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Passion versus Desire

Posted by Noeyoni on 7/1/2016

Our deepest feelings lend to our reality. The feeling of “wanting” has been the subject of many grand love stories that have survived thousands of years.  In the English language "passion" and "desire" are often used interchangeably and I would posit, that inappropriately so.  The word passion has its roots in latin “pati” which means to suffer. In modern terminology it refers to a strong emotional state, mostly a state that compels us to move doggedly forward along a certain path, and perhaps to encounter suffering in the process. However, the way I see it, despite all suffering or challenges, our passions continue to fuel us, drive us. There is no "getting rid of" our passions. Desire originates in the Latin “desiderare” that refers to a strong sense of lacking. This focus on that which we do not have, can fail to motivate a lifelong dedication. For once satiated, where do we invest our dedication? 

In this manner, these words are dissimilar in their context and purpose. As indicators of powerful feelings, it may be to our benefit to distinguish between these two feelings for their different message to us.

For instance, passion draws from energy deep within our third chakra – one that is our center for personal power. Passion emerges from a powerful understanding and acknowledgement of what we want from and wish to give back to life. These wants are deeply aligned with who we are and what we seek from our world. When we are present to our passions, we are ignited by the possibility that they present. Therefore the pursuit of our passions can extend an entire lifetime. Our passions are typically experiential, whether it is a passion for sailing, cooking or protecting the environment. That which we seek through our passion is timeless. Through the pursuit of our passions we are acutely aware that we are a part of eternal processes that are timeless. We understand our part in this infinite circle, whether that be our passion to climb, our passion for writing, or our passion for travel. Passion drives and propels us to continue in the face of adversity. We are deeply aware that the rewards are far greater than us.

In contrast, desire emerges from an acute sense of lack, of an inadequacy. Therefore the feeling of desire may push us into action, but that action is generated from a sense of being without and therefore it is limited in purpose and outcome. In that manner, desire is disempowering while passion is deeply energizing. Typically desire is object or objective oriented. It draws from a root chakra energy and is thus focused on our material realities. The four instinctual drives—fear, feeding, fighting and sex—are mirrored in the lower two chakras and therefore often propel us to seek that which we desire. Once we have fulfilled our desire, we experience a feeling of being satiated.

Our passions on the other hand do not allow us that feeling of accomplishment or completion. It continues to drive us, to move us forward even after we cross a milestone and despite all the odds stacked against us. 

Therefore, as you feed your desires continue to be acutely in touch with your passions. Acknowledge the intemperance and impermanence of your desires and invest more of your energy to find and connect with your deepest passion, your very reason for living.

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