<center><b>The Wants of Man</b></center> What do we want? According to one world wide religion, the wants of man are four. I shall attempt to name them with a small synopsis refraining from identifying the specific religion until later. This religion is set for individual paths to completeness. It does not require a belief in God. How can this be so, and still be considered a world religion? The answer is simple. God, or a Supreme Being if one exists, can only be fathomed by the integration of many parts of man. Each part, if separate, can only understand a finite amount. By integrating these parts, the beginning of "wholeness" commences. The name of the parts are simple in it's display, yet it's complexity and depth has no bounds. Those three parts are named, intellect, emotion and spirituality. How they are attained is also simple. Life itself teaches us their meaning. <center><b>The Four Wants of Man</b></center> 1. He begins by wanting pleasure. We are all born with pain-pleasure reactors. These reactors cannot be ignored. One learns quickly not to place hands on hot stoves or jump off a cliff expecting to fly. To the person wanting pleasure, this religion replies, "Go for it"! The possibilities for enjoyment are immense. The world is full of beauty and delights for all our senses. Some call this path Hedonism and the connotation associated with this word is often frowned upon and even condemned by the Western world and runs against the grain of Puritanism in this [ US ] particular country. But as long as the basic rules of morality are observed, one is free to pursue all the pleasures you wish. One wonders why this path is allowed or even encouraged in this particular religion. To borrow from Shakespeare, "there is method in his madness", for being a very basic impulse it should not be suppressed. Instead, it should be fulfilled as richly and esthetically as possible. Why is this encouraged? Because there will come a time, perhaps not in this lifetime, when one realizes that pleasure is not ALL that one will want. Not because it is wicked or evil, but rather it is too narrow and limited and perhaps too trivial to satisfy man's total nature. Pleasure is essentially private and the self is too small an object for perpetual enthusiasm. When this time comes the individual interests shift to the second goal in life. 2. Worldly success with its three aspects of wealth, fame and power. This too is a worthy goal for unlike pleasure, which is private, success is a social achievement with interaction with others. Moreover, the satisfaction lasts longer. The drive for possessions, status and power runs deep.and a modicum of worldly success is indispensable for upkeep of the household, raising a family and may bring to many a sense of dignity and self-respect. But the pursuit of these goals or wants are competitive and therefore precarious. They do not multiply when shared and cannot be distributed without one's portion being diminished. Other people of ability want what you may have and will try and take it from you. No matter what one has, one is aware that there is more out there that one does not have. In the end, everyone asks more than the house in the suburbs, two cars in the garage and a plush annuity for life. Finally, worldly success is temporal. Being aware of infinity and eternity man cannot take these worldly successes with him. These are the basic wants of man: 1. Pleasure 2. Wealth 3. Fame 4. Power Please forgive my numerical grouping as consolidation is necessary for presentation and condensation. As one can see, a God or Supreme Being is not mentioned concerning the wants of man. The reasoning is clear. Until the satisfaction of the basic desires are fulfilled or are found wanting, man is essentially tied to self. It is only when one becomes sated and discovers for themselves that life must be more than individual needs, does the idea of that greater something becomes aroused. By now, one might wonder what world religion holds these tenets as a prerequisite for advancement to the ultimate goal. The name of the religion is Hinduism. The above general synopsis was unabashedly taken from one of the great books of the last century. <u>The Religions of Man</u> by Huston Smith. Being an individual path, one can pursue it's objectives wherever it leads. In my case, I have married it with the Judaeo-Christian tenets and other Eastern religions. For those who yearn for spiritual understanding, yet recoil from organized religions and search for the answers to the following questions... "Who am I" and "Where am I going" I highly recommend this book. The above synopsis encompasses the twin goals of the Path of Desires. To seek beyond this path to the ultimate goal of completeness is a chapter for the future. If requested, I will attempt to do a follow-up for the next transition called "The Path of Renunciation".