What do you need right now? A cigarette?! Some coffee? A new car? Financial stability? How about perfect health? Maybe peace of mind? Or do you need love?
Whatever you think you need, take a moment to really think about it, and ask yourself whether these are actual needs, or are they perhaps desires and preferences.
Whenever you think you need something, the uninspected pattern of reasoning that goes on in the background would go something like this: I need that $100 in order to place that advert in order to get that call in order to make a sale in order to make more money in order to survive!
Yet you do not need to survive! This may sound disparaging to life. I’m not suggesting that you should not survive!! – only that it is mistaken to perceive survival as a need. Survival and death are experiences of a life form, and whilst an aspect of you expresses as a life form, the essence of who you are is far beyond this. You are Life itself. And from this perspective your survival is guaranteed. Your essence is eternal, infinite, all that is, and needs nothing in order to be.
Another typical subconscious train of thought would go like this: I need to catch that bus now in order to get to town on time in order to buy those shoes in order to look good at the party in order be liked by my friends in order to be happy!
Yet this thinking is based on the assumption that we can be happy only under certain conditions. This is not true, but we have believed it to be true. And since belief colours experience, we currently experience it this way. So the whole train of thought leading to the conclusion that we need something rests on a false assumption!
Think about it: Do need anything right now in order to be? No – you already are! And this is true at any given point of time – you need nothing in order to be.
This is true on the macrocosmic level also. Divine essence or the universe needs nothing. It is quite literally everything, and sufficient unto itself. To surmise that divinity needs something would be to suggest that the fullness is not full, that it needs something to make it full!
These days I watch myself from using the word ‘need’, and whenever I hear someone else using the word, I mentally complete the sentence. They say “I need X”; and I think “only if you want to achieve Y”. This is because all need is contextual. For instance, only in the context of wanting to get somewhere is there a need for a car. And only in the context of driving the car is there a need for fuel. Only in the context of wanting fuel is there a need to go to the gas station. Outside of this context there is absolutely no need to go to the gas station.
In the same way, outside of all our constructed reasoning of what we say we have to do, or what is required of us, need does not exist. This may sound contrary to our experience, because we do experience need from time to time. But this experience stems from an idea – and a false idea at that! Need is an illusion, a mere projected reality.
Need suggests incompleteness or lack. Yet lack does not exist in ultimate reality, only in our mistaken ideas and created reality. These are illusions, and are intimately linked with other illusions we have created- like the illusion of separation, the illusion of insufficiency and the illusion of requirement. Collectively over millennia we have created a cultural story that we are separate from God, separate from life and separate from each other. We went on to reason further that we intrinsically are lacking of something, we are incomplete and that God or life requires something of us, and fulfilling this requirement would maybe make us complete. And somewhere intertwined in this grand story we have create the illusion that Life needs something in order to be or in order to be more, and that we need anything at all! The illusion does serve a purpose, but it serves its purpose optimally only when you recognise need as an illusion, not when you see it as real.
Desires and preferences on the other hand are an integral part of our expanding experience in an expanding universe. Once we learn to look beyond the mask (illusion) of need we will see it for what it is – preference. And when you elevate your ‘needs’ to preferences, it is extremely powerful and liberating. In fact they are already preferences; you will only be elevating your understanding and the experience leading from your understanding.
When financial stability for example is a mere preference, we will not be distressed by the lack of it. This is significantly different from the experience of needing financial stability and the desperation that this idea has led to for the vast majority of people today.
So practice needlessness today. You would find that you’re not practicing to be something that you’re not, but something that you already are! In this sense it looks like a practice from one perspective, but it is actually an allowing, and a remembering – and a grand remembering at that! In needlessness you will discover more freedom. In freedom you will find joy. In joy you find the truest version of yourself that you’ve ever experienced. In joy you find your Self.