Looking At Desire

There are so many things to want in the world. The car, the house, the fancy lifestyle, fame, fortune, the spouse, the man or the woman, the yacht, to be a parent, to have a child, prestige, to be acknowledged, to be everything that one is not. What is desire? What is the nature of desire? What is the function of it? What purpose does it serve in society?

A child may watch the television and see a movie, a show, or advertisement. The child feeling neglected or longing to fill the void, the emptiness, a longing for human connection may see another child who is happy, excited, and joyful. The child then compares him/herself to the child on the television screen and then says “I want that” thinking that would bring happiness like Santa Clause and a Messiah. And in many cases especially in the western world the child will eventually have that thing from the television and may for a moment emulate that child from memory but soon finds that things aren’t as the child imagined. The toy becomes boring after a while.

This comparing continues throughout one’s life. The comparing and the wanting which overflows into adulthood. Our perceptions about others, the data that one collects about what happiness is, is extracted and processed through the observation and processing of the superficial. This data leads us to believe over and over that happiness is a by-product of the obtainment of things that we can see, feel, and touch.

Like a repair disk for a computer an image is created, a snapshot, a reference point, a picture that defines the status quo. The picture is the defined objective for the homeostasis system which is to keep things static, to keep things just like the picture. This picture is also reinforced by drugs and electricity in the biomechanical machine (the mind and body). It makes the sensual, sensual. One sees a picture of a time when happiness was experienced and then relives it by looking at the picture. So the picture is the image which is backed by the sensual experience all of which was originally conceived as an idea extracted from somewhere at some time in the outside world.

One sees a beautiful wedding that takes place. Sees the bride and groom. Sees the wedding cake and the wedding ring and all the happy faces everywhere. One goes through the emotions of having all these things and then says “I want a wedding like that.” So an image is created about what an ideal wedding is. And are most weddings ideal? And this is how most marriages start are they not? That is not satisfying the ideal. Perhaps this is why there is the constant striving in marriages. That is, the ideal was never satisfied and so the marriage becomes a constant striving to make-up for the loss. So if I can’t have the ideal wedding then at least I can have the house, the car, the spouse, the ideal children, or be an ideal parent.

So what are desires and why do desires exist? What is the function of desire? What and how does it exploit the senses, exploit humanity? Or does it exploit at all? Perhaps desire is necessary. And if so what purpose does it serve? The constant striving, the constant becoming, the constant longing projects ones focus to the future and the past. I’ll have a good job once I get a college degree. I’ll have a happy life once I get that job. All I need now is a good man or a good woman. If only I can get over the pain of that last relationship. All I want now is to be a parent. All I want now is to renovate my kitchen and on and on and on it goes. What is the purpose of desire? Does desire allow for one to have that sense of peace, joy, and that feeling of completeness in the present? Or does desire keep us operating in the past and the future, constantly longing and obtaining? Is the function of desire to keep humanity distracted? Desire is much like purpose. Everyone wants to have a unique purpose. The gurus say that once we know what we want then we can have it but many people do not know what they want. And so many people are searching to find that thing they desire, that thing that makes them unique, that thing that will fulfill. Is desire the partner in crime with time? Is the function of desire to keep us fixated on anywhere but here, right here right now? That is, to keep us perpetually focused on the yesterday and the tomorrow?

Post Author: Chad

A citizen of the universe. A student of life and death.