Articles From the March 1995 Unification News
Our Original Desires
by Jesus Gonzalez-Hong Kong
The famous scientist and spiritualist of the 18th century, Emanuel Swedenborg visited and explored the spiritual world for nearly 30 years. Once he was thinking about heaven and hell and he wrote this answer given to him by teachers there:
"There are three basic facts about hell, but they are just the opposite of the facts about heaven. The basic facts of hell are three loves -- the love of ruling due to self-love, the love of having what belongs to others due to love of the world, and the love of fornication."
"The basic facts of heaven are the three loves opposite to these -- the love of ruling due to a love of being useful, the love of having worldly goods due to a love of putting them to good use, and real married love"
As we can see, heaven and hell begins with me, with our loves and attitudes. Consequently, it is everyone's responsibility to really recover and maintain the proper attitude over the four original and God-given desires to fulfill the purpose of our lives.
These four original desires are:
1. The desire for sexual love. The proper way to fulfill this desire is to keep the basic law of the cosmos, which was given already in the very beginning with the symbolic expression "do not eat". This means abstinence before marriage and to maintain absolute fidelity and love to our spouse after marriage, accomplishing the ideal of an eternal love and a family that will give us the greatest peace and happiness forever.
On the contrary, the misuse of this natural desire brings about a love for variety or free sex, in other words, love of fornication and adultery, that is opposed to a real married love. In the end, people involved in this type of love never find permanent satisfaction, and it inevitably leads them to unhappiness.
2. The desire for material things (love of having worldly goods). There is nothing wrong with our wish to own things, to be rich, wealthy and prosperous, to be a millionaire, to have money, land and property.
All of these aspirations are related to the desire to exercise a true and loving dominion over the environment that will enable us to be the true lords or caretakers of the creation. But what is the proper attitude to realize these desires? If everything we possess is used correctly for the benefit and service of others, bringing joy and happiness to everyone and harmony to the environment, that is perfectly fine. On the other hand, if we hold possessions only for our own personal interests and self- gratification, that is unprincipled and in the end it will bring neither joy or lasting prosperity.
3. The desire for authority (love of ruling). Everyone wishes to be a king or queen. This is a natural and original desire because of our position and dignity as children of God. The proper way to exercise this desire is to become a true leader. A true leader is the one who delights in being useful and sincerely serves and loves others the most. Therefore, such a person is naturally appreciated and everyone will gladly give him or her that recognition, power and position.
Value and Position. When we have true internal value in ourselves and the external qualifications, soon or later, position will be given to us even if we do not seek for any appointment. On the contrary, when someone cherishes a position for his or her own benefit or self-glory, and obviously lacks moral value, in the long run such person will lose that position.
4. The desire for self-perfection. This is an original desire or ambition that will always motivate us to reach our potential as children of God. We all have this desire to be good and successful. We like to gain knowledge and develop skills. We want to achieve excellency in the things we do. We like to be recognized, to be admired and be famous. We wish to become great performers, artists, scientists, lecturers, sports champions, inventors, philanthropists, etc.
The proper attitude to realize all these aspirations is to use all our achievements for the good and happiness of others. If not, our desire, ambition and hope centered only on ourselves will develop into greed. The exercise of freedom without the divine law generates permissiveness and licentiousness. The wrong use of love becomes lust. When we do not live centered on God our natural pride of being a child of God becomes vanity and arrogance. If not used properly to help others, our talents and creativity are often turned into maliciousness.
There is not one basic desire or element in the human character that is essentially evil. Good and evil are a matter of direction. When our original desires are misdirected, it results in our "fallen nature", basically selfishness. For this reason, the root of our wrong conduct is the reversal of the main forces for goodness.
It all begins with me. A new awakening is needed, a realization based on true love, that we shall benefit more when we genuinely live for the sake of others. In the future twenty-first century selfishness will decline. Life, honor and glory based on unselfishness shall be triumphant. We need to completely restore our spiritual sensitivity, so that we can never mistreat or harm others. We must come to feel the suffering and pain of others as our own. In the same way, our happiness also will be achieved when we make others happy. Each one of us is the true starting point for a better world. True worldwide peace and happiness begins with the perfection of our moral character. Motivated by this true love our lives will prosper and finally we will be able to create a new and better future for humanity.
Jesus Gonzalez, 504, Hillview Mansion, 21-23 Macdonnell Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2 526 38 42, Fax: (852) 2 526 38 56
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