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Jac O’Keeffe – Desire

Today we have a special treat for our readers. It’s an exclusive writing from the book that Jac is currently working on. The book will be called ‘From Awakening to Liberation’. Please enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 3; Desire.



All desire arises from an innate lack of contentment. While nothing that mind can imagine and want is of any real value, the personal ‘I’ will ensure that each day is peppered with efforts to fulfill desires. In fact when identified thought is running, there is interest in little else. It is the nature of desire to prompt the mind to create a world for its fulfillment.

The state of craving for anything inhibits deeper experience. When mind is fixated on a desire, maturation is arrested. If you inquire into yourself, all you really desire is desirelessness. Desirelessness can be recognized as the moment of satisfaction when desire is fulfilled. There is calmness, perfection and a feeling of completeness. Desire for an object or experience is a compensation for the lack of fulfillment of the ultimate desire – desirelessness. There is no end to the cyclical nature of desire; however, the cycle falls away when it is seen to be a looped pattern of thinking. The perpetuation of desire is predicated on the fact that personal ‘I’ desires the very thing that cannot come by desire.

The smallest desire has the ability to ignite a long line of action as one objective idea feeds the next. To engage in desire is a lack of discrimination; let it be seen that acquiring objects, be it a car or a lover, can never bring you to the end of desire. In order for you to enjoy something it must first be objectified by mind as an independent form or formless experience. There is only movement in consciousness which we call life force or functioning and we give names to create an objectified world. Then if this apparent division into subject-object is taken to be true, the desires to have and to own, to acquire and enjoy, will follow. Thus the mind will make the body dance to its tunes.

When a desire is fulfilled the personal ‘I’ is happy for a while. This happiness arises because of the absence of desire and has nothing to do with the properties of the object of desire. Original perfection is restored when desire is not running. If you imagine yourself to be separate from the world then the world will appear as separate from you, and you will experience desire and fear. As long as there is identification with the body, attractions and repulsions will operate. You cannot but see the world through the ideas you have about yourself. Managing desire has nothing to do with your relationships with objects of desire; it is your own misunderstanding that requires correction. Find out how the perception of objects arises in mind and do not follow thought patterns in ignorance.

There is no object which is of a different nature from the subject, and as there is only the subject, how can it be seen as an object? Let it be realized that there is only subject and then it is clear that there can be no division in such a vision. All experience rests on the reality of objects. If you investigate you will find that objects are unreal. Thus the effect of an unreal object is also non-existent and the experience of any effect is delusion. Let the end of desire and experience come into view through correct seeing. Understand that the world has no real existence and it will no longer be troublesome.

It can be said that desire is the memory of pleasure and that fear is the memory of pain. These are simply habits of mind. Once you know they are impermanent and not real, why bother with them? Pull attention away from the personal and impersonal, and all of this is just the flickering of energy. If you cannot, then there is a deeper understanding and a dropping of attachments that needs to take place. When mind turns to go outward, turn it inward instantly. It goes out due to the habit of looking for happiness in objects, but if you have seen that external objects are not the cause of happiness, then it is time to keep the direction of mind in check. In all whom search for truth there is a root desire to be free from misunderstanding, free from the personal. This pursuit continues for as long as you can be seduced by pleasure and goaded by pain, because desire continually agitates the mind. Desire is at the root of all misunderstanding. For as long as desire continues to hold your attention, the sense of good and bad, right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, will inevitably continue.



Jac O’ Keeffe was raised in rural Ireland and after university she worked in the overlap between creative arts and community development. In an attempt to unpack her catholic, Irish rearing, she consistently attended therapeutic processes from the age of 20.

In 1997 Jac was working as a freelance arts consultant when her first significant spiritual experience took place. In a moment, her 6th sense opened and the normally invisible energies appeared before her.

She was able to see chakras, past lives and spirits from other dimensions and she had no skills to process any of this. Fearful, yet intrigued by these phenomena she gained knowledge and understanding of healing and of energy work. Within 6 months she closed her business and began working first as a ghost buster, then as an energy worker. At the end of what unfolded as a seven-year phase, her inner journey brought her to the point of having to surrender all, both internally and externally. Leaving her familiar life, she spent three months in a campsite in Spain and began to follow the path as a disciple of a spiritual master.

Finding her way to southern India in 2006, many realizations came to fruition and the spiritual path fell away. In Tiruvannamalai she came across literature and speakers of non-duality for the first time, and this offered the language and pointers to what was already directly understood. Transcendence of dualistic thought stabilized over the following three years in India and she was invited to give satsang for the first time in 2009.

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: mind can fake it up to a point « this unlit light

  2. anonbeing

    Interesting article, thanks. This innate clarity of objectlessness, desirelessness, selflessness makes reading the content of your article feel like finding an old friend in the dark.

    October 4, 2016 at 10:10 pm

  3. Norma

    Jac is so clear and committed her books are such a gift it’s as if she knows the answers exactly when I’m ready to hear them

    August 27, 2020 at 1:57 pm

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