The Hidden Layer of Desire

The Hidden Layer of Desire

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

Today I would like to write about the very-well known layer of our desire, and its second, less-spoken about, other layer, that largely depends on the narration of our thoughts.

We all know that desire as a feeling; as something that we experience and motivates us to either resume doing what we’re doing, stop doing it, or starting 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 of desire not as an emotion but as a cognitive decision.

The cognitive decision to prefer something, isn’t always equivalent to what we’re feeling at the exact moment. By choosing desire instead of just waiting for it to appear, the space of our activity can immensely grow beyond its current, emotion-bound limit.

It is through my relatively-ascetic lifestyle that I have discovered that one is able to desire something without the need to necessarily feel that desire, making 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 learnt through CBT, where there is an analogical comparison between desire as a battery, and desire as a power generator, that is fed and energized by conscious thinking.

And indeed, we tend to see desire more as a battery rather as a generator that can be fueled by our cognitive decisions. Because of said perception, our independence may decrease significantly, because we are usually taught by socialization that our decisions depend on whatever momentary feeling we have as of the moment, to dictate for us what to do and what not to do, regardless of our true ambitions.

Thus, if one is to cognitively desire to be more fit, they would limit their own freedom of action if they are to wait for the emotional desire to fuel their decision to exercise. However, if one is to be cognitively determined enough to do exercise, without waiting for whether they feel that they want to do so or not, they may become much more fit unlike if they were to wait for their emotional desire to dictate exercise for them.

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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher