I Don't Care What Happens Next
on the spiritual state of the world, the implications and utility of love, the definition and methodology of enlightenment
So, lately I’ve been a bit stuck on the topic of wanting. I’ve gone over this before in detail, so I’ll just quickly recapitulate. Whenever I notice in myself a desire for something other than what is, I try to let that go. The basic idea is that, if I’m wanting something else, I’m not truly appreciating whatever is really happening. If every time I’m at work I’m just wishing to be at home, then of course my workplace is not going to be an exciting or satisfying place to be. So, why not just stop wanting?
For me, the rub with this is, basically, in the context of relationships. I can find contentment in my personal life just fine, and never be wanting for anything, and it rarely becomes a problem for me. However, in relationships, we’ve been taught that desire is key. So, to make it simple, what I want to know is this: how do you create sexual desire without egoic wanting? I'd like to find that depth of connection we think of as romantic love, and establish that associated trust and joy, all while avoiding dissatisfaction at the spiritual level. Let’s check with the experts.
Tolle tells us in A New Earth that the ego can offer us only three states within a relationship. The first is wanting, which we already know is less than ideal. Alternatively, by refusing our egos the objects of their desire, we can induce thwarted wanting, which leads to resentment and anger. Our final choice is to not discontinue egoic wanting altogether, but at least to not want anything from our partner. This, while it sounds promising at first, leads to indifference in the relationship, as we find ourselves chasing satisfaction elsewhere. How then, I wonder, do we justify sexual desire when Tolle defines wanting as egoic and ego as incompatible with sex?
In contrast, Osho's views on sexual desire define it as totally compatible with egolessness. In fact, he touts a shift in our attitudes toward sex as a strong tool in the quest for egolessness (From Sex to Superconsciousness). But Osho also believes in meditation as a replacement for current standards in sex education; so the drive for egolessness can itself inform our perspectives on intimacy.
Indeed, Osho propounds further that mankind’s first glimpse of samadhi—the final stage of meditation in Hindi yoga, in which union with the divine is reached—likely occurred during sex. He postulates that the mind is freed of all thoughts, including wanting, during the depths of intimacy, and that this leaves only our pure selves, one with the divine, and inspires joy and egolessness.
Based on Osho’s interpretation, it seems that the desire experienced in intimacy that is not connected to ego must be that same desire that propels us down the path of enlightenment. If we are left empty of ego during intimate moments, then our spiritual impulse to seek egolessness may lead us to these moments. We do not need egoic wanting to draw us there. We do not need to crave intimacy with our minds and our bodies because our souls will seek it out effortlessly.
We certainly can appreciate this interpretation, insofar as it may remove the burden of ego from our relationships. If we find truth in it, then we will have no reason to fear a lonely moment, as we can trust our very nature to attract affection in its many varied forms.