“Well, tell me what you want, what you really, really want, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna…” The Spice Girls
I never thought the time would come when I would be quoting The Spice Girls! But I could have chosen any number of pop songs to kick off this blog post. A lot of modern, popular music expresses the deep yearnings of the separate self. The Rolling Stones ‘can’t get no satisfaction’ (as Eckhart Tolle once said, the song of the ego!), Freddie Mercury from Queen ‘wants it all’ (from the song, I Want It All) and Willie Nelson (and a few others) ‘can’t live, if living is without you…’
We seem to be hard wired for wanting. Many of us simply experience the sensation of lack within, try to identify what we think is missing and head off in search of it. It might be a new relationship, a different kind of work or career, a new hobby or pastime, a healthier body, a new place to live, a new car, phone, the latest gadget or a holiday. This kind of worldly seeking can go on for a lifetime but some of us come to realise that what we’re looking for, the world cannot offer. And so a search begins within (for our true self) or we look for some higher, greater power to worship or connect with to bring meaning to our lives.
No matter what the object of our longing is, the desired result is always the same: to put an end to wanting. What we actually want is to return to a state of simply being in the world, free from the need to complete ourselves. We want the end of wanting. Even if we relish the feeling of desiring something new, it is actually the relief from wanting that we experience upon getting what was longed for that, in truth, brings about the most pleasure. So, it’s not the new fancy phone that makes you feel good, it’s the relief you experience when the longing for it ends.
Of course, certain things in life bring us pleasure in and of themselves. I love the sound of wind on a stormy night. I also sometimes enjoy the physical sensation of touch typing on my computer. These experiences seem to be fulfilling in and of themselves. But when we yearn for something and it finally shows up in our experience, it is most often the sense of relaxation from the contraction of yearning that brings the most pleasure.
The cosmic joke of course is that what we really long for, is already here right now. That sense of relief is the emptiness you are. What you are is (as Jeff Foster so clearly puts it) the capacity for longing and wanting to come and go. All forms, whether they be thought forms, emotional forms like sadness or anger or grief or physical forms, come and go and rise and fall within this infinite capacity. What you are literally has no end, is so indescribably vast that there is nothing it cannot contain.
Recognising this can happen now as you simply bring your awareness to the present moment. When you look clearly at life unfolding now, you will notice that what is appearing now is always complete and totally uncomplicated. Problems almost always exist in the past or the future. What is happening now is simply as it is, whole and complete even if it contains some kind of action to achieve a certain goal like solving a problem.
Wanting then, is no longer a problem. I may want to write a blog post, but I don’t do so in the belief that it will complete me somehow. When the belief that something outside of you can bring you completion drops away, the 10, 000 things of the world can still be enjoyed for what they are. They simply no longer hold the promise of salvation.
Nothing in the world can complete you, for already you are completeness expressing itself as you.