Desire

By the time I reached college, I had understood that people suffer because they want things.


And yet I fell for it. All suffering that I had to face due to my adventures in college in a foreign nation stemmed out of a desire-- a desire for wisdom.


In high-school, I wanted to study physics to push the field forward, to contribute to it, and to leave my mark that way. In college, I wanted to do the same things in the field of psychology. I strategically planned my life. To gain expertise in a specific field required that I give up everything else, which I did. The problem was things went according to the plan. Unable to study anything other than psychology made me feel intellectually imprisoned, but it was self-inflicted. My goals became my shackles.


Somewhere in the journey, I understood I was to be blamed for everything. If I had no desire for wisdom, I would have not gone to a foreign nation where my economic rights were so limited. I would have not faced unemployment, starvation, and occasional homelessness. All I went through were consequences of my desire, not random events. I had picked them for myself. Thus, all desires cause suffering even that of wisdom.


It is different from love. Desire has intentions to it. I wanted to get wise so I could contribute to the field of physics/psychology or leave my mark behind. Love, however, does not have intentions. To love wisdom is to pursue it for the fun of it. I understood it when I found philosophy, literally the love of wisdom.


Philosophy helped me understand that physics and psychology are not two different fields rather two pictures of the same phenomenon. There was, in fact, no reason to tie myself to one and abandon the other. I had imprisoned myself because I had a desire for wisdom not a love for it. I found that to study meant to study for the fun of the process, with no regard for outcome, with absolute disinterest in getting anywhere with the wisdom.


That is freedom from suffering, purposelessness, learning for the fun of it, not to make an impact with it, not to get somewhere with it.

©2020 by Philosophically Inclined