Is this desire from the ego or from the soul?

Under every ego desire is a soul desire

In spiritual circles we are often told that ego desires are to be avoided. For many of us, that means we try to avoid all desires. We think we have to renounce our longings and our needs. But in throwing out all desires, we end up throwing out our soul desires.

Does the soul desire anything?

If ego desires are about trying to get what we don’t have, soul desires are about recognising and expressing what we already have. Ego desires try to fill the voids in our lives with things; soul desires are about filling the voids with the true Self and with qualities of Being. Ego desires drive strategies to get things we perceive as lacking, while soul desires require no strategy for that which is sought is already attained. The soul simply wants to know itself and experience itself in the world of contrast and duality.

In the end, we don’t need to throw out all ego desires – we can simply recognise that under every ego desire is a soul desire. Behind every perceived lack is the desire to experience the fullness that we already are.

A shiny new car – is that the ego or the soul speaking?

Suppose you recognise in you a desire for a new car. If you are longing for acceptance, belonging and a sense of worth you might decide that a new car is a good way of securing these missing qualities. So buying that new car becomes a strategy for creating what you seem to lack. The desire for a new car in this case is burdened with ego desire.

But ego desire can never be satisfied. No strategy will get us what we are missing, because in fact we are not missing anything. The longing for acceptance, belonging and worth that we have projected onto the new car are already present within us as qualities of the heart or soul. Sometimes I refer to these as essence qualities.

The desire of the soul is to know itself as accepted, belonging and worthy. It does not need a new car in order to do this, and any strategy to get something perceived to be missing is only a distraction from that which is already present, simply unrecognised. Once the soul desire is realised and you are resonating with the innate worth and acceptance of your inner being, those objects which align with this state of having become more freely available. You might find you now have the resources to buy that new car, if you feel you still want it. Now you can enjoy the car for what it is, unburdened by the expectation that it will give you anything you are not already.

Most of the world is engaged in strategies to try and replace lost essence, but they are going about it in the wrong way. They are trying to be something by having something. Instead, we need to recognise what we already have in the form of eternal essence, and then let it show us what objects or experiences will reflect and enact this already-present state of fullness.

First be, then do.

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