20 — Passion vs. Lust

What is passion? What is lust? Is there a difference? We’ve talked several times before about passion (1 — Empowering Yourself—Finding Your Passion!2 — What is Your Passion and How Can You Live It?3 — Creating a Living from Your Passion, and 13 — “Truly” Awakening Your Passion — you might want to take a look at those blog posts to refresh what we’ve had to say before, as well as look at 6 — Who Are You? Who Am I?), but we haven’t talked about lust, or about lust in relationship to passion. So, what’s the difference, if there is one?

Passion is that excitement that comes from deep within your true self that urgently wants to present itself to the world. That, when you are immersed within it, erases all sense of time and external influences. It is an outflowing of energy that originates deep within your true self (see 6 — Who Are You? Who Am I? for more on who you truly are). It actually carries the depth of the Universe within it into the microcosm about which you “are” passionate.

Lust, on the other hand, originates within the ego—the constellation of personas that you have adopted/created to adapt—but not relate—to the world around you. It is not the real you, but rather a shell that exists between the world and the true you. It is an aspect of the mind, the collective consciousness. It’s sole role in your life is survival—of itself and of you. As such, when you truly see it for what it is, it is selfish, cruel, ruthless, dishonest, capable of violence and atrocities if properly stimulated. Of course, it denies all this because—for most of us—it pretends to be “nice,” “sweet,” “friendly,” and so on. But if you were to honestly look at what it is and does, these are some of the primary characteristics that would emerge.

So lust, originating in the self, is a taking, an intake, a wanting for itself, a greed—all for self-satisfaction. It can pretend to be for the other, when it is directed toward another person, but in fact it is purely for itself—for the momentary direct or derived pleasure it generates for itself.

Passion is unselfish; lust is selfish.

What are some of the things we lust for? Power, money, sex, food, possessions are some that come immediately to mind. Feel free to add to this list, as there are many other things in this material world that we may lust for.

Why do we lust for anything? Because it is an attempt to fill a hole within ourselves—to make us “whole.” When we live from the self, unconscious or only vaguely conscious of that something that is much deeper within us—the true me or you—we strive to connect with that deeper self. There are an infinity of ways to do this, but the self only knows how to take from this material world. It is of the mind and has no ability to connect with the heart, so it does only that which it knows how to do: it grasps for things for itself.

Can you be passionate about power, money, sex, food, or possessions? Probably. Since these are things that you can lust for, too, how do you tell whether or not your drives toward these are passion or lust? The simple test is whether or not there is an outflow or an intake of energy generated. If your interest in power is to empower others, that’s an outflow and could be a passion. If your interest in power is what you can do with it, that’s probably lust.

Is lust bad? That’s probably the wrong question. The real question is, what are the impacts this is having on my life and on the lives of those it’s touching? Is it enriching their lives and mine, or is it impoverishing these in some way? You get to decide whether or not you want to continue, given the lasting consequences of your actions.

So, if you have been able to be truly honest with yourself—when considered from the heart because it’s essentially impossible to do this from the ego since it will lie to you/itself about its true motives—and you’ve seen something you consider to be lust, what can you do about it? Actually, nothing! What you have done—the act of truly seeing—is all that you need do. Let me repeat that:

What you have done—the act of truly seeing—is all that you need do!

When you see from the heart—from the true you, from your connection with the Divine—you actually release your connection with that aspect of the (little) self. The catch-phrase that captures this is, “To see is to be free.” When you truly see yourself (your little self), that part of the self recedes… it is no longer such a strong, even uncontrollable, aspect of your life.

Is this a simplistic view of passion v. lust? Perhaps. Is it inaccurate? Probably not, at least not based on my experience of all this!

So, what are your feelings and experiences of passion v. lust? Let’s hear from you!