Everything is accomplished through desire. If you pick up a glass, it isn’t because you told your nerves to fire and your muscles to step by step, move one leg then the other over to the table, move your arm out, close your fingers around the glass, lever it up. It’s because you wanted a drink and everything else just happened. Wanting is the key to accomplishment.
So what happens when we can’t get something done? and by that I mean what happened to your life? What happens to where we hoped to go, where we wanted to go? This confusion and loss of will and direction is why it is so crucial for parents not to deny desire. This is why it is so crucial for us not to deny our desires. If you break the desire pathways, if you confuse them, you won’t be able to pick up the glass.
Desire is good, or more to the point, desire is. Desire is the engine of being in this world. So what are we to do with the mass and mess, the great hairy beast of our desires, that magpie ball of strange wanting threads all tangled together?
Because for most of us, it is’t that we don’t desire, it’s choosing which desire – chocolate cake or fitting into the jeans – that we service with effort. Beyond that is the willingness to even know what we desire instead of lurching from action to unconsidered action. Consider sin and virtue from the vantage point of unconscious and conscious. Consider deadly sin. The deadly sins mostly are, so the fact that we’re always doing them speaks to the clash and oddness of desire, because who wants to be dead?
Desire is water finding it’s way through all the crevices and cracks of our being. Brute discipline often backfires, damming up, damning up the flow until it breaks out in often overwhelming uncontrolled and ugly ways. We need sacred Bacchanalia. I came in in the middle of Soderburgh’s Magic Mike last night (it’s about male strippers). A really good movie. Anyway, I’m watching these scenes of the strippers and the screaming women, I’m cringing a little, but thinking, this is it, these are the Maenads of Dionysus. But it isn’t as good if it isn’t sacred. The ritual holds the desire, makes some use of it, makes some sense of it, makes boundaries around it, without attempting to kill it, without attempting to murder something that cannot be murdered, only contained and transformed.
To find the right god, to find the right way to God through desire is the secret of life. Desire that can serve the god, desire that can serve the good, purified desire is the root of all happiness.