Desire–The Fuel that Drives Us - Official Kabbalah Publication of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute
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Desire–The Fuel that Drives Us

From the Book Wondrous Wisdom

Do we eat because we are hungry or because we want not to be hungry? Do we scratch our noses because they itch, or because we want them to stop itching? When we were teenagers, did we clean our rooms instead of doing something fun because we wanted to clean our rooms, or because we wanted not to have a parent who was mad at us? I could go on and on with these rhetorical questions, but I think most readers will see where this is heading.

Every single act we perform in life is born out of a desire. From the smallest, most insignificant, conscious act, to acts that require a vast amount of energy, they are all performed for one single reason: a desire entered us and affected us enough for us to take an action to fulfill it. Kabbalah calls the Force that propels us to fulfill these desires “the will to receive.”

We are completely controlled by desire; without one, we remain perfectly still, not moving as much as an inch. But what is the goal? What are we trying to achieve by consciously and subconsciously following our desires? The answer is pleasure. We pursue them in order to receive pleasure in one form or another.

Sometimes that pleasure may be the feeling of doing something because we believe it is the right thing to do. Other times it may be at the expense of another’s happiness. But no matter what the desire, it is the same will to receive that is the underlying force, literally leading us around by the nose to act in a manner that fulfills the desire.

This will to receive is so complex and cunning that at best we barely even notice we are slaves to it. Of course, nobody in their right mind wishes to admit they are a slave to anything or anybody. But if a person takes time to seriously reflect why he or she performs any given action, even actions of the highest morality, there is only one conclusion that explains all acts. We act only in order to receive pleasure for ourselves…period.