Kabbalistic Concepts

The Origin of Desire

Where does your desire come from? Our desires can be sparked by all kinds of outside influences. You just saw a commercial for a fast food joint and now you’re hankering for a hamburger. Your friend is wearing the latest fashion and now you feel the need to head to the mall. These kinds of desires can creep up on us, led by something internal or external. Most of the time, we are unaware of what influences our desires. Sometimes, we don’t even notice the desire itself; we simply act. This may have little consequence in regards to non-spiritual desires. Yet, when we desire something of the spiritual nature, it is not only the action that improves our connection to the Light, it is the consciousness behind that action.

You may recall a time when you felt the need to meditate or talk to the Creator. You couldn’t pinpoint a reason why; you only knew that you felt called to become closer to the Creator. In such a moment, we have the opportunity to call more Light into the world. Of course, we should act on the urge to connect with the Creator. But the act doesn’t end with the prayer.

Unlike the craving for a hamburger or a new pair of jeans, spiritual desire is planted in our hearts and minds by the Creator. The urge to read the Zohar, scan Hebrew prayers, or sing aloud is a beautiful thing that should be embraced. Yet, we limit the amount of Light we connect to and bring into the world when we are unaware of the origin of this desire. It behooves us to go a step further and recognize that the desire to be close to the Creator is a direct result of His presence. The Zohar tells us that the Creator is revealed to us in direct relation to how much we are aware that the Creator is being revealed to us. This means that by failing to understand the role the Creator plays in our lives we limit our relationship with Him.

After a spiritual desire is awakened within us, we have the opportunity to act. Action (in most cases) leads to the fulfillment of that desire. Many stop here, but there is one more crucial step—that is, becoming aware that the initial desire was awakened by the Creator. So many of us skip this step. We feel satisfied in the moment by the connection we create that we never give it another thought.

The key to overcoming this single limitation is seeing beyond our ego-based actions, seeing beyond ourselves and recognizing the Creator in all things. How do we do this? Practice! The Creator is in all things; it’s our decision to look for Him. This requires a shift in consciousness. “If we truly believe the Creator is being revealed to us right now,” says Michael Berg, “the Creator will be revealed to us right now.”

The Creator reveals Himself to us each day. Learn to recognize it by starting small—go for a walk and take in your surroundings. Notice the Creator reflected in the nature around you or in the smile of a passerby. Use this same technique with increasingly larger ideas, like opportunities that arise or the joy you feel receiving a message from a friend. You may then start to see the Creator in your thoughts and desires, as well. The Creator is in all of these things. “Eventually,” says Michael Berg, “when we no longer question whether or not we are seeing the Hand of the Creator, when we acknowledge that absolutely every thought of a spiritual nature is a direct revelation from the Creator, we will begin to rise to the level of the prophets.” With practice, seeing the Creator’s hand in everything around you becomes second nature, a habit that brings more Light into your life and the world.

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