I’ve been asking myself for years: what’s the secret behind motivation? Meanwhile, the concept of motivation is secondary to me. I believe that in the end, wanting brings less to us than not-wanting. When people resort to consoles, drugs, or other distractions, it seems relatively clear that these actions do not spring from awareness, but from “craving.” Living conditions can be so adverse for individuals that a “release” seems necessary. We all know that: for one it is a good red wine, for the other the latest game, Netflix or a fancy handbag. Replacement satisfactions are not in short supply in our society. The junkie “wants” a shot, the guy over there “wants” sex, the lady in front “needs” attention – most people experience their lives as a state in which something is longed for. A condition of deficiency is described, a condition that is not quite perfect yet, that certain something is missing. That’s how it was yesterday, it’s the way it is now, and it’s going to be that way tomorrow – unless we change something fundamental about that perception of our condition.
Are we damned to want, or can we consciously choose not to want anything? Of course – we do not want to starve to death and most of us do not want to live on the street, that means we want some security first. But if this security is given, we could actually live very modestly and want nothing more, right? It is exactly like that. Theoretically. Because our ego is not sleeping. We are constantly trying to improve our situation, to optimize our prospects for more money, more sex, more status. But this quest is deeply pathological and never leads to more real happiness – the opposite is the case. When we are completely honest with ourselves, we long for love. Only when we feel this inwardly instead of resorting to the ego-based beliefs (“I need this job / this car / this experience ..”) can we begin to change. I think that almost all of us at first (meaning the majority of young people from the western, consumer-driven culture) are more or less “on the hook”. But when we become calm, when we recognize our craving, look at its bottom, and no longer deny the demon sitting there, we can break out of unconsciousness. We will discover that our injured child (also this is what you call the demon) longs for love and we will understand that it will not get that love as long as we continue to catch our substitute gratifications, so we continue to be driven by negative will, that is, from the will that only distracts us from our repressed pain.
What we can do instead is to become calm, to come to us and to meet the pain that is there. We can learn to give ourselves the love we so longed for. We can look lovingly at ourselves and our wounds, so feed the demon, as Tsultrim Allione describes in her book “Giving Food to Demons”. What will happen is twofold: on the one hand, we begin to see through our unconscious, craving-induced will. In other words, we can develop more conscious behaviors and take better care of ourselves. On the other hand, we will see that everything is already there. Through meditation (the simple being at the moment without wanting) we will gradually internalize that the idea that there will be salvation in the future is an illusion. There is only one lingering state in which everything already exists. This condition does not care what emotions you have right now. And you can – if you discard your will – become part of this state, become one with the moment and your true being.