Q308. Desire comes from the thoughts we cling to. What is the difference between desire and a goal? Humanity will never progress without having a goal to grow in life, which is the law of nature.

A. A goal comes from desire. It is a concrete expression of your desire. I never tell you not to have desire or a goal in your life. As you said, your desire is the motive to develop the world into a better place to live in. You love your family, and your goal in life is to make enough money to help them to enjoy an easy and comfortable life. Love is also another expression of desire.

 

The key problem is that we don’t control desire but are controlled by it. And we have seen what miserable and even disastrous things it can lead us to do when our life is run by our desire.

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What I mean is not that desire is bad and that you should not have it, but that we should be able to drive our desire instead of being driven by it through realising the root of your desire. When, aware of the root of your desire, you can run your desire instead of being run by it, your desire is called compassion. What Zen says is not that we should not have desire but that you should turn it into compassion, wise desire.

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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