“Now desire, contrary to general belief, is the most precious possession of man. It is the eternal flame of life; it is life itself. When its nature and functions are not understood, however, it becomes cruel, tyrannical, bestial, stupid. Therefore your business is not to kill desire as most spiritual people in the world are trying to do, but to understand it.
If you kill your desire, you are like the withered branch of a lovely tree. Desire must keep growing and find out its true meaning through conflict and friction. Only by the continuance of the conflict can understanding come. This is what most people do not see. As soon as the conflict comes, and the sorrow born of conflict, they at once seek comfort. Comfort, in its turn, breeds fear. Fear leads to imitation and the sheltering behind established tradition.
From this come rigid systems of morality, laying down what is spiritual and what is not spiritual, what is the religious life and what is not the religious life. It is the fear of life which produces guides, teachers, gurus, churches, religions. Please, I know. None of these things are going to satisfy a mind which is really enquiring, which is really in revolt. As soon as you fear, you have the desire to conform, to listen to everybody, to become a machine, a type. And all this is but contraction, and contraction is slow death. It is not in this way that desire can ever fulfill itself.
Growth can only come by the liberation of desire, and liberation here means freeing it from all fear, and so from the cruelty and exploitation which results from the quest of comfort, which is the refuge of fear. And this, in its turn, can only come about through the wearing down of the egotism in desire by contact with life itself.
Only in this way can the reality be reached which is the true consummation of desire. And so, truly to grow is to learn to love more and more, to think more and more impersonally, through experience.