The Hidden Layer of Desire
Updated: May 22
Today, I would like to write about the well-known layer of our desire and its second, less talked-about layer, which largely depends on the narration of our thoughts. We all know what desire is as a feeling. It is something that we experience and that motivates us to either resume doing what we are doing, stop doing it, or start anew completely.
However, there is a missing component when it comes to desire. While we are aware of desire as a feeling, we largely remain ignorant of the fact that desire is not an emotion but a cognitive decision.
The cognitive decision to prefer something is not always equivalent to what we are feeling at the exact moment. By choosing desire instead of feeling it, our potential can grow beyond its limit.
Through my asceticism, I have discovered that one is also able to desire something without "feeling" that desire. This makes the notion of desire more complex than previously assumed. By having the determination to desire something without actually feeling desire, I was able to grow stronger within the more ascetic regime I have imposed on myself.
This insight may also be learned through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In CBT, a comparison is made between a battery and a power generator that is fed and energized by conscious thinking.
We tend to see desire more as a battery than a generator that can be fueled by our own decisions. Because of this perception, our independence outside of our desires may decrease significantly. We are usually taught that our decisions depend on whatever momentary feelings we have at the moment. This belief can limit and dictate for us what to do and what not to do, regardless of our true ambitions.
Thus, if one has a cognitive desire to be more fit, they would limit their own freedom of action if they were to wait for the emotional desire to fuel their decision to exercise. However, if one is cognitively determined enough to do exercise without waiting to see whether they feel that they want to do so or not, they may become much more fit than if they were to wait for their emotional desire to dictate exercise for them.