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Question: How do I know what I want?
Speaker: How do I know what I want? Happens with most of us. Right? We are not sure about what we really want. How many of us feel this confusion? Sometimes, often or always. I don’t know what I want. Most of us.
(Addressing the questioner). Let us look at these wants. When you want something, what is the process?
Listener: It vanishes.
Speaker: It goes away. The want goes away. You want ‘A’. So there is this ‘A’ which you do not have, and then there is the want. And what happens to the want when you get ‘A’? So, you wanted ‘A’. You wanted to get ‘A’. In wanting ‘A’ you wanted the want to vanish. Are you getting it?
After all, I want ‘A’ and the moment ‘A’ is achieved the want dies. So what does the want want. The want wants to die. It says that I will get ‘A’ and then I will die. That is strange. Isn’t it? What we want is the disappearance of want. When you want something, you actually want that desire to disappear. You want that desire to disappear.
The question is, ‘can the desire disappear by wanting more and more and achieving more and more?’ ‘Has it ever happened that you have wanted and achieved and the whole process of wanting has come to an end?’ Does it happen?’ You want. You achieved and the process of wanting stops. Has it happened? What may happen is that the objects of want my change. You want ‘A’ and then you may say that now I want ‘B’, but the want will remain very much in its place. I have heard that a survey was done among dying people. People who were terminally ill when they were asked that now that you are close to the end of your life, are you satisfied? Particularly, they were asked about the amount of money that they have. A very wonderful thing emerged. Those who had 200 dollars said that they we would have been happier if they would have had 2000 dollars. Those who had 500 dollars, they said that they were not yet satisfied. They wanted 5000 dollars. One of the billionaires who was dying said that I would have been satisfied, if I had 10 billion dollars in my account. The ratio was constant, 1:10. It doesn’t matter how much you have, you want ten times more. So, the want remains equally strong irrespective of how much you have achieved. The want never goes away. And the want, is always of wantlessness.
When you want something, do you want that want to remain permanent? Do you want to remain wanting? Or do you want that the desire should be fulfilled? What do you want? Or do you say that the desire should remain permanent? You say that I want to fulfill this desire. But the wanting remains always permanent. No desire ever gets fulfilled. Let me put it this way.
Desire never get fulfilled. Objects are achieved, objects come and go, but the desire remains steadfast at its own place. That never goes away. When you ask that what do I want, it is obvious that you want to be free of want. That is the ultimate want that all of us have- desirelessness. That is what we deeply want. That is what every desire promises you. That is what our heart is crying for. To be free of all wants. That is what every desire promises when you want something. This time if you succeed, then you will feel fulfilled, then you will want no more. Because all wanting is dissatisfaction. You only want something when you are dissatisfied with what you have.
Every new desire, every want is a promise that the mind is making to itself. The mind is promising itself that this time if I get it, I will not desire anymore. This is the final one. But the final one never comes. It is a succession, it is a procession. Now you want this, and then you want that, then you want that and you find that the thirst is never quenched. Howsoever you drink, the thirst stands at its place. You want wantlessness and wantlessness can not come by wanting more and more and more. Wantlessness can not come by wanting more. But that’s the stupid logic of the mind. It keeps wanting in order to get wantlessness and every time it wants to give itself another chance. Let me give myself another chance. This time if I get it, it will be the final one.
So, why not straight away come to the ultimate desire? The ultimate desire is to be free of desire; freedom from desire. You have to look very cautiously at it. Freedom from desire is not the killing of desire, it is also not the absence of desire. It is just the freedom from desire. Freedom from desire means that desire is there but desire is there at its own place and I am there at my own place. That desire is not dominating me. This chair is there, I am related to this chair in some way, but yet I am free of this chair. I sat on it on my own accord and I can get up from it on my own accord. Freedom from desire; the desirelessness; the wantlessness means that the desire stands at its own place and I am not a slave of this desire. Desire will come. Till the time there is life, there is desire. Till the time, you are breathing, there is desire. Desires will be there, but there is something separate from that desire as well. I am there. I am there, the watcher of desire, and then desire is not overpowering. The desire is not making you mad. The desire does not make you stupid. This is what intelligence is. Yes, desire is there. Alright?
There is the brain. There is the body. Desire is there, but I am not dominated by it. I can understand how it arises. I can see its origin, its source. It is going away. Everything is obvious, but it is not too much upon me. And then, your mind will not be able to fool you.Then you won’t be deceived by all these promises that want a little more. May be that is what will make you happy. Then life will not be boring. Then, you won’t feel distracted all the time. All this distraction is just dissatisfaction. I want something else, I want something else. Distraction is just dissatisfaction. And we are distracted all the time. This only means that the mind is making an utter fool of you. You are thinking that instead of this if you have something else, you will be satisfied. You will never be satisfied. Wherever you are, whatever you get, will you ever be satisfied? You are just being fooled by an empty promise. Watch the desire. Understand the desire.
That is wantlessness. That is desirelessness.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: What do I really want? || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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