Hungry Ghosts

ines0079bpInesite, a Calcium Magnesium Silicate, facilitates an attitude of Curiosity and Exploration, exactly what we need to counteract the Frustration of a T-Square or an Unrelenting and Unsatisfied Desire.

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A long-time reader and friend asks,

“We’re supposed to let go of the thing we’ve been trying to manifest, yet just because we haven’t had it our whole life doesn’t mean we’ll never get it.  Is this your way of saying we need to Let Go and Let God, so for example in the case of your Dreaming friend, he or she needs to surrender the need to fit in, belong, find community, or whatever, embrace the grief around the belief that it doesn’t seem possible for them in this lifetime, and then put their attention elsewhere and see what happens – or something like that?!”

Great questions!  I’ve had to reread the previous post a couple times and think about this.  Many things come to mind…

When I wrote it I intended to suggest that What We Want and What’s Holding Us Back were different things, so I didn’t mean to say we should Let Go of the thing we’ve been trying to manifest.  My original intention would have created more of an opportunity for a Gestalt session – Asking ourself to list all of our Yes-buts about what we Want, figuring out the Positive Function behind the Yes-buts, and then putting Mr. Yes-butt in one chair and Ms. Want-it in another so they can negotiate Win-Win.  Usually Mr. Fear and Ms. Safety are hiding in there somewhere as well.  The genders may be different for you.

Both/And, of course, so yes, I don’t think it hurts to Let Go of what we’ve been trying to Manifest.  It’s always metaphorical anyway (otherwise, why is it that we always Want something else after we get what we Want?), so every Letting Go creates another opportunity for the metaphor to shift closer to our True Mission.  In addition, the practice of Letting Go is important as it develops our Discernment and our Witness.  To Consciously Change anything, Witnessing our Thoughts about it and Behaviors toward it is always the first step. 

When we’re on autopilot we become our Desire.  When we are Desire, as exciting as that is, it’s a far cry from Satisfaction.  So if we want some Satisfaction as well, then we need to take off our Desire suit and just be our naked Self for a while, or at least, a different layer of the Onion that is us.  How to do that?  We can certainly try Letting Go.  We can ask, “Who is it that’s Desiring?” 

We can shift to Gratitude.  What we have Manifested in our Life is a combination of what Mr. Want-it and Ms. Yes-butt have both ordered from the menu.  Understanding what that has looked like, appreciating our Manifestation Skill, and finding our Gratitude for the gift of Power that we’ve been given, can be Transformative, even if we have Garlic Cake with Beef Frosting on our plate and only a knife to eat it with.  If nothing else we’ll come to appreciate Cosmic Humor.

It’s easy to become addicted to Desire and not notice.  We may even need twelve steps to deal with it, even if we haven’t explicitly hurt anyone yet.  It’s what Buddhists call our “Hungry Ghosts” – no matter how much we feed Them, They’re never satisfied.  As long as we are our Hungry Ghost, we’ll continue to feed Them/Us.  We need to be a separate Observer.  Witnessing our Hungry Ghost is powerful.  When it’s I Want Chocolate, it’s a matter of Self-Love to provide Chocolate.  When it’s They Want Chocolate, we have many options.  We might find that everyone is happier when we let Them sniff the Chocolate, or imagine the flavor of it.  Or offer them Butter Pecan instead.

After long practice at Coveting, we can’t help but Objectify the Object of our Covet.  Objects are easier to Manifest than other sorts of Desires, but is an Object really what we Want?  Usually it’s the Feeling that we’ll Feel when our Desire is Satisfied that we really want.  That’s a very powerful process, to shift our Covet from the red roadster to the Feeling of being seen driving a red roadster, or the Union of person and machine as we negotiate a mountain road. 

Which brings us to the Ultimate Desire – Union.  With great effort we’ve achieved Separation, and we Want Union.  Just as we’ll Crave Separation when we achieve Union.  Maybe.  The Samadhi folks may tell it differently, but then, they know how to dance from one to the other at will, so they can have Chocolate Cake and eat it too.  Both/And.  Julie Henderson’s book The Lover Within has a great deal to say about this.

And when we’ve Coveted long we’ve probably lost our Curiosity about it.  We Expect it to Satisfy us in certain ways.  But of course it’s a Living Thing (even red roadsters and Garlic Cakes are Living Things – if you aren’t there, you need to get there, because

Reanimating the World is the essential step toward Sustainable Survival

Start talking to your car and Cakes and watch to see what happens), so if it only Satisfies your Expectations, you’ve made it into a robot.  In this sense, Craving is sort of like Voodoo – Expectation kills what we Crave, quite literally.

Jimmy Buffet would suggest that “some people say there’s a T-Square to blame, but I know, it’s my own damn fault.”   T-Squares are Heuristics, perpetual Motivation machines.  Desiring the Object of our T-Squares is an endlessly frustrating exercise.  We Transform them by Learning to enjoy the Exploration that they invite.  Even if there isn’t a T-Square involved, the T-Square process applies.  Desire is a graduate seminar; there are no answers, there are only Creative Explorations.  There is no destination, there is only Journey. 

Once we’ve cataloged enough attempts to Satisfy our Unrelenting Desire, and once we’ve Embraced all of the Shame and Grief and Fear and Loathing (which occurs when our Expectations aren’t met) we’ve encountered in the process, and look back on our Journey, we can’t help but laugh at the Drama.  If not, we still have Shame and Grief and Fear and Loathing and who knows what else to Embrace.  Imagine watching the movie.  It might look noir, but it’s comedy.  Our Lifetime assignment is to enjoy the process.  Desire isn’t a noun, it’s a verb.  It isn’t Dynamic, it’s Magnetic.

None of which is meant to say that our Unrelenting Hungry-Ghost Desires and Cravings and Addictions aren’t gifts to us.  They’re still our greatest Motivations, Process be damned.  So we can break them down.  What is it that the Object of our Desire will give us?  List the boons, then take each one in turn.  Have you ever Experienced that boon by itself, apart from the whole Desire-Thing?  Probably.  Spend some time with your Gratitude for that.  Next boon.  There may be no boons on your list that you haven’t already Manifested. 

So all you need to do is Manifest them in pairs, then trios, then all together.  Do that with PIAVA (  Some pairs you may already be Skillful with.  The result won’t look like what you Expect it to, though you’ll probably find that your Expectations continue to evolve, just as, if you look at it honestly, you’ll probably see that over the years your past Expectations and Desires have evolved.  But you’ll probably find the results more Satisfying.

As for my Dreaming friend, when they or anyone else stumbles upon or digs up Grief or Fear or Abandonment or Suffocation or Rejection or Abuse, it simply needs to be Embraced, without Expectation.  Embracing our ancient Held Emotions closes a door.  We enter a different Realm, and we have no idea what awaits us.  We know it will be Miraculous, if we allow it.  But it will usually be so far removed from our Expectations that we may never make the connection.  Embracing our Despair involves literally “tripping out so far that we never get back to know that we’ve left,” as Kesey once described a different process.  We may as well be a Walk-In.  No Expectations cross that boundary, it’s literally an End in itself.

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