Desire and Ideals
(Posted on July 25, 2013 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” study group and working on the “Desire” lesson, a class member shared some thoughts and experiences relating to desire and ideals, including a very special example of how intense desire can manifest in life and also an appreciation for Mark Thurston’s contributions to the ASFG lessons. Here is my reply. – David McMillin]
I have also found Mark's "Experiments" helpful, both in my own personal experience, and when creating media and exercises for these lessons. I found his explanation of the linkage of desire with "incompleteness" very insightful and incorporated that concept into the video overview, as you may have noticed. ("The crass marketing of sensual desire in all its manifestations, fills an emptiness or void created by the pervasive materialistic values and philosophy of modern life.")
While we're complimenting Mark and sharing some of his thoughts on this lesson, I also found his first "Experiment" (page 46) to be especially useful in understanding the importance of coordinating desire with ideals. Since this relates to the concept of "Spiritualizing Desire" through ideals and mindfulness (an exercise in this lesson), here it is for anyone who may find it helpful:
Experiment: Be aware of how you are using your will and observe that by your choices your are strengthening certain desires. Try to make choices that will reinforce those desires which lead you closer to your ideal. (Experiments in Practical Spirituality, page 46).
You are already aware of how desire can manifest in life, based on the fulfillment of your own childhood desire that has become real to you as an adult. While doing research on desire in the Cayce readings, I found this same dynamic over and over. I think of it as manifestation by desire. As you quoted in your post above: "mind is the builder and physical is the result." However, there is a step before mind begins to build. Although I quoted this in a previous reply in the context of Holistic Manifestation, it is worth repeating, for it the means by which everything comes into physical reality (even the universe itself as God desired):
For truly is there found that the desire must precede the action and that directed thought becomes action in the concrete manner, through each force that the spiritual elements manifests through. (106-9)
Here are a couple of quotes from the desire readings that illustrate the role of desire as the first step in personal reality creation:
(Q) Will I have any children?
(A) If the entity so desires, it may. (4586-2)
(Q) Will I be married within the next year?
(A) If so desired.
(Q) Do I know the person I am to marry? If not, when will I meet him?
(A) That is of the entity's own making, and of the entity's own desire. (2497-3)
I have found many of these types of Cayce quotes about the power of desire to create and manifest in virtually every area of life – from obtaining and keeping employment to creating health (physical and mental). Remember, desire is an attribute of Spirit. Spirit is the life, mind is the builder, physical is the result. Thus, desire is the first step in the reality creation process. Pretty powerful concept, isn't it! And you have experienced this in your own life and now know the power of desire to create and transform. Guided by a spiritual ideal, desire is wondrous.
I know you like exercises where information can be displayed in a table or matrix (rows and columns). Here is one more possible tool for you to consider. (I am thinking of creating this as a resource anyway). Here is a Cayce quote that recommends doing a "Desire Analysis" using ideals as the measure:
Then analyze self. What is thy desire, physically, mentally, spiritually? Then what is thy ideal as respecting same? Is it set in that which is to be the gratifying of self's purposes as to position, fame, fortune or what not? or is it set in that as ye know, as ye have experienced, that all of these unless directed and prompted by the Spirit of Truth can but come to naught! (1470-2)
Certainly this is a variation on the Ideals Exercise – a simplified way of focusing on Desires (spiritual, mental, and physical) in table (rows and columns). But rather than doing the full Ideals Exercise (listing mental attitudes and physical behaviors, etc) it is a simple, brief way of identifying desires and spiritualizing them by comparing them to the Ideal, much as Mark suggested in his Experiment that I quoted above. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experiences with this lesson. Blessings, Dave
Experiments in Practical Spirituality – Mark Thurson’s book is an excellent resource for the lessons in ASFG II.
Holistic Materialization – This video segment describes how desire plays an important role in the creatin of our personal reality ("manifestation"). It includes examples from my experience as a building contractor.