Liz's psychologist friend describes it as "desire is the design flaw."  I thought about this, and yes, none of us are happy/content all of the time.  In fact, most of us are probably content less than half of the day--though I personally strive for more than that.  Is desire really to blame for this?  Desire does certainly complicate things.  I desire so many things in life, and perhaps the realistic fact that I wont obtain all that I want would cause me to be unsatisfied or unfulfilled?  But, as we grow up our desires change.  Desire is one of the supreme factors that motivate us to do awesome things in life, to pursue seemingly impossible dreams.  We cannot live without desire.  We wouldn't be human without desire.  Even a shadow of desire moves us.  Changes us.  Leads us.  Maybe, we sacrifice a perpetual state of happiness for the ability to desire.  

Dream always, desire always, love always,


Reet said...

good one.

Maria said...

Hi Amanda...
Two things come to mind here...
* Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also*

If someone's treasure is in anything earthly, there will be disappointment... as nothing/no one is perfect~

* Joy and Peace that go beyond all understanding are not related to 'happiness.' Happy is an emotion that fluctuates day to day, moment to moment.
Spiritual JOY is eternal ♥
These things I know are true~

love you always, Mom