The perfect double-bind (1)

“So tell me, what is it you truly desire?”

-Lucifer Morningstar (available on Netflix)

Desire. It runs our thoughts, guides our actions, and occasionally motivates us to do (crazy) things outside our norm. What do you truly desire?

That soulmate that you’ve been waiting for?

A pile of money that you can go Scrooge McDuck in?

That fancy new car that’s bound for an amazing roadtrip?

A breathtaking vacation in outer space?

More quality time for yourself and your loved ones?

A higher rank in your job/ arbitrary game?

For your anger/depression to disappear so that you can feel better?

Though seemingly unrelated, these things all point to the nature of desire, which can be summed in the following:

  1. Desire manifests through thought as a need to feel better in relation to current circumstances.
  2. The object of desire will always be something that the subject does not currently possess/ is unable to fully appreciate.
  3. The external manifestations may differ, but the mechanism in which desire operates is constant.
  4. The greater the magnitude of the desire, the greater the drive for attaining it.
  5. The goal of all desire is to put an end to itself.
  6. Fulfillment begins where desire ends. The inevitable result is peace and happiness.

The nature of desire inevitably results in the following:

  1. Happiness itself is the highest desire.
  2. All who have ever lived seek happiness.
  3. All who desire are; on some level dissatisfied with life.
  4. Fulfillment is the lack of desire.

Since all humans desire, the solution to true happiness would be one of the following:

  1. The constant, continued fulfillment of desires for all humans.
  2. The transcendence of desires.

Concrete evidence points to the former as the way in which our contemporary culture copes with the void that occupies the depths of our soul. The inevitable result is that we are doomed to suffer the ravages of our desires, not taking into account the detriments of a civilization that puts the constant pursuit of desires on the highest pedestal.

The second points to the spiritual path that all who are disillusioned with the world take. They are the ones who have been continually defeated in their own quest for fulfillment. They are also the ones who have had all their desires fulfilled, yet find no happiness in that even. And for those who choose to walk this path, they face a great paradox which can be summed up in the following:

“The desire to be rid of all desire itself is a desire.”

-Alan Watts

If it was a cosmically arranged double-bind, it’s a perfect one. The perfect joke, an irony so deep rooted that any attempt to be rid of it inevitably results in the very outcome that the seeker sought to avoid in the first place. Like trying to defuse a bomb in a movie, except that all attempts to cut the wire will go boom. A beautifully written ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t‘ situation.

So what do you do then?


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