I admit I borrowed part of this heading from the prog group, Yes, and its lyricist Jon Anderson. His Revealing Science of God begins an excursion into the world of Topographic Oceans, the band’s courageous, overreaching experiment. We shall speak of this later.
There is a spectacular academic quarterly of spirituality, psychology and metaphysics called Parabola whose current issue is devoted to the subject of desire. According to their website, the journal’s parent Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition is a “not-for-profit organization devoted to the dissemination and exploration of materials relating to the myths, symbols, rituals, and art of the world’s religious and cultural traditions. To this end, the Society is the publisher of Parabola Magazine.” The editors go on to emphasize the parabolic arc as representative of humanity’s collective reach, a curving outreach as the “epitome of a quest.” This metaphor aligns with a favorite of mine — the ancient Greek’s use of epektasis, describing the athlete straining to reach a goal that can never be attained. Epektasis is a core paradigm of spiritual growth: we as pilgrims yearn for answers to existential questions; we desire God, yet achievement of spiritual union eludes us.
And what does God desire? That question is explored eloquently by Geoffrey Dennis in his Parabola article, “A Song of Desire, Creation and the Yearnings of Israel’s God.” According to Dennis, God longs for communion with creation. Passion for relationship is evident in God’s grief as a consequence of our separation from the garden. Unlike Aristotle’s God as Unmoved Mover, here is a God of “the Most Moved Mover.” Dennis concludes by insisting that God imparts to us the desire to do good for one another — living in symbiosis for community — and that this is a characteristic of evolved consciousness.
There are other wonderful considerations of desire in this issue of Parabola, from St. Francis to contemporary Dharma Master Cheng Yen. I heartily recommend them and encourage you to acquire a copy wherever magazines are sold.