Desires and Discipline

Let's talk a bit about desires or dreams and about discipline.

Our ego is all about desires, there is no discipline in desire.

Without discipline we cannot tame our ego and so, we live a life where the ego is our master.

The ego is the mind, the mind is a great tool, a good servant, but a very bad master of discipline.

A life without discipline or perseverance is a very painful and miserable life.

As humans we all have desires, but they cannot all be satisfied just because we have them. Our desires come from our hyperactive expanding ego in an age with overwhelming amounts of information and possibilities, including the possibility of getting more for our spent energy.

To desire strongly is the catalyst, but desires are raw thought impulses, to actually get the results we desire, we need to access higher states of consciousness, by practicing daily gratitude.

We also need a profound introspective that results in the understanding that we are dealing with an impossible problem since we were very young: A defective or false sense of identity.

But not all kids have this problem, for example, Asian or Indian kids have a better culture in this sense, they are taught since they are young that they are the earth, the water, the stones, and all the elements that make up the universe.

So now, young or old, we must all really understand who we are. Just as any truly spiritual person knows, we are not just the name we are given, we are not just our occupation, we are not our sex or our species, we are the entire universe or creation. We are not outside or inside, we are both.

Then, we must understand truly that life is about joy and gratitude, about what brings us these states.

We can choose to seek gratitude, joy, and discipline daily, or we can engage in lower vibrational states that come from ego desires, but no matter what we seek, it all requires a lot of discipline and cyclical/repetitive work of accumulating knowledge on one side and testing that knowledge/idea or practicing it on the other side. This is the yin and yang of the Taoists, this is Principle and Process as one single object. If we apply this, our dreams are possible, and fulfilling them doesn't require much "time" - time is an illusion (but it's not the subject of this paper).

If we feel the life that we already have is not enough, that we are meant for more, the best we can do is dedicate our lives to a discipline, to explore and conquer at least one science or art that we can practice throughout our life.

This will bring us experience and satisfaction.

Without experience in a science or art, we are lost to our emotions (driven by ego desires or fears, by lesser thoughts), we become a victim of life instead of a creator of it.

In other words, we let the servant be the master, we let our mind (a limited tool) define something infinite and immortal: our spirit, our very soul, or consciousness if you will.

“The mind is a good servant, but a bad master.” – Alan Watts

Looking up studies on Google Scholar related to gratitude:

1,840,000 results for “gratitude study”

973,000 results related to “gratitude test”

673,000 results related to “gratitude experiment”

I have totally not read them all, but I experienced the effects of daily gratitude firsthand, and I did read enough of them. The benefits I experienced and read about are described a little in this below article I like from

If you need one more reason to be thankful, here it is. More and more researchers are finding that gratitude doesn't just make you feel like a better person, it's actually good for your health.

“Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person's life,” said Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis.

“It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep.”

One recent study from the University of California San Diego's School of Medicine found that people who were more grateful actually had better heart health, specifically less inflammation and healthier heart rhythms.

“They showed a better well-being, a less depressed mood, less fatigue and they slept better,” said the study's author, Paul J. Mills.

“When I am more grateful, I feel more connected with myself and with my environment. That's the opposite of what stress does.”

Another study found that gratitude can boost your immune system. Researchers at the universities of Utah and Kentucky observed that stressed-out law students who characterized themselves as optimistic actually had more disease-fighting cells in their bodies.

But Emmons said there's even more evidence.

People who keep a gratitude journal have a reduced dietary fat intake — as much as 25 percent lower. Stress hormones like cortisol are 23 percent lower in grateful people. And having a daily gratitude practice could actually reduce the effects of aging to the brain.

Being thankful has such a profound effect because of the feelings that go along with it, Emmons said. “Gratitude works because, as a way of perceiving and interpreting life, it recruits other positive emotions that have direct physical benefits, most likely through the immune system or endocrine system.”

Research shows that when we think about what we appreciate, the parasympathetic or calming part of the nervous system is triggered and that can have protective benefits on the body, including decreasing cortisol levels and perhaps increasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good.

But if you're still not feeling the love, experts say gratitude is something you can learn.

“Some people may not be grateful by nature, but it is a habit you can get accustomed to,” said Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a psychiatrist and author of “Winter Blues.”

“One very good way is being aware of comparing up. It's a formula for unhappiness because you can always find a person who is more advantaged than you are.”

Mills says all you have to do is think about being grateful and you'll become more grateful.

A good way to do that is by journaling.

“Some people say they don't have anything to be grateful for,” Mills said.

“If you take such a person to find one little thing to be grateful for and focus on that, you find over time that the feeling of gratitude can transform the way they see their lives.”


Last updated