Today I came across an old writing of mine, where I had attempted to tackle and hog-tie the definition of desire. This is what I ended up with:
"Desire depends upon an assessment or identification of self-experience, bound into causation (i.e. cause-effect, past-future), and thus to desire implies a condition or identification of not experiencing or not being. In this sense desire is essentially the drive to be that which one is not or to experience that which one is not experiencing."
Another line I quite liked from the writing is: "Desire is essentially consciousness seeking within itself for that which is not itself. And thus desire is essentially without fulfillment."
This still doesn't cut it, imho. So I desire ;-) to explore this more.
What I find humorous is that dictionary definitions of desire are all basically no more than a list of synonyms, thus never actually give a definition - they rely on people to know what it feels like to have a desire, so they can simply say: "There! That! That's desire." From their definitions all that can be really determined is that desire is related to, or is itself an experience. But what actually is that experience, why is it, where does it come from, how does it work, why do we experience it?
For the record:
Merriam-Webster: to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for | to express a wish for
Oxford: (noun) a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen | (verb) strongly wish for or want (something)
Free Online Dictionary: To wish or long for; want | To express a wish for; request. | A wish or longing
But what actually is that wish, longing, desire?
Any takers on delving into this topic? A little dialectic here would be great!
Another great topic for discussion. Thank You Jon.
I personally like your sentence:
Desire is essentially consciousness seeking within itself for that which is not itself. And thus desire is essentially without fulfillment.
Not only it gives us a pretty clear definition of what is desire, it also allows us to construct a scientific theory to explore the limits of desire. Those well versed in mathematical logic may like to think on that.
A crucial question that may arise is what is the distinction between WILL and Desire? Are they related?
Great answers below. A word that comes to mind when i think of desire is urge, like want. I would think a desire would be the thought before turned into action. The world is full of the desires of beasts, man, demigods, forces in nature and in the heavens. To be without desire, drive, urges, will is to have the sense of completion, to be immovable. Things within the immovable can be moved, but not the complete itself unless it moves itself. So, i'm guessing that wherever you find desire is where you find an incomplete part of a whole. We could say that an inanimate object has no desire, but it has form. Wouldnt it have the desire to stay in tact/in form unless something else is exerting desire upon it.
Or maybe desire is a form of intention or thought. This is a toughy.
What is the difference between desire and urge to create? Or urge to express oneself?
Expressing oneself comes from within and desire is longing something from outside?
I am now referring to what I feel when I'm creating music. It often is just the feeling of lacking something and then trying to 'patch it up', sooth myself, I have a longing for something and like Wadjet said find desire is where you find an incomplete part of a whole.
Sometimes, too rarely, though it is just sheer joy which triggers the urge/desire?? to express myself by music. No feeling of incompleteness then. More like sharing from completeness.
thanks jon : )
the three operations of Mind are "thought, feeling and will". Since matter/the physical could be considered an exploitation of the non-physical I've often seen degrees via the subtle bodies that emotion/feeling precedes the physical outcome, the mental/thought precedes the emotional. They're all of mind but on different levels and states. Desire seems to me like want or passion or urge; like an emotional thing or feeling but i'm sure can be considered of any of the operations. thought, feeling. will and desire are also all things and actions.
oh, lahd have marcy! im going to bed. hopefully i'll shelfari figured out tomorrow. it's a gash dern jungle there!!!
Desire seems to be something in its own right, though, universally speaking. Kamadeva should be looked up in the glossary as a source for the lower aspects of desire, and a look into understanding the more universal idea of Kama and desire as a part of that. Will also seems to be seated in the higher Ego,so not exactly an outcome of desire which on the manifested plane is seated in the lower quaternary, but for our experience it seems to be closely linked, as someone stated a little differently above, "behind Will stands desire."
I've also heard desire explained as a feeling of incompleteness, which I like, and I seem to recall reading about desire's link to memory, I believe in Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, but not entirely sure about the reference.
Actually DESIRE is the most powerful force in the universe.
Mary Baker Eddy tells us, "DESIRE IS PRAYER", and if you think about it it is so. For she also says, that 'God knows your desires before you are aware of your needs."
In ancient times the Zodiac could not move until Virgo moved first and for many years I did not know what that mandate entailed until I began studying the decans of the signs of the Zodiac. The first decan of Virgo is called COMA, which is translated in Hebrew as DESIRE. In other words creation could not even be considered until the DESIRE for it was met. If you read the first chapter of Genesis you will see that God desired (said) in the ten courses of creation.
Praying, wishing, hoping and having a hunger for something does not even come close to what is required to change the courses of the stars.
The best analogy that I can give is the ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS PROGRAM. There you will see diehard alcoholics coming into the halls of AA praying, wanting, needing and hungering for sobriety and even quitting for a thousand times but to no avail. When these people begin to admit that they are alcoholics to themselves not just to the members of the meeting and they begin the process of participation mystique (true desire) the miracle of sobriety takes place.
No one can truly define DESIRE but he or she that has come face to face with its maelstrom then words are but empty vessels.