Again About Desire

Desire is a halt. It is the last peel of our scratch. Desire does not take us far, desire is where we return to the man inside us. Desire doesn’t define anything, it only measures. Buddha resisted its lure, he feared its measures. He thought that it is a measure in vacuum, and a bait in the trap.
Other’s desire baffles us; our own confuses. When you desire something, you prefer to walk in dark. You are suddenly gaining a stand alone attitude. Desire is your difference and indifference. When it consume your existence you become like a storm-tossed ship. A wreck is inevitable: “St. Francis was shipwrecked in God”, says Chesterton.
Desire is sometimes your reverse side, which means your desire is not your own. You are desiring someone else’s desire. Philosopher Zizek said that desire is something we learn. Perhaps in the same way learn to love. From where we learn desires? From films, channels, advertisements. They teach us new desires: “We covet what we say everyday”, says meditation of Marques Aurelius.

The Dangers of Desire

Plotinus saw the malady of man in desire, “It is desire that engenders thought”. The dangers of desire occur in two ways: In gratification and losing the way.

Gratification
Desire actually entertains only impossibilities. Possibility derails its movement. Possibility extinguishes its fire. The object of desire should be an impossibility. The moment it becomes a possibility, the desire engulfs itself in its tidal waves. As a result, both the object and desire die away. Every man kills what he loves most. This is what Amnon story proves. The first recorded event defining Amonon’s life also involved his half sister Tamar and half-brother Absalom. Tamar was beautiful, and Amnon lusted after her. When Tamar rebuffed Amnon’s advances, he arranged, through subterfuge, to have her come to his house, where he raped her. After the rape, Amnon has only hatred for her. She, on her knees begs to receive him as his wife but, Amnon put Tamar out of his house in disgrace. When Absalom heard what happened, he took his sister in to live with him. For the next two years, Absalom nursed a hatred of his half-brother. Then, using some subterfuge of his own, Absalom invited Amnon to his house for a party. During the festivities, in the presence of David’s other sons, Absalom had his servants kill Amnon in cold blood. One can be sickened by the satisfaction of one’s desire.
Desire’s alliance with rape and blood is a long-lasting story.

Losing the way
It is a Lacan’s warning. In his study of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ with his psycho analytical tools, Lacan comes to the conclusion that “Hamlet is the man who has lost his way of desire”. The man who doesn’t know what he wants will do what he doesn’t want. Hamlet comes to the stage with the sole intention to avenge his father’s death. But as the story unfolds we know that its not he wants actually. His real problem is “To be or not to be”. If it is ‘to be’ it is always with somebody, perhaps with Orphelia. Still he chooses to be ‘not to be’. Thus his revenge and the consequent death of him becomes an “an act which is carried out, in spite of himself”.
Fate of Desire
Should we kill desire? Should we escape from it as Buddha advised?
Lacan would ask us to stick with our desire. His advice is not to give up on your desire. Because it is where your being is. The man who uproots his desire is uprooting himself. When Lacan says “don’t give up on desire” , he is asking us to wait up on it. My own reading of this is that, we can transform our desire to love. Desire is natural but love is super natural. We must transform this natural inclination to love. Love can tame the destructive power of desire.
To give up is evil, to transform is divine.
Desire can become evil, but if we give up our desire that is also evil. So we can’t but change our desire to love.

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The Escapists

The world remembers only its escapists!
Buddha was the greatest escapist.
In the middle of a night, shaking down all that binds him, he walked down to something that doesn’t change and bind. His great message was to put down: all your desires, all your heaviness, all your ego. How? By a sort of fleeing!
Jesus was another escapist.
He was man on the road. He belonged to an imaginary world, which he called, the kingdom of God. He didn’t get married and raised children. At times he cried “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head” His message was to abandon. Abandon everything you have. He promised to give it back in hundred folds in his kingdom. He told whatever you have is not your own, but whatever you have abandoned is yours.
Sufi saint, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was an escapist too. He was a judge. Nobody doubted his judgments. They knew that this man can’t go wrong. But one day he met a man who asked a simple question “who is greatest, God or one who speaks about God” This changed him, he walked searching for the greatest. To those who searched for him, his wife said “the man whom you are searching for is mo more”
Rumi knew bereavement, what it is to be lost. He was also a lost man. He lost himself in a flower, in a rock, in the gush of wind and in all the flashes of beauty. He was lost in dispersing clouds,
“absentmindedness is a way of transport”
He didn’t mind all that matters for the world, instead, for the precious he searched in ruins. Ruins attracted him,
“where there is ruin, there is treasure”
He was acutely aware of the separations that runs through the veins of all embraces.
“Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
How it sings of separation.”
He was in a perpetual return, escaping from all that remains.

These escapists make us at home in this world. Our prudence and practical sense can betray us. All our effort to belong to this world backfires. World has gravity, it dispels all that tries to belong to it. But it thirsts and come after all that tries to escape its grasp.
Escapists are tossed up like a feather in the sky, seeing things from above, judging things from the perspective of eternity, “everything that looks from the perspective of eternity is eternal” says Spinoza.
Is their lightness really light? They have their pain of being light, perhaps that “unbearable lightness of being”
So escapism is a way belonginess.
All those who belonged perished and fell in to oblivion.
All those escapists visits again and again and have their names written in the book of life.
Valleys and sky will not forget them. Everything that has life will recognise them as theirs.