Some people say, ‘desire is the root cause of all evil’. Well, that statement is not quite true. It should be ‘uncontrolled desire is the root cause of all evil’. If you reflect long and deep enough on this statement, you will realize that most of our problems in life are caused by our uncontrolled desires. More aptly, you can say ‘lust’.
What does it mean to desire? It means to want something. There is nothing wrong to have desire but make sure you have the right kind of desires and make sure your desires don’t cause you problems. In another word, make sure what you want is right. Let’s say for example, you are married but you are sexually not satisfied with your wife. Let’s just say you have a problem at home and you are not getting enough of sex.
In your workplace, you happen to be close to one of your female colleague. One day she invited you to her house for a tea. You went. In fact you went just as a friend. Everything was going all right, but somehow the topic changed and suddenly you found yourself on the verge of having sex with her, but fortunately you remembered…
If you commit the act, it means you are betraying your wife and committing adultery. You probably will hide the whole thing from your wife but knowing you have betrayed someone will create guilt in yourself for as long as you are alive.
If you don’t do it, of course it means you are loosing something you have desired for a long time, but you will feel good for being a good man, and you will not feel guilty. You will not have to be afraid of anyone fearing others will find out about it.
What will you do? Will you let your desire for sex take over or will you control your desire? Most people will quickly say they won’t do it but when the lust takes over, anything can happen. Just take Malaysia’s former Health Minister as an example for this scenario.
Now, had he controlled his desire, probably he wouldn’t have lost his job. He has created problems and humiliation for himself all because lack of self control. This is just a typical example but uncontrolled desires can cause other types of problems too.
Please remember, I am not saying having desire is wrong. I am saying uncontrolled desires can lead to problems. In fact, human beings cannot live without desires. It is the nature of human beings. We cannot name one person in this world who is living without desires.
The thirst for water for example, is a desire to drink water. Can we live without water? No we cannot. That desire for water is alright. So, there are basic desires which are important for our survival in this world. Problem arises when we include all other desires which we don’t really need for surviving in this world as basic desires.
The desire to become rich for example, is it wrong? People will say it is not wrong to have such desire. Not wrong because wealth can give more security for your survival down here in this world, but only in this world not the world hereafter.
Have you seen those people who are so absorbed in their desire to be rich that it creates tension and anxiety inside in them? Do we need such desires then? Do we need tension, stress or anxiety to live in this world? We don’t need them but they exist because we don’t see the true value of life and give priority to our unnecessary desires.
Look closely and see for yourself how people’s lives are being directed by their desires. It is the desire that is making everyone behaving the way they are behaving. It is desire that is making people do whatever they are doing. Desires are controlling everyone.
If you are reading this article for example, you probably had the desire to know something about desire, and probably ended here through the search engine. See how desire is controlling and moving you? If you control your desires, you can decide and navigate your life the way you want it, not the way your desire wants it.
You and your desires are different. Don’t let your desires direct your life. Check your desires. Find out what is of true value at all in life and live for that value. There is nothing that last forever in this world. Remember that and seek out to find something permanent. Now, what can that be? Contemplate on it.