Do you ever do something and then IMMEDIATELY afterwards you’re like, “Get me away from this, kind of right now”? With the exception of a few rambunctious years in my early 20s, I’ve always been pretty self-aware, however, more recently I’m noticing this energetic “thing” that occurs within myself – and I don’t know what to make of it. Allow me to paint you a picture.
So… I’m sitting in my living room doing a whole lot of nothing (usually reading) when I’m rather suddenly struck with this longing – intense desire and craving – for something. Could be anything. It might be Cadbury Eggs. It might be Doritos. It might be water. I usually sit with that craving for a minute or two. During this time a number of things could happen: I assess the effort needed to satisfy that desire, I assess whether that effort is something I care to put forth, I assess where that desire is coming from, etc… And then, often but not always, I take care of that longing. I go and get my fill of Easter Candy. I go eat many Dorito chips. I drink a bottle of water. Fine. Dandy, even.
But then something else happens, almost invariably, and regardless of the degree to which I engage in the aforementioned want. The closest mental-emotional label I think I can assign to what happens after would probably be aversion – but I’ll tell you right now that’s not the best fit. I long for the taste of Cadbury Eggs, so I eat one (or ten, the amount truly is irrelevant) and the desire is fulfilled and then right after that I feel very strongly that I want nothing to do with Cadbury Eggs. I don’t regret having eaten the one (or ten), and I’ll (probably) absolutely do it again if/when that feeling next arises, but no matter how many times it happens this is the pattern – predictable as the seasons. This applies to many things whether we’re talking work, food, sex, books, gardening, … you can just about name it. There are naturally a few exceptions, but all of those aside this is 100% applicable to any desire or want that hits me in this way. I want, perhaps very strongly, and then I do not want – at all. It’s quite like some kind of switch is flipped. Very clearly on, and then very clearly off.
I don’t really know what to make of it.
I don’t fight the craving or the want. I never really feel any form of regret or guilt because of it. I think what might be happening is that I am increasingly able to fully let go of the want that “attacked” me. I think this process is one where I’ve recognized when it arrives, I have a brief look at it, and then after (usually) engaging it I let it leave fully and cleanly.
It reminds me of what we’re advised in meditation which is not to fight thoughts that arise, just observe them and subsequently release them, or rather allow them to keep moving. My hopeful side says that this advice translates into this scenario regarding wants – I’m seeing it arise, I observe, I engage (which is an exception to the meditation advice), and then I release (I think this translates as realization that the usefulness has passed). Of course the release part is what’s trippy. And if I can continue to speculate, I’ll say that it’s not true aversion, but rather my conscious mind making something out of nothing – literally nothing, meaning the absence of the usual attachment to our wants and desires, and then trying to give that nothing a label.
But let’s suppose that I’m giving myself too much credit. Then what? I mean that question pretty much literally – if not the above, then what’s going on here? Why am I experiencing wants, sometimes quite intensely, and then upon satisfying them feeling no connection thereto? Maybe this is a silly thing to question.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha