The Desire for the Next-Thing

The third of the subtle desires is the need for the next-thing. The next-thing is usually considered to have more potency than the now-thing. Individuals often want to move on to the next idea, spiritual path, or healing modality before they have achieved a basic understanding of their inner state. They are experimenting at the surface levels without deference to the deeper values and meanings that exist within themselves.

Take for example the topic at hand: emotional self-mastery. Few people would argue that this is an important skill to possess independent of how it is defined in terms of its psychological or spiritual components. However, it is not an easy thing to master one’s emotions or to even gain a reasonable understanding of their subtle natures. Emotions are very multidimensional and operate from the subtle energetic levels to the down-to-earth levels of relationships, job performance, and personal well being. Because of this, emotions are a complex web of energy exchange with those we cross paths with, whether in person or virtually through the mail, phone, text messaging, chat, or email, and this requires a perseverance and vigilance in our practice. It is not enough to dabble in it periodically.

The need for the next-thing is a desire to hit the “refresh button” in one’s belief system. Sometimes this is a good instinct to refresh your views and beliefs, but sometimes it scatters your attention at the surface of life’s purpose because you are always moving to the next-thing—the new modality, the new teaching, the new way to live. The inner state of your emotional life, the heart-centered values and the intuitive wisdom of your energetic heart, is an infinite resource of intelligence. When you move on to the next-thing, if the next-thing does not include living from the heart as its core principle, you may not evolve your access to this infinite source of intelligence that awaits inside of you—not in books, the Internet, an ashram, school, seminar or master teacher, but inside you.

While the next-thing may be marketed as the most potent truth ever to find its way to humanity, it most likely will pale in comparison to your own heart’s wisdom—if you know how to activate, access and express it. There are thousands of systems that promise enlightenment, and many of them have value, but the need for the next-thing often has the unintentional side effect of leading you away from the very instructor you most need to interface with: your heart’s intelligence and the emotional, energetic potency therein.

The rise and acceleration of complexity in life has also given rise to complexity in one’s spiritual life. There are many so-called spiritual practices that require you to breathe in very specific manners and rhythms. Others require you to eat certain combinations of food and drink. Others prescribe very detailed meditations and postures. Still others define certain colors and sound frequencies that are activating to your soul.

Living from the heart is not centered on a precision of technique or complex practices of body, mind or emotional control. It is the simple moment-to-moment practice of the heart virtues in your daily affairs. Over time, this practice culminates in a virtuosity of precision and control, but this is the natural outcome of simple practices, not the rigid programs of training at the outset, and this is an important distinction.

The three subtle desires are each components of a general social dysfunction built upon an expired system of belief in the ambition of ego over the wisdom of heart expression. This is what the coming shift in consciousness, long predicted, is truly about. The wisdom of the heart will prevail and it will become the standard bearer of humanity, ushering in a new order of coherence and alignment to the higher frequencies of our divine nature and source.