The desire for change amid the pressure of experiences

Desire is the engine of movement. The earnestness of the desire can always be measured by the consistent velocity of its momentum, as juxtaposed with the temporal fireworks of a fleeting aspiration so commonplace with us that soon dies out once the pressure ebbs that triggered the desire for change. Desires create room for the pursuit of something, through which we generate new energy that invigorates us further along a chosen path, good or bad. In other words, a desire establishes a goal that compels motion toward its realization. The motion is what exercises us in perpetual rejuvenation. So a desire is an immanent characteristic of the human spiritual constitution. This is an aspect of the biblical parable about “a good shepherd leaving 99 sheep in search of one”. The law of motion of continuous change through the desire for growth and eternal expansion.

The urge to change is usually what awakens when a dramatic pressure from an experience suddenly confronts us and temporarily stifles a narrow pursuit. In this moment, owing to the duress of the situation, we make dramatic vows to change. Concerning the latter situation, when we say “desire for change”, we must make an important distinction here between the desire to “alleviate pressure” and the desire for “constant growth”. Under the mask of change, what we men today assiduously hide is a covert craving for ease and earthly comfort that brings only a limited exertion. We detest the perpetual motion of growth, so we hide under the convenience of relationships, jobs, mundane responsibilities, religious dogmas etc. However, when a sudden change confronts us through a hard experience, there is a great agitation and commotion to make dramatic alterations to our lives. The problem though is that these desires often arise from the craving of ease and comfort, so their mortality is inevitable as soon as the pressure subsides.

The issue is that our desire for change is usually on ephemera things, and not eternal values. The implications are dramatic. A man who suffers humiliation from his ex and vows to change amid the discomfort of the situation usually desires just the alleviate of the discomfort. So when he secures a new partner, they offer a convenient parking lot and hiding place to postpone the necessary work of permanent internal change. His desires extend primarily to the comfort of companionship, so he will exert only as long as that comfort is re-established.

A lady with some disease on the hospital bed vociferates a solemn pledge of internal renewal and change if a second chance at life is granted her through recovery! Her desire for change appears stalwart but, eftsoons a full recovery, she quickly relapses into old ways. What lies behind it? Probing deeper and you will often find that underpinning the seeming desire for change was a litany of restricted earthly desires. Some of which could be a greater affinity and comfort for the pleasures of earthly-life, a pronounced fear of the afterlife, morbid attachments to earthly relations more than she does anything spiritual (despite what she says and her religious beliefs are). Her internal fears, uncertainties and attachments amalgamates in the pot of the desire to alleviate pressure that is hidden under the supposed “desire for change”. Ergo, when the pressure of the malady fades and change becomes voluntary, the true desires of her heart bubbles to the surface that eradicates all momentum of consistency. You see, it was not so genuine after all! It was the desire to alleviate pressure masquerading as the desire for real change. In strict objective assessment, the structure of some religious institutions are similar. It sometimes offers a retirement home from the continuous motion of discovery and exertion. It says “everything is here”, no need to sweat too much, bother yourself, and unfold in newer discoveries to know anything else and expand. Just relax and await the prize. This approach of many teachings espouse spiritual ossification, so it caters to the weakness of man who desires only a finite exertion.

It is often the memory and the restriction of the pressure that prevents us and limits us from acting on our true internal desires. But once the momentary pressure of the memory fades, and we can act only based on the deepest impulses with no duress or compulsion…what happens then? To be or not to be! Forsooth, we only know where our true volition is when no pressure confronts us and we are forced to act voluntarily and from within. Only when we act consistently and repeatedly can we actually grow. Hence true change is not overnight, but is a long and consistent process of simplicity. Instead of dramatic goals, what if the desire for change becomes about “patience”, “kindness”, “compassion” etc? The quiddity of these is that they offer eternal room for pursuit and application. No conditions are needed, nor are they contingent on the alignment of a limited set of situations, but they can be implemented indefinitely. Every moment offers a chance to evidence this, so even if someone passes away or leaves, we will never be robbed of the chance to express these qualities. The issue is that this change is subtle like Nature, gradual and long, so it bores us. We crave the instant, the loud and dramatic that everyone sees and hears, but is only fleeting. Subtle changes are hard for us because it demands perpetual participation and constant contribution. That is where the desire for true change lies. Not on anything externally noticeable, but in the subtle qualities of the spirit that is a continuous process of exertion with no end. For as soon as the shepherd finds that “one sheep”, better believe he will discover more to pursue in accordance with the amaranthine law of movement!

~Ikenna Q Ezealah

About Ikenna Q Ezealah

Ikenna Q Ezealah is a writer, author and essayist whose themes embrace human-spiritual development.
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