During the year 527 BC, in the orient, Buddha enunciated the Fourfold Noble Truth: Life is suffering. The cause of suffering is desire. Ending desire ends suffering. Desire is ended by following the eightfold noble path.

Twenty-five hundred years later, we still desire. Our society teaches us to desire, to want things, and to work to get things, so we may be happy. Capitalism is based on fostering desire for goods, and getting love through having position, money, knowledge, or power. We are a culture of desire and fulfilling desire.

This isn’t surprising; we haven’t learned the lesson of love taught by Christ two millennia ago either. Both teachings reach the same point in the end. To become desireless, to not want anything external to ourselves, means we rest in ourselves, whole, joyous and happy. In this state, our true nature is constant love, unending love, giving love.

During this century, a master of the desireless state was born and attained his own enlightenment at age 42. His name was Lester Levenson. Lester understood desire as completely as Buddha; even more, he discovered a technique of understanding and controlling desire that is far more powerful than the eightfold noble path because it was designed with the 20th Century, inquisitive, psychological personality type in mind. Also, it is much simpler. Lester’s technique is powerful because it is active, not passive, as are all the higher forms of meditation.

Lester created the perfect method of attaining happiness with no sorrow, call the Release Technique Method. This method is easily accessible to everyone.

Make a List of the Things
You Want in Life
Make a List of the Things
You Have in Life
DESIRE is Holding You Back
From Having Everything in Life

What happens when we desire something? What is happening when we want a sense experience or to possess an object, such as a new house?

First, to want something means we feel we don’t have it. We feel empty, lonely, lacking, or deprived, and we believe if we possessed that object, or had that experience, we’d feel filled up and we would be happy. So, behind all desiring and seeking is 1) a motivation to be happy, and 2) a belief that happiness lies in desire’s fulfillment.

On the contrary. Desire is the problem. Being in a state of desire is suffering; wanting, lacking, hurting, and looking to a future time when we will have the desire and be happy. If we had no desire, we would be happy already, not happy in the future after attaining some experience. You cannot be satisfied in the future; you can only be satisfied now. You may have been satisfied in the past, but that memory does not satisfy now. As long as we are in now (and there is only the now), desiring an object or experience in order to make us happy, then our continuous, present experience will be of the pain of wanting, and of delaying satisfaction or happiness until attaining something in the future.

What is normally taken as human happiness is to get something we want so that the wanting, empty feeling goes away, and we feel happy for a moment—until the next desire arises. But this ordinary, human-style happiness does not come from attaining the object. It comes from no longer desiring something. When we no longer desire, we no longer look outside ourselves for something. When we no longer desire, we no longer look outside ourselves for completion, and we discover we are complete already. The sense of completion, or fulfillment is always ours already, as we would discover, if only we stop desiring.

For example, we desperately want a new Bentley. We read all the brochures, check our anticipated future income, crosscheck anticipated expenses, etc., and then we buy the Bentley. After a few days of buyer’s remorse, we happily drive our new car for all to see. We seek nothing now, and we are happy. Is the happiness from getting the car, or from stopping the lusting? When we stop seeking, we are satisfied.

This understanding goes against the grain of all our beliefs. The ultimate conclusion of this viewpoint is we are happiest when we do nothing, accomplish nothing, dream nothing, and we are content to just rest in our own being. Since most of us harbor a very limited and perhaps negative self-image, we find the prospect of spending a lot of time with ourselves, at best, boring and, at worst, gruesome. The psychodynamics of desire are interesting.

Wanting something means we believe that something is separate from us. The desire itself creates a duality, a polarization that prevents us from feeling our always-perfect completion inside. As long as we want, we think and emote about the desired object. This mental business reduces consciousness of our inward, ever present happiness, and we feel empty and lacking.

Even more, the wanting something creates a duality that prevents our attaining it. Wanting creates a separation between us and the thing desired, which creates a pain of neediness inside, and a constant straining for the object that prevents us from acting appropriately to get it. Imagine a man who has starved for ten days suddenly brought to a four star restaurant. His hunger would likely lead to inappropriate behaviors that might get him kicked out before he ate.

Did you ever want a new job, a new house, or a new sexual experience so badly “you could taste it”? What happens? Usually, you don’t get it. You are too uptight, too tense, and your behaviors are inappropriate. This inappropriate behavior arises on the conscious level.

More subtly, and far less obviously, there are other psychodynamics involved. There is an invisible level of causation, where the wanting causes a distortion in the flow of supply and demand, so to speak. Desiring sets up a duality that makes it more difficult to get what you want. Only by letting go of the desire can you remove the distortion that allows you to get that which you no longer desire! Paradox?

It is a paradox only as long as you hold on to the viewpoint that you are a human being, trapped, so to speak, in a body, embedded in a world of objects and time, with a personal history.

In this belief system, this ideology of illusion, that creates the duality of you, of body versus world, and of me wanting something outside myself. Desire sustains the illusion of separateness by lusting after objects that appear to be outside ourselves, preventing us from feeling complete and fulfilled in every moment.

Desire, too, creates and sustains the dualities that inhibit our getting what we want. If we can get into the feeling state that we already have what we want, the duality disappears, allowing easier receiving of the desired event. That is, if instead of lusting after something, we calmly feel like we already have it, then it is ours. We actually allow ourselves to receive it…by letting go of wanting (a lacking feeling).

This is not meant as a polemic against success. Indeed, success is much easier after mastering the dynamics of desire. It is perfectly O.K. to experience most anything and to have most anything. The having is not a problem. The problem is wanting, which causes pain and inhibits receiving on the level of behavior. Check the list of Wants that you have made and see if there is any pain there for not having it. See if it is everything you don’t have?

Becoming perfectly happy is as easy as letting go of a hot poker. We can learn to let go of feelings, desires, wants. After letting go of the desire, we can have what we formerly desired, because we have destroyed the separating duality, and the sense of lacking—the suffering; or, we can do without the desired object because, in our hearts, we already have the completion we expected from the object.

That is, the solution to the problem of desire is threefold: 1) we let go of the desire, in order to rest in ourselves and end the pain of desire, which allows 2) the receiving of what formerly was desired, because we feel and act differently, and the universe knows it. Lastly, 3) feeling already complete, we may decide to let go the attaining that was so important just moments before.

The old expression, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, is easily explained. A rich person doesn’t want money; he has the feeling “it’s mine already,” thus creating more money. A poor person wants money, thus creating lack.

These are wonderful teachings that can appeal to anyone alive. Lester’s message is: You can have it all! He says, parenthetically, “If you want anything at all, you can have it, providing you let go of wanting it.”