The things we desire are never what we have. Therefore desire resides in the past and the moves the mind into the future. You desired something in the past and sought to obtain it, or you felt aversion to something and sought to avoid it. You desire to “get” something in the future or to avoid something in the future and this drives you into the future like a hungry ghost never being able to satisfy your hunger. So desire has no end, except in the now. What would we be like if we truly desired nothing, truly wished to avoid nothing?
To truly sit in the now, to maintain the now can end desire or at least reduce it considerably. How real would we seem if we wanted nothing? If I become less and less real in the now is that an observation of emptiness? If I could sit exactly in the now would I simply disappear? Or would that be an observation of emptiness, would that be the ultimate “I”.
In most schools of Buddhism they define a person as an “I” or ego that arises from or is imputed from the five aggregates:
1. The aggregate of Form
2. The aggregate of Consciousness
4. The aggregate of perception or discrimination.
5. The aggregate of mental formation or volition.
It is the function or simply the activity if you wish of the “person” to perform actions and experience their results. This is then is the nature of our existence and it is also a very good description of the process we call Karma. But my true face is not found in these aggregates, it is empty.
Walls, rivers and great distance all act as obstructions to my body, but what obstructs my mind are the constant delusions these aggregates create. The most destructive of these delusions are the constant desires that drive it along like an ox before the wipe. My experience has been the more I hate, love, want and desire the greater my sense of myself, the more real I seem and the more I suffer. The “I” takes this constant stream of wants, wish’s and desires, it feeds upon this unending activity of desire and aversion.
So what wisdom, when my mother was always asking me to sit still, to stop my constant fidgeting and squirming, but I think it is the constant fidgeting of our minds that we most stop by resting it in the now.
I think it would be fair to say that our true function is to experience emptiness, then we can all go home.