Updated: Jul 20, 2021
“Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
When it comes to desire, there is no greater teacher than sex.
A man’s sexual appetite is a microcosm of his desirous tendencies. Whether he is sexually active or not, until he’s willing to look there—squarely in the eyes of his sexual self—he is blind to the forces that influence his every decision. Not because every decision he makes is driven by sex. But because it is the desire, not the desired, that he loves. And until he completely understands what this means, he is a slave to all that he cannot have.
There are few areas of life that fuse desire and love as intensely as sexual relationships do. One could say it’s like playing with fire. And we all know what it feels like to get burned.
For this very reason, sexual love is a powerful vehicle for spiritual liberation. But only if one knows how to drive it. Otherwise, it’s an elevator straight to Hell.
Sex has a way of bringing out the best and worst in men. It’s for this very reason that it is the greatest of teachers. If you fail to understand the significance of Nietzsche’s words, then you can be certain, sex, for you, will continue to only bring about your worst.
Rather than being compassionate, you will be manipulative.
Rather than being loving, you will be selfish.
Rather than being trustworthy, you will be suspect.
Your lovers will see through your lies, even when they’re pretending not to.
The reason for this is simple:
When your attention is fixed on the object of desire, you enter into a state of delusion.
You’re no longer present. Your mind moves with the object itself. Your attention is not free, but obsessed. You mistake desire for something that is obtainable. And reinforce the notion that you are always separate from what you want.
You’re dissatisfied with what you have and long for something else.
You’re dissatisfied with where you are and long to be somewhere else.
You’re dissatisfied with who you are and long to be someone else.
You’re dissatisfied with who you’re with and long to be with someone else.
You think if you obtain what you desire, then this chronic, gnawing sense of lack will be relieved once and for all.
But it never is. Is it?
A fool is a man who blindly chases the objects of his desire, desperately holding on to the fantasy that one day he will be full.
A fool is a man who is unable to see that his attempts to rid himself of desire are just another form of desire itself. He desires to be free from desire, and therefore is no freer.
A good man understands that desire is not to be relieved nor eradicated. And as a result, desire is mastered.
When he looks at his lover, he is able to love not the object of his desire, but desire itself.
When he looks at his lover, he is able to love not the object of his love, but love itself.
Only a fool would mistake this to mean he doesn’t love his lover.
Desire does not change. The objects of desire change constantly.
If you cannot live harmoniously with desire, then you cannot live harmoniously. Your eternal longing for more, better, different becomes your cage or your catapult—your delusion or your liberation.
Knowing this, a good man is free wherever he goes—whether inside or outside of a relationship. Because he is not bound by desire, he is free. Because he is free, he is able to love unconditionally. Until he is free, his love will be fickle, fleeting and conditional. So long as his love is fickle, fleeting and conditional, he will never be free.