Identify with Desire, Act Like a Lizard
- Ego will help you to recognize, remove, and replace your ego: a.k.a. self-esteem.
“We have bound our souls to pleasure, whose service is the same of all evil.” —Seneca
“Everybody’s main actions are determined by desires which are anterior to the calculations of pleasures and pains.” —Bertrand Russel, History of Western Philosophy
“The problem of demands, desires, and expectations comes from their being identified with their end, goal, and object.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
- You act like a lizard when identified with your desires.
Attach to desire, and you have only two options: do what it wants or don’t do what it wants.
You have a simple duality of doing or not doing what you desire.
- The should-not-do is against your desire.
- The should-do is for the goal of your desire.
Identifying with desire makes desire stupid and primitive.
Identifying with desire makes desire compulsive, impulsive, and demanding.
LOST OPTIONS FROM IDENTIFYING WITH DESIRE
Identify with a desire and lose the options of:
- Doing or fulfilling the desire differently.
- Ignoring the desire.
- Switching to something else.
- Switching to a different desire.
- Observing the desire without responding to it in any way.
- Curiously trying to understand the desire.
PROBLEM OF DESIRE
- The problem of desire is created by identifying with desire.
You act like a lizard when identified with your desires. It is like your body when it is identified with its thirst or hunger; your body thinks and acts like it is only its thirst or hunger.
- You become the servant and slave of desire when you become desire.
The problem of desire is hard to deny when desire wants you to do something that is ethically, personally, or socially wrong. How do you overcome a compulsion that is going to cause you harm?
2 EGO CHOICES
- When you identify with desire, then you limit desire to a simplistic duality of serving it or not serving it.
When you don’t serve your desire, then you are weak and rewarded with a weak ego or shame for not doing what you wanted to do.
When you do serve your desire, then you are strong and receive pride for doing what you wanted to do but also shame for doing what was wrong. You will tend to focus on the pride and to downplay and suppress the shame.
- The ego a.k.a. self-esteem wants to appear strong, not weak. Hence, you will run to do wrong.
REFUSE TO BE DESIRE
Desire is not a problem when you are not identified with desire.
Desire is necessary and useful. Desire needs “Yes” and “No” and neither identification nor destruction.
- Refuse to be your choice or your desire.
- Detach from desire and desire is only wanting and wishing, not demanding.
- Detach and regain choices, options, and perspectives.
Desiring something ethically, personally, or socially wrong is not a problem if you are not identified with it.
Desiring something ethically, personally, or socially wrong is always a problem if you are identified with it.
6 WAYS TO RESPOND TO DESIRE WHEN NOT ATTACHED
- Detached from desire, you can find new options and new ways to fulfill your desire in a mild or right way.
- Detached from desire, you can ignore desire and let it pass on its own.
- Detached from desire, you can switch your attention and focus to something other than desire.
- Detached from desire, you can switch your attention and focus to another more worthwhile desire.
- Detached from desire, you can observe your desire as you would observe a movie or a play (meditation).
- Detached from desire, you can curiously try to understand the intentions and motivations of your desire (introspection).
- 8 Thinking Skills for Detaching
- Attachment & Detachment
- Becoming Is the Enemy
- Deconstructivism: The Answer
- Desire Leads to Compulsion
- Ego Issues: Be Container, Not Contents
- Self-Nature Issues: Find Your Host Nature
- Self-Nature Issues: Nature of Ego Pain & Pleasure