In many conversations I have had about writing this blog and exploring desire, there comes the question of definition: What is desire? I don’t feel any urge to answer this in a definitive way. I have already said that longing, for me, is not desire – and yet I know it is an important element of some desires. It just does not equate with desire for me.
However, I am always interested in what others say about this question. A friend recently sent me this quote, which is from “Abraham Hicks” who is a channelled teacher. I have nothing to say at the moment about the value or not of channelled teachings, but I found the quote interesting:
We would describe the sensation of desire as the delicious awareness of new possibilities. Desire is a fresh, free feeling of anticipating wonderful expansion. The feeling of desire is truly the feeling of life flowing through you. But many people, while they are using the word desire, feel something quite different. Desire for them often feels like yearning. For while they are focused upon something that they want to experience or have they are equally aware of its absence. And so, while they are using words of desire, they are offering a vibration of lack. They come to think that the feeling of desire is like wanting something that they do not have. But there is no feeling of lack in pure desire.
I recently wrote a “found” poem on desire as a verb. A found poem is one that is basically something the poet has found, and turned into a poem just by how it is arranged. This poem I “found” in my much used, very battered paperback Thesaurus, which has been a companion for about 55 years. I have hardly changed what was there on the page and it is still in the same order that it was.
To Desire: Roget’s Pocket Thesaurus, 1963
To wish, wish for, care for, affect,
like, take to, cling to, fancy.
To prefer, have an eye to, have a mind to.
To have a fancy for, have at heart, be bent upon.
To set one’s heart (or mind) upon,
covet, crave, hanker after, pine for, long for.
To hope, etc.
To woo, court, ogle, solicit, fish for.
To want, miss, need, lack, feel the want of.
Note how Roget finishes with lack. And there is no inclusion of anything like what Abraham Hicks describes as “pure desire”. What is this “pure” desiring? What jumps out for me in the Hicks quote is the word “expansion”. This word resonates with my own sense of deep desire – that it is an opening to, rather than a closing around, the other, whatever that other may be. This quality of expansion takes desire out of the realms of craving and of lack.