“Desire” was introduced at the end of the last blog and is brilliantly delineated in Thomas Asacker’s book, “The Business of Belief….”
“To be fully aware is to recognize that there is no distinction between what you do and what you desire.” 1
And where does desire come from? It’s from a combination of innate characteristics and tendencies with cultural conditioning (parents, schools, national and cultural traditions). These provide the staging for all our experiences, actions and reactions which ultimately weave the threads – and desires -- of our lives.
“… desire is the spark that ignites your beliefs and fuels your actions … although your thinking mind is skilled at estimating and comparing options, your feeling mind is the crew chief. If it doesn’t desire what the thinking mind is contemplating, nothing will happen. Desire is what moves you from thinking to doing.” 2
To change behavior, change your beliefs and desire will follow.
“What we believe is what we desire, and what we desire is ultimately what we do. It’s the human condition.” 3
So if cultural conditioning is the major player in establishing our beliefs and fueling our desires, what can be done in adulthood about childhood conditioning? The truthful answer is this: be wakeful and watch the stories that we tell ourselves. By bringing self-awareness to them, we see them more clearly as a virtual reality without truth in each new moment-of-now … as we quoted earlier:
“Everything is inherently without meaning. Except for the meaning we create.” 4
Some insight can also be gleaned from looking at the larger worldview. Cultural conditioning is based on values reflected in regional beliefs and morals which can be grouped into larger “myths” relevant to mankind’s journey (evolution) on this planet. The two most relevant to our times are the “Material Myth” and the “Spiritual Myth”.
The Larger Worldview
Master Charles Cannon teaches that: 5
The Material Myth is a level of evolution in human consciousness. This myth is determined by the values that we espouse and is governed by egocentricity. It is driven by the illusion-generating device called the ego. The ego’s sole purpose is to create a virtual reality that isn’t real so that you might experience what you are not -- illusion.
The ultimate value of the Material Myth is money. It’s based on conflict, conquest, and competition. It is predicated upon an illusion of separation, that you are separate and different, that it is survival of the fittest, and you can succeed by competing and being better than the others that you encounter.
When you experience what you are not, you are experiencing what isn’t real. And what isn’t real is guaranteed to deliver the experience of misery or pain. Otherwise, in an evolutionary understanding, you would never leave it. If it were true, it would be fulfilling. There would be conquests and competition and great wealth and everything that wealth could buy. You would be so fulfilled that you would never leave it. But it isn’t that way! How many very-wealthy people “with everything” have you known that are miserable? Money can’t buy happiness. So suffering is built into material myth and the egocentric levels of consciousness.
When you reach the extreme of suffering, then and then only do you awaken, when you grow enough self-awareness to extract yourself from it and move to the next level of myth, which is Spiritual Myth.
Bottom line, any virtual reality is based on belief. It’s just data, just a story we tell, a story you were told. This can be referenced in terms of the progression of evolving individuated consciousness -- the most important aspect of the mind is not its content but what remains when its content is eliminated. Is there more than the stories I tell about who I am and what life is? Is there more to human experience? Is there more to reality? Are my stories, my explanations, and my definitions just a limitation to the fullness of the experience of life?
The Spiritual Myth is trans-egoic and anchored in the truth that there is only one unified consciousness. Life as consciousness is sacred and of ultimate value. The values of the Spiritual Myth are holistic, life-affirmative and love-based. They are anchored in the truth of who-we-are and what-life-is, as one consciousness -- a unity in diversity.
The focus of the Spiritual Myth is to maximize the evolution of consciousness, to honor the happenings of consciousness and flow with it, trusting and watching as consciousness orchestrates the show and continues to actualize its primary intention to ever more fully be itself through the experience of itself within relative reality. The values of the Spiritual Myth could best be expressed as to better ourselves, to honor the evolution of consciousness both individually and collectively.
The determining value reflected in all of our choices would be: what works best in the evolution of our consciousness both individually and collectively? Love, compassion, kindness, patience, tolerance, joy, gratitude, forgiveness, generosity, courage and peace are paramount in such truthful choices because the Spiritual Myth is trans-egocentric.
The egocentric values of the Material Myth are progressively eliminated in the Spiritual Myth. Stories manifesting as life-negation, fear, selfishness, greed, competition, self-concern, envy, jealousy, hatred, animosity, vengeance, cruelty, abuse, despair are perceived as less-evolved values because they cause suffering. In the spiritual myth, love is ultimately experienced as the only satisfying choice. Eventually one chooses it over egocentric experience, which is predominantly unsatisfying and unfulfilling. The ego is overcome because the suffering it causes is unacceptable. Solutions to suffering are sought and the truth becomes known.
As you shift from illusory story-telling to truthful stories, your values are changing and they are reflected in these myths. You move from the Material Myth, which is an egoic construct, to the trans-egoic construct of the Spiritual Myth wherein illusory stories are gradually eliminated.
This is what I call modern spirituality in the digital age and the harnessing of technology for the evolution of consciousness.
There is only one, one blissful energy as all and everything. And that one is constantly revealing itself in every moment, if we are only aware enough to look, if we drop our stories long enough to be our authentic selves. And when we do, we are in awe of the perfection of it all.
REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING:
1. Thomas Asacker, ““The Business of Belief: How the World's Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople, Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs and Other Leaders Get Us to Believe” (Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 2013), pg. 49.
2. Ibid., pg. 49
3. Ibid., pg. 56
4. Ibid., pg. 29
5. Master Charles Cannon, Presentations in retreats.