The Word Foundation

Desire is the cause of birth and death, and death and birth,
But after many lives, when mind has overcome desire,
Desire free, self-knowing, the risen God shall say:
Born from thy womb of death and darkness, oh desire, I have joined
The immortal host.

—The Zodiac.



Vol. 2 NOVEMBER 1905 No. 2

Copyright 1905 by H. W. PERCIVAL


OF all powers with which the mind of man has to contend, desire is the most terrible, the most deceptive, the most dangerous, and the most necessary.

When the mind first begins to incarnate it is terrified and repelled by the animality of desire, but through association the repulsion becomes attractive, until the mind is finally deceived and deadened into forgetfulness by its sensuous delights. The danger is that through desire of self the mind may parley with desire much longer than it should, or may choose to identify itself with, and so return to darkness and desire. It is necessary that desire should give resistance to the mind, that by seeing through its illusions the mind will know itself.

Desire is the sleeping energy in universal mind. With the first motion of the universal mind, desire awakens into activity the germs of all existing things. When touched by the breath of mind desire is awakened from its latent state and it surrounds and permeates all things.

Desire is blind and deaf. It cannot taste, or smell, or touch. Although desire is without senses, yet it uses the senses to minister to itself. Although blind, it reaches out through the eye, draws in and yearns after colors and forms. Although deaf, it listens to and drinks in through the ear the sounds that stimulate sensation. Without taste, yet it hungers, and gratifies itself through the palate. Without smell, yet through the nose it inhales odors that stir its appetites.

Desire is present in all existing things, but it comes to full and complete expression only through living organic animal structure. And desire can only be met with, mastered, and directed to uses higher than the animal while it is in its native animal state in the human animal body.

Desire is an insatiable vacuum which causes the constant coming and going of the breath. Desire is the whirlpool that would draw all life into itself. Without form, desire enters into and consumes all forms by its ever-changing moods. Desire is an octopus deep-seated in the organs of sex; its tentacles reach out through the avenues of the senses into the ocean of life and minister to its never-to-be-satisfied demands; a seething, flaming, fire, it rages in its appetites and lusts, and maddens the passions and ambitions, with blind selfishness of the vampire it draws out the forces of the very body through which its hunger is appeased, and leaves the personality a burnt out cinder on the dustheap of the world. Desire is a blind force which enervates, stagnates and suffocates, and is death to all who cannot stay its presence, convert it into knowledge, and transmute it into will. Desire is a whorl which draws all thought about itself and compels it to provide new melodies for the dance of the senses, new forms and objects for possession, new draughts and demands to gratify the appetites and stupefy the mind, and new ambitions to pamper the personality and pander to its egotism. Desire is a parasite which grows from, eats into, and fattens on the mind; entering into all its actions it has thrown a glamour about and caused the mind to think of it as inseparable or to identify it with itself.

But desire is the force which causes nature to reproduce and bring forth all things. Without desire the sexes would refuse to mate and reproduce their kind, and breath and mind could no longer incarnate; without desire all forms would lose their attractive organic force, would crumble into dust and dissipate into thin air, and life and thought would have no design in which to precipitate and crystalize and change; without desire life could not respond to breath and germinate and grow, and having no material on which to work thought would suspend its function, would cease to act and leave the mind an unreflective blank. Without desire the breath would not cause matter to manifest, the universe and stars would dissolve and return into the one primardial element, and the mind would not have discovered itself to be itself before the general dissolution.

Mind has individuality but desire has not. Mind and desire spring from the same root and substance, but mind is one great evolutionary period in advance of desire. Because desire is thus related to mind it has the power to attract, influence and deceive the mind into the belief that they are identical. The mind cannot do without desire, nor can desire do without the mind. Desire cannot be killed by mind, but mind may raise desire from lower to higher forms. Desire cannot progress without the aid of mind, but mind can never know itself without being tested by desire. It is the duty of the mind to raise and individualize desire, but inasmuch as desire is ignorant and blind, its delusion holds the mind a prisoner until the mind shall see through the delusion and shall be strong enough to withstand and subdue desire. By this knowledge the mind not only sees itself as different and because freed from the ignorance of the animal desire, but it will also initiate the animal into the process of reasoning and so raise it from its darkness into the plane of human light.

Desire is a stage in the conscious motion of substance as it is breathed into life and develops through the highest form of sex, wherein is reached the acme of desire. Through thought it may then become separate from and pass beyond the animal, unite it with the soul of humanity, intelligently act with the power of divine will and so ultimately become the One Consciousness.