“All that desires seeks to make a connection with what it lacks, something that is not present at the moment…there is undoubtedly a striving, an urge to satisfy a need not immediately present; the fulfillment is not immediate, as is the case of reactions.” -J.G. Bennett, A Spiritual Psychology p. 118
Can I desire what I have never known? Can I desire something if there were not already a resonant receptor within me corresponding with that desire?
A sense of lack represents longing for relationship, connection with the ‘something’ missing in the moment. Whether this object of desire is tangible; i.e., a material object, an accomplishment, a person, or whether it is an abstraction; i.e., to be a more compassionate person, or to serve God, or to know myself, the emotional experience of longing represents a sense of past loss or a hope for a future connection. I can feel its strong pull upon me. intellectually, emotionally, physically, or any combination of the three. In another sense, that relationship must already exist. The longing is the tread that attaches me at one end to what resonates for me at the other end, but seemingly out of reach. In a manner of speaking, I am entangled with the object of my desire wherever it may be, past, present, or future.
We don’t doubt the existence of tangible desires. They can be found in the forms and phenomena of the four dimensions of space-time accessible to our bodily senses. What about intangible objects of longing? Does the intangible also have an ‘existence’ in a dimension of potentiality, another level beyond the four dimensions of space-time? If they do not have an ‘existence,’ a ‘reality’ somewhere, if they did not have the potential to be fulfilled, then why do I have a ‘receptor’ within my emotional/ psychological structure arranged specifically to resonate with the idea of what is wished for?
With an instinctive desire for air, water, food, etc., the bio-chemical-neurological machine is pre-wired to seek the qualities of energetic vibrations necessary to sustain its functioning. At the moment of conception, the pathways to connect with life-supporting aspects of the environment are encoded to develop for the specific purpose of seeking their appropriate counterparts.
Wouldn’t that process work in a resonant way in my emotional and mental ‘bodies’ also, so they are programmed to seek what will nourish their life? Emotional desire seeks fulfillment by searching for an experience of the right quality to satisfy the vibration of itswish.
How do we know what to ‘long’ for? Is it an intellectual choice or a ‘felt’ need? We recognize what we call emotions as ‘feelings,’ literally a type of inner touch, vibration, movement, fullness or emptiness. We ‘feel’ something! Something in us is reverberating in response to…what? If we are feeling the lack of something and desire it to appear, then we are in relationship in that moment, with a memory of something experienced that we want repeated or something conceptualized but not yet experienced that we wish to actually connect with. If I have never experienced it, how can there be in me a longing for it? Why would I long to understand the meaning of existence if something were not inherent in me designed to pursue that question?
My wish reaches out along the invisible threadthat searches for an image of that which it believes would satisfy its hunger. The fact that the image, or sense, of this object of longing appears in the mind of the wisher, triggers a resonant bio-chemical reaction in the emotional part of a person, suggests that something in the emotional part was pre-wired to react to the wished-for image prior to the appearance of that image. Sometimes I cannot identify the object of my longing. The feeling of incompleteness predominates but without clarity about its fulfillment. Nevertheless, something in me does feel the connection, and its reverberation motivates my search for resolution.
The same reasoning would hold for intellectual and conceptual functions. When a new idea appears in my mind, an idea or connection I have never seen or thought of before, where did it come from? Where was it the moment prior to my finding it in my mind? When the first human realized how fire could be tamed and used, where was the understanding prior to the thought appearing in the mind of the discoverer? How could it appear in the mind without any previous references or experiences? What would there be in the mind to receive it? There needs to exist certain brain structures to facilitate abstract reasoning. Why would those structures have developed if there were no abstract understanding, a priori, waiting for a brain to find it? These brain structures must develop in anticipation of encountering this world of symbols and concepts!
When I experience desire, some part of me is longing for something it is currently missing. There is already a relationship between what I lack and what I long for. This desire can represent either very high or very low interests or motivations within myself. I need to know the difference so I can discriminate the direction upwards towards my higher wishes and thus strengthen the pre-existing connection with my higher potential. Then, I must learn to hold the two, both higher and lower desires, in heart and mind simultaneously, recognizing that both represent parts of me that have their own life on their own level. Both must be respected and fed appropriately.
The effort to find this perspective and the state that allows for its manifestation represents an impartiality that does not itself have a desire for a particular outcome. It only sees what is there and accepts the Truth of that. Conditioned preferences of like and dislike, longing, and satiation may continue to be experienced inside me, but I accept what the situation presents and respond to it as best I can according to my understanding of what is appropriate and helpful at that moment.
Thus, the existence of Desire, as a subjective experience, suggests confirmation of a dimension of unrealized possibilities that is a priori to the development of the human mind. The mind developed capacities to feel and see the existence of possibilities. The human mind seems to have developed in order to explore this intangible realm, which has been waiting patiently since before Time, to establish a relationship with receptors in our brains.