I narrate a story from my memory, originally told by Aghori Vimalananda.
Once there lived a guru in a jungle along with some disciples. One fine day the guru selected a young disciple and told him that he would need to go out into the world for some learning. He was made to wear a loincloth and was sent away. In ancient India a loincloth symbolised Sannyasa (renunciation of worldly material life). All went well until one day the boy was taking bath in a river, washed his loincloth an hung it to dry. A mouse came from nowhere and chewed a part of his loincloth. The boy decided that this was a problem and hence got a cat which would eat mice and thereby protect his only garment. Now the cat needed food. So he got a cow that would give milk. Now who would take care of the cow? So a cowherd was got who would cut grass and feed the cow on time. Now how on earth would the boy pay the cowherd? So the boy found a field and started farming so that he could sell the produce and pay salary. Now the farm required labour, the boy couldn't do it alone and moreover he needed to stay near the farm. So a house was constructed. Now who will run the house efficiently? Only a woman can. So he married a nice girl and threw away his loincloth which was the reason for all the problems in the first place.
After sometime, the guru decided to go and check on the progress of his disciple. When he reached the place, he was surprised to find a huge field with lots of crops and a house. He thought his boy would be a hermit in a jungle. The guru approached the gates of the house and asked the watchman for the boy. The watchman said, "Oh you mean the Sahib, yes he's in the house". When the guru went to see him, the boy welcomed him and they exchanged the usual formalities. The guru said, "look at you now, you have become a great man. A Sahib indeed, you have re-entangled yourself in this world but fear not, I will save you". The boy said, "Oh guruji, I don't want to return, in fact I love it here". The guru then blessed him and made his leave. He went away mediated for a while and disappeared back to his place.
The boy went on with his life and at one point got fed up of everything due to various circumstances. He had a change of mind. Only when a calamity falls is man reminded of god. He thought of his guru and went back to him. The guru took him back because he was wise enough to know his true calling.
End of story.
People have so many desires. Food, sleep and sex being the most common ones. The other desires come in the form of wealth, possessions, fame etc. Very few have a desire for spirituality. But yeah, if everyone suddenly got interested in spirituality and nothing else, the world would stop functioning. Let everything be the way it is. Personally I wouldn't say having desires are wrong. I have several ones and spirituality is at the bottom of that list.
But however I am reminded of Adi Shankaracharya's words:
Countless births, again and again, Countless deaths, again and again, And yet again one sleeps in the mother’s womb, Save me, help me cross this world, From this vicious circle of life and death, Shower your kindness on me, my Lord.
My current state of mind find's almost everything pointless and uninteresting. It's like deep inside I am aware that everything is an illusion and keep telling myself this too shall pass. Nothing matters in the grand scheme of things. I wish I had a guru who could show me a way out of this. But until that happens I am just going to stick to the small joys of life, certain desires and cherish the company of a few people in my life.
(Picture used under creative commons license, artist unknown)