Dr. Taimni on the Task of Renouncing the Lower Desires

“Now, here is a positive ideal and a prospect of life which will not discourage the candidate but, on the contrary, infuse the greatest enthusiasm and inspiration in his life provided he is ready and really earnest. There is nothing which touches so effectively the innermost chord of our being and brings out a sympathetic and vibrant response as the prospect of returning to our true Home.

The whole of our inner nature responds and resounds in the most remarkable manner when something is able to touch this mysterious string within us and make us hear that call of the Infinite, even though it may be only for a flashing moment. And, therefore, the substitution of the prospect of developing our desire or attachment to the God within us for the satisfaction of lower desires does not allow any vacuum to be created and does not make us feel that our life has become empty and meaningless.

Everyone whose mind has not been artificially conditioned by the materialistic philosophy or, who is not completely engrossed in materialistic pursuits can see and feel intuitively that what we are to gain by developing our attachment and love for God is of far greater worth than what we are to lose as a result of renouncing the lower desires. We may not be able to bring about this change, but we can see the necessity of doing so at least theoretically.

It will be possible to understand this point more easily if we illustrate it by a specific example. Take the question of personal love towards those who are near and dear to us and to whom we are undoubtedly attached.

If you tell a person to kill out all these loves because they are personal and based upon attachment and lead to bondage, he will become confused and be almost in despair because the prospect of a loveless life even though this love is personal is too dreary and forbidding to contemplate. So, either he ignores your advice or makes half-hearted attempts in that direction.

Why not place before him a positive aim to work for ask him to direct all his efforts to the necessary but inspiring task of developing devotion to God. When he succeeds in developing this greater love all the smaller loves will merge in it naturally and take the place which rightly belongs to them.

This is a prospect which need not dishearten and discourage any true aspirant but can, on the other hand, call forth the utmost effort from the deepest recesses of his nature.

This method of tackling the problem of personal love does not involve any destruction of personal loves but their natural absorption in the greater love, when it manifests itself. When the sun of divine love dawns in the heart of the devotee the smaller lights automatically and naturally become absorbed in the light of this sun.

On the other hand, if we put out these lights before the sun appears we do nothing except plunge ourselves in the darkness of a loveless life. In fact, when the divine love appears in our heart, we love everybody far more dearly and truly than in our purely personal relations. (…)

Coming back to the problem of desire we have to note that the elimination of lower desires does not mean that our work in relation to our desire nature is finished. For, desire, is co-extensive with mind and wherever there is mind there can be desire corresponding to that level of the mind.

As the mind becomes more and more subtle owing to penetration into the deeper levels of consciousness, so the desires to be grappled with at these deeper levels become more subtle. Even the exalted state of consciousness on the Atmic plane is not free from the influence of desires although it is difficult for us to comprehend the nature of these desires.” (pp. 316-317; emphasis ours.) (I.K. Tamini. Glimpses Into the Psychology of Yoga. The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India, 1973. 409 pp.; emphasis added)