Real longing is usually for some deep emotional place, happiness, peace, forgiveness, love. Even our mundane desires are connected to longing. If I get this thing, I will feel this way. You don’t want the thing, you want how it will make you feel. [….] Longing comes from an absolute fullness. The longing comes from its completion, it comes from absolute abundance…. that you are unconscious of, however. Longing is sent into consciousness, it’s a way of pulling you back into your own fullness. It comes from fullness and pulls you back to fullness, if you follow it back from where it came. It brings you back from where it came. And you find, it came from fullness. The longing for happiness came from happiness. The longing for enlightenment came from enlightenment. The longing for peace came from peace.
– Adyashanti, The Red Thread of Desire, disc 2, sections 7 and 8. (Slightly edited for clarity.)
There are different ways of exploring and discovering this.
Through The Work, I notice the effects of taking images and thoughts related to the longing as true. It creates identification around it. It sometimes creates a sense of life-or-death urgency. It labels the longing and creates a story of what it is and means. It makes the longing appear solid and real. It amplifies the longing. It makes the longing appear to be about something else than what it really is about. When there is more clarity on these images and thoughts, I find that what I longed for is already here. It’s who and what I am.
Through a very simple inquiry, I may find something similar. Is it true that what I (really) long for is not already here?
Through exploring projections, I see how images and thoughts places “out there” – in others, in the past and future – what’s already here. What’s already who and what I am. An image of what’s longed for is placed on an image of the wider world (another person, me in the past or future) and an image says “that’s not who or what I am now”. When I look closer, I may find in me what appeared to be “out there”, and I may find it’s who and what I am.
What I am knows itself. Tells itself it has forgotten. Longs for itself. (Creates longing for itself.) And leads the way back to itself.