I Want

The evolution of desire

globalwarmingIt is characteristic of human beings that we cannot live without desire. Some people who follow Buddhism erroneously think that one must abandon desire but this is impossible because to stay alive and experience life we must desire to live and we must desire to have the experience.

It is a characteristic that if we are unhappy, we desire to be unhappy but it is also a perversion that people who resign themselves to unhappiness also try to make everyone around them unhappy. So if you think that you and beings are the weirdest of creatures, you are probably right.

Our basic desire is for a full belly, clean water and the creature comforts of warm and dry habitation. But once we achieve one desire, new desires always manifest when the satisfaction of achievement diminishes.

Why do we desire anything?

It is essentially because we want to live and we want to know life. We think of life as being external to ourselves but if we remember that we experience the world through our five senses, the world only exists within us.

Therefore if the world is not the way we desire for it to be we must change our own perception so that we create the world we want.

I want

This is a natural expression that we refer to as desire. We want attention, you want food we want money or rather we want the things that money can buy and if we look at the world we can see what extraordinary lengths people go to in order to achieve their desires.

In the Western world desires are shaped in a large part by the media. We are subjected to a constant bombardment of images and ideas; better homes, better clothes, better friends, better sex and better life experiences in general.

So people get hooked into I want, they build dreams and sometimes empires in chasing I want, but often at the end of their lives they leave this world unfulfilled and empty.

I want must be tempered with intelligence

For instance, I want what you have so going to take it off you. This is an action which destabilises society. I want to cut down the tree to make paper so I can print posters advising other people to save the trees! The tree is a complete ecosystem and it has a symbiotic relationship with people because trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen while people breathe in the oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

Therefore cutting down the tree is like cutting out a piece of one's own lung. So desire can support life or destroy life but because people are blind to certain realities, rampant desires are threatening our very existence.

We call our species human beings and our collective society human civilisation but because of our uncontrolled desires, we have become the human race racing towards our own destruction.

Our desires are normal and natural aspects of who we are as human beings, but as we train our children out of desire is not to run on the street in front of cars, we also need to train our own desires so that we only want what supports life.


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