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Chapter 6: Desire of Self-Mastery

10. Desire power ardently.

And that power which the disciple shall covet
is that which shall make him appear as nothing
in the eyes of men.

11. Desire peace fervently.

The peace you shall desire
is that sacred peace which nothing can disturb,
and in which the soul grows
as does the holy flower upon the still lagoons.

12. Desire possessions above all.

But those possessions
must belong to the pure soul only,
and be possessed therefore by all pure souls equally, and thus be the especial property
of the whole only when united.

The tenth sutra:

Desire power ardently.

And that power which the disciple shall covet
is that which shall make him appear as nothing
in the eyes of men.

First of all it is necessary to understand the difference between a desire and a longing. The dictionary gives the same meaning for both, but in the book of life there is a great difference. A desire and a longing appear to be the same: for a while they appear to be the same and then they part ways. In English there is no alternative word for desire. That is why Mabel Collins has used desire for both states.

It is very difficult to find a word in another language approximating abhipsa, because the yearning for such a state has hardly happened in another culture. Actually the meaning of both words is to want something. But ichchha is the wish for something which we do not have, and abhipsa, yearning or longing, is the wish for something which we intrinsically already have within us. In desiring there is a demand, and there is restlessness attached to that demand. As long as you don’t get it there will be unhappiness. But in the form of desire that is a yearning, while there is also a demand, along with that demand there is a feeling of great fulfillment. Even if you don’t get what you want there is no anxiety. If there were such a thing as a peaceful desire that’s what longing is, and that’s what I am talking about. It seems very paradoxical - like saying “cold fire” - because desire does cause worry; its very meaning is: “I am discontented, I am not satisfied with whatever I have. I need something else in order to be satisfied.”

The meaning of this longing, abhipsa, is “something more should be there, but as things are I am already content.” Understand this difference.

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