If we are out of touch with our desires, we cannot be ourselves. In this way of thinking, desire is our vitality, an essential component of our human experience, that which gives us individuality and at the same time keeps prodding us out of ourselves. Desire is a longing for completion in the face of the vast unpredictability of our predicament. It is "the natural," and if it is chased away it returns with a vengeance.

In the Sufi tradition, . . . human yearning is understood to be a reflection of God's desire to be known. To the Sufi, God is hidden, but wishes to be found. The clue to God's presence lies in the depth of our longing. Only by dwelling in the insatiable, and infinite, quality of desire can the Sufi begin to appreciate God's nature.

Mark Epstein, Open to Desire