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A Dictionary of New Epigrams

Desire

We can choose to encourage the human urge to do things that help another living being find their way.

Encourage those in power to strengthen the infrastructure of their responsibility, rather than to expand its outward growth, for the easier it is to fulfill their ambitions the more contentment there is within their constituency.

“My belief is that to have no wants is divine”, said Socrates, but every living thing is purpose-driven, and only non-living things have no desires. The processes of life function in their ways like natural laws, and are as purpose-driven as is the Law of Gravity.

Desires are bound into positive feedback cycles, and satisfying a desire is only a momentary single event that is inevitably followed by a more deeply entrenched habit for more similar satisfactions.

To desire anything is to generate disappointment, because even when satisfied nothing can ever be exactly as one hopes it to be.

Every desire is insatiable; so choose to enjoy whatever comes your way.

“Where desire is, there is no bliss; where bliss is, there is no desire”, said Sivananda. But, seeking bliss is too much to ask of any person while engaged in normal life, and by contrast the practicing stoic limits his interest to those things that are under his personal control, and his desire can be controlled by intentionally accepting what is present. Sivananda seeking anything beyond a temporary blissful feeling, by this stoic view, would be engaged in an inevitably counterproductive pursuit. A stoic would avoid that behavior as a self-imposed delusional state leading to disappointment and pain.

The more you find yourself yielding to a habit, the more important the habit becomes to your future life. Thus to make your future life tranquil and contented intentionally choose to do things that will help you to be tranquil and contented in this moment.

The discipline of desire is the foundation of character, and discipline is controlled by the habit of placing useful wants within one’s attention, and to intentionally pull into attention one’s future real needs. A person benefits by pushing out of existence habits that bought into existence past mistakes, by intentionally overlaying those habits with better ones, when the opportunity presents itself.

 

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