Updated: Jan 17
I’ve been thinking a lot about desire.
When I was 26, I met a Sufi healer. At the time, the idea of being a person who needed things kind of disgusted me.
I remember telling him, “I don’t need anything.” And I felt proud and a bit righteous as I said it.
“I think you need a lot,” the Sufi said. “I think you need love and care and a beautiful home and money and comfort and a lover who adores you.”
This quietly blew my mind.
He continued, “If you don’t need anything, if you’re a Free Soul without needs, the universe listens and responds, ‘she doesn’t need anything, leave her be.’ You have no intimacy with the world. You’re independent but that gets boring. But if you need and yearn from your authentic desire… then the universe responds to you like a lover. Your naked yearning is attractive to the universe the way the nakedness of Venus coming out of her shell, out of the water, is attractive. It’s like what Rumi calls one handed basket weaving. You weave your life with one hand and the universe weaves with the other.”
Then he told me the story of creation, from his perspective:
In the beginning, there was only God. A great ocean of universal being-ness. But then, in the ocean was a stirring, a kind of love, desire, longing. This desire created an agitation deep in the ocean that caused waves to rise. God’s longing to connect, to be known, to know, and to become caused God to tear God’s heart out (metaphorically) and throw drops of the ocean into separate existence. The intensity of this divine yearning is what created the universe.
The Sufi told me:
Our desire is an innate intelligence, creative, exploratory, responsible, and a reflection of divine desire.
Being out of touch with desire can prevent you from feeling passion for life, the joy of existence, the desire to make your life renew and to feel excitement and love.
Recently, I heard a Dervish saying that goes:
Life is three days long and two days are already over.
So what do you desire?
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Photo: first taste of figs in Greece by Karen Connelly