Must We Squelch Desire to Achieve Spiritual Growth?

Does spiritual growth require that we squelch desire? Many spiritual teachers and gurus believe so.  Sai Baba is quoted as saying, "Man's many desires are like the small metal coins he carries in his pocket. The more he has the more they weigh him down."

This statement may be true IF: One believes that it is ONLY through the attainment of certain desires that he can reach happiness, and/or he believes that these desires are largely unattainable or at best, difficult to obtain or that physical enjoyment is in and of itself somehow, "un-spiritual."

Historically Eastern Religions have taught us that the path to inner peace and contentment lies in the annihilation of as many physical desires as possible, that to be truly happy, one must rise above desire.  Desire and spiritual growth are seen as being incompatible.

It is true that when we experience full acceptance, and need is absent from our experience,  we feel peaceful. I believe though that we can accept 'what is' while at the same time, have desire for change in the future. There's a big difference between 'needing' for something to happen and merely 'preferring' that it happen. This difference largely determines whether desire will be problematic or not for us. 

spiritual growth - awareness of need based desires

When we become overly attached to our desires they undoubtedly  do create problems for us. Desires we become attached to, are desires that have need at their basis.  When we come to understand and put into practice, the law of attraction,  we then realize that the attainment of anything we desire is always within our reach.

I find that this understanding itself serves to diminish the negative, need based aspects of desire. When we come to know that anything we could ever want is indeed within our grasp, we develop an easy-going attitude towards those things that have not yet manifested within our reality.

There's no doubt that holding a desire for something you believe is unlikely to come to fruition, will bring you down. Whether or not desire feels heavy or light depends completely upon one's perception and belief system regarding the process of creation and manifestation.

Desire certainly does become something to avoid if I hold a belief that I never get what I want. In this instance, every time I think about my desire, I feel upset over the fact that I do not have it and am I likely to never have it made manifest.  Being that so many hold such belief systems regarding manifestation of desire, is it any wonder that desire itself has been considered a detriment to spiritual growth?

When we reach a level of spiritual growth along with an understanding about the law of attraction, we will see that no desire arises or  exists without a means for its fulfillment.  When this seeing is in place, the very nature of our desire changes. If it was previously need based, it will be lightened to more of a preference. 

If we truly believe that all of our desires will be fulfilled quickly and easily, desire has no ability to cause pain or suffering of any kind. In fact, with such a belief system in place, desire itself will be the cause of much peace, happiness and fulfillment, and yes, excitement! Desire then can be seen as  the positive energy of life itself that propels us along our physical life journey, the fuel of our trek towards spiritual growth and ever deepening spiritual awareness.  Desire then becomes a healthy and natural facet within our quest for spiritual growth.

The idea of squelching desire and denying certain enjoyable aspects of the physical experience amount to a denial of Self.  The very fact that I am here,   in the physical, having a physical experience tells me that there is purpose to my being.  From a law of attraction perspective, all of the enjoyable/pleasurable aspects of physical life are simply the  temporary 'perks' of having a physically based incarnation.To squelch desire is to squelch life. Desire is the energetic force which propels us forward. It is the impetus to spiritual growth itself.

Those who profess to have risen above earthy desires are still desiring whether they're willing to admit it or not.  After all, The desire to 'rise above desire' is a desire itself.


How could we ever learn, for example, that money and material wealth do not in and of themselves bring happiness? Anyone who has had the experience of desiring greater wealth and then achieving it, will tell you, it is not the money itself that makes for the happiness. Sure, money can contribute to life enjoyment by providing a sense of freedom and opportunity, but as always, the state of happiness is one that must be cultivated from within. If someone really does not know this, and believes that money is in fact the source of happiness, the worst thing that will happen in his becoming too attached to the desire for money, is that a profound experiential learning will take place. All learning of this level results in us growing spiritually.

For those of us who already know that money itself does not buy happiness, in its attainment, we're merely adding to the color and texture of an already enjoyable physical life experience. How could this be wrong, or somehow detrimental to expansion of consciousness? How could this be a hindrance to real spiritual growth? It's only wrong if we hold a belief system that labels the physical life experience itself as negative or un-spiritual.

If ever we were to reach a point where we could truly squelch all desire, the reason for being alive would cease. Our desires are part and parcel of who we are as individuals and who we are as spiritual beings. Desires help to sculpt our unique person-hood and the characteristics of the very personal journey each one of us will experience while inhabiting our physical body here on earth.

When we hold a belief in a loving, nurturing universe that truly is conspiring in our favor at all times, then each desire represents a guidepost along our life path, pointing us in the perfect direction for our own personal needs.

The joy of being lies in the process of imagining, asking, believing, and receiving. This is the energy of creation. This is the energy of the force I call God. This is who and what each of us is....the creative source behind our own life journey.

Without desire...there is no journey...there is no joy.

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