Thread: What is want?
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:34 PM
strixish strixish is offline
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This is an interesting way of looking at desire.

In one way, I often want lots of things, including conflicting things (I want the chocolate, and I want to be successful at eating healthy). In the end, I always do whatever I want MOST, but the desire for the other choice is still there. It's not eclipsed by the fact that I've made whatever choice I've made.

These two ways of looking at things seem to boil down to this-- how important are those unfulfilled desires? Do you put them away once you've made your choice, or do you give them a place in your mind?

I understand that in some world views, desire is the source of all suffering. I get that. I get that people believe life is easier if you can let go of some of your desires, especially the unfulfilled desire.

I personally disagree with that, though. Kate Bornstein wrote about how desire, especially unfulfilled desire, is actually a crucial part of being human, and especially being the individual you are. "Desire" itself, wanting something that I don't have (and may never get), may be a source of tension for me, but it can be a delicious tension, almost a source of energy itself. It's part of what makes me who I am.

This is getting a little grand for the chocolate metaphor, but maybe if I think about the desire I have for my ex-girlfriends. For most of them, I still care deeply, or even love them, and I still desire the texture of their skin, the feel of their kiss, and all of that. I have *chosen* not to be with them, and not to now be pursuing relationships with them, for one good reason or another. The desire is still there, though, and will probably always be there.

Unrequited desire is bittersweet, but I do like lots of flavors...

On the want/need dichotomy, there are all kinds of things I want that I don't need. I definitely don't need to have all my wants fulfilled. My point is that I do sort of value the unfulfilled and unfulfillable wants. They're a part of me.
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