Desire in reason

As a rule I don’t read newspapers nor watch TV. Years back I decided that I don’t want to start my day miserable – for newspapers give nothing but news of rape, murder, violence, accidents…. Enough to upset me for the whole day. I’m not qualifying my decision as right or wrong. That was something I decided for myself. Still, me being working and my husband being a person who never fails to read every single letter in newspapers – news does comes to me whether I want it or not. Especially my husband relishes in telling me about the latest headlines on violence even if I request him not to – his justification being I trust people too much and he wants me to be aware of the wickedness of people!

The one emotion I feel when I hear about any violence is ‘shame’.

Rain, hail and snow,
Ice too, are set apart,
But when they fall,
They merge to become
The same water of the valley stream.
– Ikkyu (1394-1481

As part of the same stream called ‘life’, it is a part of me that has done the violence. So I’m also responsible for what has happened. If one human being is capable of doing some violence, I am also capable of doing it. The fact that I choose not to do it doesn’t absolve me from that act. I know it’s going too far. But that is how it is.

I read somewhere that ‘we never desire earnestly what we desire in reason’. Most of the violence (physical or psychological) happens because we don’t desire in reason. When I am reasonable, I will recognize the other person’s right to have a point of view, his/her right to choose his/her path, the other person’s right to say no. Then we will accept that even though we desire, we may or may not get fulfilment.

There is no harm in desiring things. There is no harm in even trying to get what we desire as long as it doesn’t tresspass othes’ right or hurt others. Sure, we might feel disappointed or hurt or sad. Then, as emotions go, it will pass. Did we reach this far in life without disappointments or hurt or unhappiness? How many times have we felt that ‘this is the end, I can’t go one step more’. But aren’t we happy? Have we not come out of it? I have. Many times.

I think that it is time all of us really consider another person as a human being like us and give the respect due to him/her. And not as objects which exist to fulfil our desires. I might think that I do respect others. When I think and observe my behaviour, I realize that I do not. When my son says ‘no’ and if it is inconvenient to me or if it doesn’t live up to my values, I do everything to make him comply with my wishes. Where is my respect to him as an individual? When my husband says no, I immediately get angry and argue till I get what I want.

I wonder, if there were no rules, regulations, societal pressures; will I behave as I behave today. If I am allowed absolute power, will I accept a ‘no’ from somebody? Or will I hurt them? I don’t know. When I examine myself, I comply with most of the strictures of law, society, culture, religion etc because I am afraid of what will happen if I break them. What will I do when I am above all those rules? It is frightening.

My sirji once told the difference between ethics and morals. Moral is how you behave when you are (suppose you are a man) faced with a woman in front of others and ethics is how you will behave when you are stranded in a deserted island with a woman. I need to think deeply what are my morals and what are my ethics. That will decide whether I am a human being or not. And that, I am sure, will be a life time study too.

Meanwhile, I wish all of us show some respect to others – family members, friends, colleagues, subordinates, immediate neighbours. Especially family. If we do that atleast the kids will learn by imitation. And kids are our future.


About bhagyathewitch

For years, i've been writing down my random thoughts and mail them to my friends. Many of them have told me to blog which i've been resisting so long. Partly because i am afriad to unleash my mental pictures to the unsuspecting public . whatever i express here is my viewpoint at that point in time. I will be mentioning "my sir" lot of times in this - which refers to my teacher
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13 Responses to Desire in reason

  1. shanks says:

    Good writing

  2. Madhavi says:

    Have been enjoying your own articles, Baggi. Continue writing……..

  3. sashi says:

    Parallel thinking.
    I consider human being the most dangerous species who
    take pleasure in harming their own clan.

  4. i definitely think you would be hard pressed to find people who are not motivated at all by the desire for approval. it is such a basic human need: belonging, being accepted, being liked. i think that as you mature one starts to give way to the other but i would perhaps term it self-realisation rather than self respect. it’s a very tricky thing to do to pick apart or dissect the various influences upon our behaviour. they tend to be very closely intertwined and some are so deeply ingrained we have a job to be aware of them.

  5. Love and respect. ‘o Love desires; fear avoids. That is why it is impossible, at least in the same time span, to be loved and respected by the same person. For the man who respects another, acknowledges his power; that is, he fears it: his condition is one of awe.” But love acknowledges no power, nothing that separates, differentiates, ranks higher or subordinates. Because the state of being loved carries with it no respect, ambitious men secretly or openly balk against it.

  6. Every human being and nation, irrespective of their power or strength, has the right to be respected. “Respect is an unassuming resounding force, the stuff that equity and justice are made of.”[1] It means being treated with consideration and esteem and to be willing to treat people similarly.. It means to have a regard for other peoples’ feelings,[2] listening to people and hearing them, i.e. giving them one’s full attention. Even more importantly, respect means treating one with dignity. Respect is the opposite of humiliation and contempt. So where the latter can be a cause of conflict, the former and its opposite can help transform it. As William Ury writes in his book The Third Side: “Human beings have a host of emotional needs – for love and recognition , for belonging and identity , for purpose and meaning to lives. If all these needs had to be subsumed in one word, it might be respect”[3].

  7. Two years ago NATO visited authorized and sanctioned violence upon the Serbs. Thus NATO ran the global violence model forward toward more future violence. In Kosovo, the mimetic object of rivalrous desire was the right to use state-sanctioned violence to maintain the social order desired by those in power. In Kosovo, the Albanians were the outcasts being shunned by the Serbs. In Littleton, the outcasts were the smart “nerdy” students, shunned by the “jocks” and “debs”.

  8. I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing sacred about myself or about any human being, that we were all machines, doomed to collide and collide and collide. For want of anything better to do, we became fans of collisions . . .

  9. I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing sacred about myself or about any human being, that we were all machines, doomed to collide and collide and collide. For want of anything better to do, we became fans of collisions . . .

  10. When the Ego is not strong enough to resist the instincts, these unconscious desires, badly integrated, are very powerful and strongly influence the conduct of this Ego. As a consequence of a restricted intellect, the submissiveness to the instincts therefore brings the barbarism, the savagery in the behavior of every day.

  11. It is in this manner that religion enforces the natural sense of duty: and hence it is, that mankind are generally disposed to place great confidence in the probity of those who seem deeply impressed with religious sentiments. Such persons, they imagine, act under an additional tie, besides those which regulate the conduct of other men. The regard to the propriety of action, as well as to reputation, the regard to the applause of his own breast, as well as to that of others, are motives which they suppose have the same influence over the religious man, as over the man of the world. But the former lies under another restraint, and never acts deliberately but as in the presence of that Great Superior who is finally to recompense him according to his deeds. A greater trust is reposed, upon this account, in the regularity and exactness of his conduct. And wherever the natural principles of religion are not corrupted by the factious and party zeal of some worthless cabal; wherever the first duty which it requires, is to fulfil all the obligations of morality; wherever men are not taught to regard frivolous observances, as more immediate duties of religion, than acts of justice and beneficence; and to imagine, that by sacrifices, and ceremonies, and vain supplications, they can bargain with the Deity for fraud, and perfidy, and violence, the world undoubtedly judges right in this respect, and justly places a double confidence in the rectitude of the religious man’s behaviour.

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