Will and Desire


Many of you know most of my professional adult life, I’ve been searching for my ideal job. Finding a job or profession I am passionate about. For the past decade or so, when I think I am still looking, I remind myself that I enjoy what I’m doing. I just want more of it. And make more money doing it.

Desire is a word that is tied to motivation. Doing a job that motivates me. When I stumbled across Zen & Creative Management, I began to see at the very least that I found a system that could be used for consulting. I use it not only for family business but also in talking with potential clients. More and more, I am passionate about this.

Desire is not a word that is used in Z&CM. The word “Will” is. At first, I thought they meant the same thing. They don’t. Here are definitions for both:

“Will is the source of those unknown and uncontrollable sources by which we are lived.” ~Albert Low

Will is the urge towards self-actualization.”

~Albert Low

Desire comes from Latin desiderare “to long for, require”; de + sider in latin– heavenly body; also, I’ve read it as “reaching for the stars.”

One reason I think it is important to look at, not only Desire, but also Will, is how difficult it is for us treat our bodies well, meditate regularly, or not stop our bad habits. We focus on making New Years’s resolutions, among other things, but often don’t keep them. Why is that? Some people are extreme the other way and can’t stop exercising.

So my talk is about this very subject. What gets us off the couch? Why is it important to know about desire and will when it comes to work, health and lifestyle? How does spirituality see desire and will? Why we should look at this as much or even more that the activities we are desiring or willing ourselves to do?

“Desire desires to desire desire.” Desiring seems to lead to desiring more.

Ever wonder why it is easy to do certain activities and others not so much? Conditioning. As Jiddu Krishnamurti said in much of the 20th century, since childhood, we are educated in a “culture of problems.” We are trained to look for and solve problems. Our parents influence us greatly as their parents influenced them. Plus our teachers and fiends and society as a whole. Certain things and people attract us and others don’t.

In Tibetan Buddhism meditation practice, we set a motivation before and then a dedication afterwards. I would like to explore this at a later time. Is it enough to set a motivation before doing it?

The word “will” is interesting me more and more. As the definition above states, it is the source of those unknown and uncontrollable forces by which we are lived. We apparently can’t know or control them. Plus, the phrase “by which we are lived” implies a “how” and “we are lived” seems to imply something we aren’t aware of or feel comfortable talking about. That something is driving the bus and it it is not who we think it is.

If this is the case, wouldn’t that change all those New Years’s resolutions, club memberships and motivational speakers businesses hire each year? We do these things because we think we can change our behavior or be motivated by others to change. Most religions are built around such a premise.

How would our outlook on life change if this was the case? That there are unknowable and uncontrollable forces influencing our lives. That our desires, although natural, won’t impact us like we think they will or should. That honoring our will can lead us closer to actualizing who we really are than desires could ever dream of.

Osho on the difference between Will and Desire


As in most posts on Zentrepreneurial.com, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low.  The website writer’s words are in regular text.

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