Desire must not be suppressed, destroyed, or killed, but neither should it control our lives in a meaningless way. Desire is the emotion of life, and the key to taking our life into our own hands lies in understanding it.
This understanding, which is born from the continuous observation of its structure and movement, is the road to freedom and self-realization.
In the excerpt below J. Krishnamurti tells us about the mastery of desire and life, deepening this important subject and dissecting the complexity of desire and how it relates to the notions of liberation and enlightenment.
“Desire, contrary to general opinion, is one of man’s most precious gifts. It is the eternal flame of life, we can say that it is life itself. When nature and its functions are not fully understood, desire becomes cruel, tyrannical, beastly, or even foolish. Therefore, your mission is not to kill desire, as most people on a spiritual path try to do, but to understand it. If you kill the desire you will remain like a dry branch of a tree. Desire must develop and find its true meaning through conflict and adversity. It is only by maintaining the conflict that understanding can come. This is what most people don’t see. As soon as a conflict arises, with it the pain is born, and people immediately look for the comfort zone. Comfort in turn is afraid of desire. Fear leads to contraction and sheltering in the already established tradition. From this came the rigid systems of morality, which establish what is spiritual and what is not, or what is religious life and what is not. This is the fear of life that produces guides, teachers, churches, religions. Yes, I know this!
None of these things will satisfy the mind that is highly researching. As soon as you start to fear, there is a desire to conform, to listen to everyone, to become an automaton, to obey. And all this is but contraction, contraction means death. This is not the way in which desire can be fulfilled by itself. Growth can only come through freedom from desire, and liberation here means to free ourselves from fear and thus to free ourselves from the cruelty and exploitation that results from the search for comfort, which is the refuge of fear. This can only be accomplished by dissolving selfishness from the desire to come into contact with life itself. Only in this way can one reach the reality that is the true fulfillment of desire. […]
Desire, freed from its limits and the illusion of fear, becomes joy, which represents the true balance between reason and love. […] When both, thinking and desire become purified, then we will achieve the perfect balance and harmony between the two, which is a fulfillment of life, and which we can call intuition. This purified life is the highest reality, and I mean, every man or woman must touch it sooner or later. This fulfillment is not reserved only for the few, because life is not in the possession of the few. She is the one who fights for realization in every human being and the path to realization is the same in all cases: through struggle, effort, decisions and conflict.”