Where does it arise from ? What types of desire does a human being experience ? Is desire healthy ? Can one be free from desire ? And finally, can one be objective in answering these questions ?
To be fully objective while answering the above questions is somewhat challenging, but, it might be worth a shot as there’s much to be gained by contemplating such questions.
For starters, it seems like desire stems from two places, the body, and mind. Bodily desires are the obvious ones, to eat, move, rest, sex etc. Mind desires are the desire for happiness, wholeness, knowledge, love, attention etc.
Bodily desires, generally speaking, are quite simple and happen automatically. In some cases, one might indulge in food, substances or sex, and that can backfire. But to over indulge in bodily desires is usually a side effect of a distressed mind. That said, if the mind is at peace, usually the body finds peace as well.
Mental or egoic desires are not as simple. Egoic desires usually stem from fear, or insecurity, and those feelings are planted in us as we grow up. We acquire this feelings from the environment around us, our education, relationships, and the list goes on.
Simply said, our conditioning plays a big role in determining our desires.
Regardless of conditioning, the desire to be loved, might be the main desire driving every human being. This one powerful desire manifests in many ways, sometimes as the desire for material wealth, to be famous, funny, brave etc. So wanting to be loved is what usually drives us as human beings.
Is there anything odd in that ? I don’t know. But what I do know is this, its definitely worth contemplating is the origin of love itself, because if one does so, maybe the desire to seek love externally fades away, and if that’s the case, life can become way lighter and simpler.
A question that might arise now is, how does one bring desire to an end ?
So I don't think desire comes to an absolute end, but once we start to better understand and analyze our thought/desire patterns, we learn how to better manage our desires. And in due time, the desire to seek externally begins to fade away.
How do we manage to better understand our desire and thought patterns ?
Knowledge, and we look for it internally, and externally.
Externally as in books, reading psychology for example, say Carl Jung, would shed light on how the psyche operates, how the shadow/ego operates. This type of understanding opens us up in many ways. We simply become more of conscious of our being, and we gain insight. We could also delve into other types of books, say Yoga, or Buddhism. These traditions, over thousands of years, have mastered the human psyche from a different perspective. These days we call it ‘spirituality’, but honestly, it should be called reality, or the reality of being. Understanding how we operate, and what we are at our core, is understanding reality. How they don't teach us self knowledge and meditation at school baffles me. If one understands his or her own being, all else falls into place.
Internally as in meditation and contemplation. To meditate as in to be conscious or aware of our way of being. To observe what’s happening within and without. Then comes contemplation, and that’s when we ask questions that lead to answers that shed light on our way of being.
For example, why do I always seek a partner ? Answer might be, my parents did not show enough attention and so I project that lack, or, by observing life around me, I tricked myself into thinking my partner would make me whole.
So one meditates and realizes the amount and type of desire within, and then contemplates the origin of desire, and how to work with it. Let's go back to the example above, how do I work on being happy and whole while being alone ? Well, spend more time alone, be silent and still at times, observe, contemplate, travel, read, take up a hobby. Force yourself to be with yourself, and in due time, things will fall into place. You will realize you are not your mind, not a bunch of memories and projections, and find a peace that no one can ever give you.
And know desire is not a bad thing, what’s bad is unconsciously being driven by desire, or fear and insecurity. If desire is made conscious, and for the right reasons (not to feed the ego), then it's all good.
In a nutshell, understand thyself, and wake up to what is real. That's what all traditions have been saying for thousands of years.
Become conscious of the mind, conscious of consciousness. Explore, learn, and the more you learn, the easier it becomes to find a space that’s empty of desire and fear.
Being relatively empty of desire and fear, we find peace and gentleness within. And this peace that lies within, is the gateway to the source of love.
In other words, it's all within you and nowhere else. The love you seek is actually your essence. Pure consciousness is who you are. Abide as pure consciousness, be present as consciousness, and watch all resistance melt away.