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Needs and desires

de Alexander Smit

em 03 Jul 2008

   Man is a desiring being. At a deeper level there is the need in every human being for things he cannot do without, such as water, food, warmth, cooling, shelter and clothing. These fall under ‘must’, which is the characteristic of a need. Needs are absolutely fundamental, and throughout our lives they continue to assert their coercive force.


Man is a desiring being. At a deeper level there is the need in every human being for things he cannot do without, such as water, food, warmth, cooling, shelter and clothing. These fall under ‘must’, which is the characteristic of a need. Needs are absolutely fundamental, and throughout our lives they continue to assert their coercive force.
On the other hand he who has experienced love knows that love is not a need. Love cannot be reduced to a coercive force, open to repetition, and leading one to satisfaction.
Love cannot be given or received, because it is our real nature. At best love may be recognized, when the other is recognized as oneself, as love.
The reducing of love to a demanding need, including the hope and the expectation that, in fact, satisfaction is to be found there, is an error of the modern relationship.
Needs are physical. Love transcends physicality and reminds us that we are spiritual beings, longing for union in love.

Your unlimited presence

Neither head nor heart can encompass what we really are. Truth can never be found within a form, whether that form be physical, intellectual or emotional. Nor can truth be found in ideas of formlessness, because such ideas are nothing but subtler forms.
The body - which is really a perception - is no doubt a passing phenomenon. Whenever we consider or experience our body, we are in fact considering the idea that we have of it. That idea is trying to tell us that we are twenty-five, fifty or seventy-five years old. The body, however, is not an idea in that sense. It is a momentary impression of a fragment perceived by us, which - through a trick of memory - we attach onto a previously constructed image.
Generally our experience of the body is related to a smaller part of it: the feet on the ground, or an itch on our head. In case of illness, too, attention is forced to go to the unpleasant and painful area experienced by us. Although such occurrences are referred to as ‘I’ and ‘my’ body, they are in fact the ultra-quick perceptions of milder or more intense sensations.

In other words, these are sensations of things appearing within awareness. That which appears within awareness is an object or an idea. The body is perceived as a ‘thing’, be it a sensation, an image, or an idea, all of which is produced by memory. The same applies to all other forms of sensory perception, for these too are a form of ideas. And the story produced by us as a result of these perceptions - again, through memory - we refer to as ‘the world’.
Each idea, including the sensory fragments perceived, projected together, and subsequently called ‘the world’ by us - me, mine, a person, you, a tree, or whatever it may be - is limited. The more closely you look, the more limitations you will find. A single perception may just last one thousandth of a second.

We perceive ideas, never a world.
Before any experience, which is the outcome of ideas, is to appear, you, being the conscious Presence, have to be there already before the idea, during the idea, and after the idea. Whether we look upon an idea as being limited by time, or by time and space, in either case it is limited. It cannot experience the Unlimited.
On the other hand the Unlimited cannot limit itself - It cannot come down to the level of any ‘thing’ in order to know that thing. Before infinite space no finite object can stand. From the standpoint of the Unlimited (if it is to be called a ‘standpoint’ at all), there are no ideas, there is no person having ideas, there is no waking state or dream state. You, being unlimited Awareness, you who are present before, during, and after any idea or perception, and therefore without any limitation, can never be bound by any form of creation whatsoever, in the same way as space can never be bound by the wind.
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