I’d like to add a few words to my penultimate post on own one’s Way and personal Dharma. I guess the reader has already got the key thesis about correlation between person’s dharma and Genuine desires: Genuine Desires in fact lead one along the road of his own Dharma. In the article that I suggest you read once again I explained the genuine desires to be a far cry from commonplace needs and to differ from neurotic and imposed desire, to be of global and creational nature; yet the practical question – how one can distinguish them “from within” – still remains relevant.
This question does not have a universal answer and always requires some effort, since this is the primary question of every person’s life and the core point of individual self-cognition. The ability of telling true from untrue within the self can be referred to as a certain culture that is cultivated and refined by trials and errors, their understanding and conceptualization, and getting the World’s “feedback”. Generally speaking, Yoga is an inner culture. The point of this practice boils down to the following. We feel some desire, observe the entire range of respectively related emotions, take the ultimate decision of either following or not following them and then after a while we reflect upon the resulted level of satisfaction. Has the way that we’d chosen made us happier regardless of the result – for the desires not always come true exactly the way we wanted them to, even when followed? If the answer is positive, it means that the feelings you had at the starting point were your own Genuine desire experience. If not, so that even upon attaining the desired you feel neither happiness nor satisfaction, you thus have gained another invaluable experience – you have learnt to recognize the non-genuine desires. It would be nice to analyze the nature of this desire, its internal or external source. The external source may come from desires or opinions of other people in that you have become involved, ads, trends and so on. Those internal can be repressed true desires and therefore entailed neuroses, adverse emotional bonds to other people etc. In the course of time - given such practice is done on a regular basis - the accuracy of one’s genuine desire distinction shall be refined.
Nevertheless one can single out a few principles that can be used as a basis to rely on in facilitating one’s work on self-awareness.
1. Genuine desires are not fussy and bustling. They are not based on a childish “I want it right nooow!!” hysterics. They don’t emerge out of a sudden and they don’t depend on current mood swings. They rather mature within and come as a background, gently and confidently encouraging one to their fulfillment.
2. Genuine desires are always creational.
3. Even if you like the desire proper yet the steps to its fulfilment don’t make you happy – the desire is not genuine.
4. If the desire is too easy to fulfil or in fact comes as repetition of something already done or experienced, if it does not make you grow – most probably it is not the “bingo” as well.
There is another simple way to understand whether you live according to you true desires and intents. Try to imagine that 10 and 20 years from now you’ll be doing the same things you do now. If it does not scare you – than that’s it, you live by your dharma. If no, and moreover – if every now and then it occurs to you that your life term is expiring – come back to the issue of genuine desires. Yet let us be realistic – if you live following the dharma your life in 10 and 20 years shall be totally different from that of today.