The Basic Misconception that the Senses lead to Worldly Desire

There is a basic misconception in religious and spiritual circles, that the senses lead to worldly desire with its passion for distractions. This ideas is deeply rooted, throughout human cutures. Monastic traditions in all cultures, are evidence and it is unquestioned even by those who don't have any religion.

The idea that the senses lead to worldly desire is misleading. The senses or thoughts can only lead to wanting and wordly desire when they are focussing.

Focussing does not lead automatically to wanting or worldly desire. It is only when we focus and it causes pleasure or displeasure that it sometimes - depending on the degree of pleasure or displeasure - leads to wanting, or to fearing a repetition. And once we want (or fear) something we will periodically and repetitiously remember it, focussing on it again, in our memory.

Wanting and worldly desire are always intrinsically connected with focussing. But focussing isn't the only thing our senses can do.

Animals have a way of using their senses without focussing and this is also pleasurable, but the pleasure only leads to wanting to do it and feel that way again, it doesn't lead anywhere else. It is purely watchful and receptive, it is ready and able to focus on any sudden change when it happens, and then be ready to focus, react and want, but in itself it is purely and actively receptive.

Sensing like this doesn't lead anywhere else. It doesn't lead anywhere because you need to focus to want, or to do anything.

Because it is easy to do and feels good, it is a pleasure in itself. And then naturally, we want to repeat the experience. I call it broadband sensing. The only thing broadband sensing leads to, if it is pleasurable, is more broadband sensing. The senses or thoughts can only lead to wanting and wordly desire when they are focussing.

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