The four stages of desire that rule our lives.
Bertrand Russell is considered as one of humanity’s most lucid and luminous minds, he is an oracle of timeless wisdom, talks of the central motive driving human behavior,
All human activity is prompted by desire. There is a wholly fallacious theory advanced by some earnest moralists to the effect that it is possible to resist desire in the interests of duty and moral principle. I say this is fallacious, not because no man ever acts from a sense of duty, but because duty has no hold on him unless he desires to be dutiful. If you wish to know what men will do, you must know not only, or principally, their material circumstances, but rather the whole system of their desires with their relative strengths.
Indeed, there are hardly any means by which you can contradict the words of Russell. A human being is an abode of desires. We all function and are motivated by desires in several ways. Some of them work so discreetly we are not aware of them. Human beings differ from other animals in the very aspect that there is an ever-flowing river of desire in us, never drying us of life.
There are so many types of desire working together to drive us through life: Physical desire is hunger and thirst; intellectual desire is curiosity, the need to acquire knowledge; sexual desire is lust and economic desire is the need for power and possession of materials. The general cultural and economic structure of society is based on our desires.
Russell continues to say,
But man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has some desires which are, so to speak, infinite, which can never be fully gratified, and which would keep him restless even in Paradise. The boa constrictor, when he has had an adequate meal, goes to sleep, and does not wake until he needs another meal. Human beings, for the most part, are not like this. When the Arabs, who had been used to living sparingly on a few dates, acquired the riches of the Eastern Roman Empire, and dwelt in palaces of almost unbelievable luxury, they did not, on that account, become inactive. Hunger could no longer be a motive, for Greek slaves supplied them with exquisite viands at the slightest nod. But other desires kept them active: four in particular, which we can label acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, and love of power.
The Indian mystic, Kabir Saheb, a poet, and philosopher, argued that desire constitutes the true wealth of humanity. One of the leading 20th-century Indian interpreters of Kabir’s teachings was a spiritual teacher and author named Eknath Easwaran, who explains how Kabir viewed the desire to have four stages of evaluation.
Four Stages of Desire:
Most of us human beings are born with numerous desires
Human beings are in no dearth of desires. True, that it is the will or desire to acquire something which pushes us to take the next step in life.
Without a defined desire, we become clueless and lose track of our life. We set a goal and work towards achieving it and that is how our life rolls on. But when we have too many desires, we can follow none of them with conviction and dedication.
Most of these concern the superficial aspects of life, such as external appearance, material possessions, power, position, fame, reputation, and money. People who have the most number of desires, Kabir believes, are the poorest of all.
These people are utter failures. They end up achieving nothing in any field of life. These people live a miserable life of lies, surrounded by false promises.
Kabir goes on to say, there are other people who are born with some desires:
These are the ones who are successful in life. They make judicial choices of goals and also manage to successfully achieve them. No matter what field of endeavor they choose, they end up attaining what they desire to because they have a numbered desires to work on.