Roaming along the uneven cobblestone walkway near the River Thames, the world’s spectrum of faces pass by. From every different culture and country, they congregate to see the medieval remnants of the English empire. I spent the whole of the day watching people and visiting with friends. Much to my relief, I have loved every single one of my husband's friends. Not one second of awkwardness passed between myself and any of them. In truth, many of them feel a great deal more like close friends to me than my own friends back in the states do. The intimacy I felt with them would be enough to pick up and move here for, if I could survive this city. They have shown me that precious little pockets of genuineness and companionship exist in the oppressive, gray heaviness of this city. London is the most unfriendly city I’ve yet been to in the world. Like any extreme environment, it has bred the opposition. The counter culture here in London is a collection of people who are willing to be emotionally raw and who are capable of deep emotional intimacy. These are the people who ironically end up attending my workshops here. And I love these people. I love them with all of my life.
My roaming today led me to ‘high tea’ at the Claridges, one of the most illustrious luxury hotels in London. The grandness of the place is worth the trip alone. An enormous cream colored, ballroom, richly decorated with silver, chandeliers and white tablecloths beckons you forth. The artisan tea is kept beautifully hot by porcelain kettles and a stunning array of culinary delights, both savory and sweet. A piano player sprinkles notes into the air. In the ornate bathrooms, a female attendant stand on duty to dispense soap into your hand and to hand you a hand towel and then wash off the sink area for you. Behind you, is a row of vanity centers in case one would need to re-powder their face. It honestly feels as if you have stepped back in history, straight into the height and beauty of English aristocracy. It was lovely. But the air, like the rest of London quite frankly, was full of the confetti of pretense. I am not very gentle on America. All countries have their own special breed of dysfunction. Pretense is the dysfunction of Great Britain. I have never loved the straightforward, tactlessness of Americans so much as I do today. It is like a breath of fresh air.
There is a kind of freedom that exists in America that I had not seen before this trip. America (much to my dislike) does not do anyone any favors. But it sure as hell does not pride itself on the division of classes. In fact the stories that win over America’s hearts are the stories of rags to riches. In Great Britain, you can never escape your stars. If you are born poor, you are always seen as low class, no matter how much success you might see. Worth is still based on class, no matter how much anyone would love to deny it. And this benefits no one. What is odd, is that the very people who are hurt the most by this class division, are the very people who uphold it. Within society, there is a ‘suckling on the milk of social status’. Everyone seems so keen to jockey for rank over someone. Everyone loves the idea of “grandness”. In my opinion, this addiction to class division is the only reason that the royal family still exists. They serve no purpose whatsoever except to attract attention to a fallen empire that still wants tourists. In fact they are a drain on the country’s resources. Take a look at history. Blood thirst and war has put the royals where they are. And society treasures them.
What do they actually DO for the people? Much of Great Britain seems unconcerned with this question. I have never seen a society treasure and uphold a part of it’s past culture that so clearly damages people and doesn’t benefit societal progression as much as the British. The British in general, are obsessed with and addicted to importance. They resist unimportance. And so, because all things that we resist persist, the British people feel more unimportant within their own society and Great Britain is only becoming more and more unimportant in the world.
I am a Jane Austin Freak. I fell in love with the glamour of the regency early in my life. It is only upon coming here that I truly understood the entire point to Jane Austin’s novels. Because it was only upon coming here that I understood just how much dysfunction there is in a class concerned society; and how much damage it does to a person’s soul. In Great Britain, there is an attitude of “it can’t be done”. America has its problems, but I have officially decided after this trip that my number one favorite part about America is that in America, there is a pervasive attitude of “it can be done”. It is so important that every single individual feels as if they not only have a right to their desires, but also that their desires can be achieved; and what’s more than that, that their desires are meant to be theirs.
Desire has been a big topic of controversy in the world. Spiritual teachers often say that desire is the root of suffering. They say that happiness is the result of learning how to rid oneself of desire. But even the desire to rid yourself of desire, is a desire. So you can never truly rid yourself of desire and you can never lie to yourself enough to convince yourself that you don’t want what you want. So why is it that thousands of people have experienced relief from supposedly ridding themselves of desire?
When you desire something, that desire is the emotional indication that you have given birth to a brand new improved idea. That improved idea holds a frequency. And your higher self matches that new frequency the minute you desire it. So now, there is a gap between the frequency you hold, and the frequency your higher self holds. There is a vibrational gap between you and what you want. If you think a thought that feels negative, it is because that thought has a vibration, which separates you further from your higher self and therefore your desire. If you think a thought that feels positive, it is because that thought has a vibration, which is closer to the vibration of your higher self and therefore your desire. So there are two ways to close this gap between you and your higher self; between you and your desire. The first is to understand that anything you can ever want is meant to be yours and will be yours the minute you think thoughts and take actions that line you up vibrationally with it. The second is to want the now. If you want the now, your higher self joins you where you are. There is no gap between you and your higher self and therefore, no negative emotion can arise from you. Over the centuries, though no one has managed to rid themselves of desire, many have managed to appreciate the now to such a degree that they were no longer suffering.
The desire that is emanating from every being in existence is what is causing the expansion of this universe. To come here and to not desire is to promote ended-ness within the universe. It goes directly against the reason you chose to come into physical existence to begin with. You are designed to desire. Desire is as true to you as pure being-ness. So why does desire cause us pain? The answer is, it doesn’t.
Desire never caused pain. It’s what we add to desire that causes us pain. What makes desire painful is thoughts like these: I can’t have what I desire. I don’t deserve to have what I want. I’m not good enough until I get this thing that I desire. What causes pain is continuing to focus on what you don’t have or don’t like or don’t want after you have already given birth to the idea of what you do want.
So many of us think that desire is about wanting what we do not have and so when we think of desire, we do not think of the feeling of inspiration and forward movement. We think of the feeling of desperate dissatisfaction with where we currently are. We call that the feeling of desire, when it is not the feeling of desire; it is the feeling of the negative thought we’re thinking after we desire something. We associate desire with the feeling that the desire is not currently ours and may in fact never be ours. The feeling we associate with desire is actually the feeling of resistance to our desire. It is not desire that causes suffering, it is resistance to your desire that causes suffering. Desire causes you pain when you contradict your desire with thoughts that prevent you from it. Desire causes you pain when you continue to focus on what is unwanted (what inspired you to that desire in the first place) even though you already know what you want instead. Desire causes you suffering when you do not understand that desire will never end. It truly is the finish line that you will never reach. The minute you reach the point you thought was the finish line, it will move and you will be chasing something else that you want. Once you accept that you can never reach that finish line, you open the door to joy in your life. You experience the joy of the journey instead of the destination. If you know you will never reach the end of the line, you will no longer think something is wrong when you don’t reach the end of the line. You can enjoy the feeling of the process of hatching that new improved idea and the process of lining up with that idea mentally, emotionally and physically until you are living the reality of it.
There is no reason to feel as if desire is the enemy. Everything you love about existence, from living in houses instead of caves, to that perfect piece of chocolate cake, is available to you now because it was once the byproduct of someone else’s desire. There is nothing you could not be or do or have. Everything you could ever think to desire is meant to be yours. If it was not meant to be yours, you could not desire it in the first place. If you desire it, it can be done.