Philosophy of desire

While being a drama queen does not make one’s colleagues and friends happy, its actually in our DNA to express feelings and act aggressively in a stressful environment. Surprisingly, so-much-blamed social media used wisely may lead humanity to joy and mindfulness, and calm down fears for unknown future.

All humans have basic needs (1) and unconscious will push us to fulfill them no matter what. It’s impossible to fulfill all needs, there always will be a room for improvement, so a stress and guilt feeling of the incomplete mission will appear leading do fear and instability of self-esteem.

There is nothing surprising about so many people are in depression today. How do they choose to deal with that condition?

The first reaction is to ignore. This is a very short term way actually leading to nowhere, since lack of desire is most likely equal to ousting of it. There are no people without desires, but there are many individuals who run away from their appetite. And dreams strike them back, with more sadness and fears.

The second idea is to compensate with different illusions. The problem is that compensation does not solve any real need, but only cloak it from the brain for a short period of time. So you need more and more to compensate. It’s exactly like living on a credit card without paying the debt off. Means someday all sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll will not help to get rid of the anxiety.

I don’t want to put my efforts in real life, I will play computer game instead to trick my brain that I’m actually achieveing something.

He does not love me, but he has a lot of money. I will be happy with him because he can buy me anything I want.

I feel alone and sad, so I’ll drink coffee and smoke cigarette to feel OK again.


Where does the feeling of guilt for the happyness is coming from?

Probably somewhere in the depths of the soul, the subconscious shouts that the twentieth pair of jeans is not needed at all because of rational necessity, but the Ego wants it because of compensation through the shopping of some kind of internal complexes and unmet basic needs.

And although it is better to resolve such internal contradictions, it is always easier to compensate for them. This is a short-term solution for which there is always payback with a sense of guilt from the “I am not worthy” series. It’s not about the number of jeans, but the reason for their purchase.

So, the third is smart decision: to solve basic needs and internal conflicts as much and possible and compensate others willingly and under control.

THE NATURE OF DESIRE

The original meaning of an ancient Greek word SCANDAL (σκάνδαλον) means a trap, a temptation. So, the temptation and the scandal are two sides of the same coin of desire, which is always associated with feelings of guilt and fear.

What is interesting, in Eastern religion (in Buddhism, for example), to achieve harmony, adherents give up desires (temptations), and in the West, they are trying to avoid sins (in scandals form). Thus, may it be a person somehow is trying to drown out the voice of the unconscious through the different religions?

If someone will try to approach the desires softly and without stuffing the cones, then the best way to get rid of the temptation is to give in to it through exercises in the enjoyment of life. Some people call it midnfulness.

In France, they say “life is about enjoying”. But it does not mean an individual should surround himself with goods of all kinds.

It does mean that he or she must accept life as it is, see its beauty in every moment and being thankful for the things which already achieved and received.

Enjoy every moment? Sounds like a tough thing to do!

In fact, people paradoxically do not really allow anything to themselves. They usually live in tomorrow, dreaming about the time when something will happen and they will finally start to live someday in the future but not today.

On the one hand, it seems that nowadays there is a “consumer society” and humanity is oversaturated with “a dreams come true”.

But in fact, marketers know that only people with a very low level of development (close to animals) are capable of filling their belly without losing conscience, but a slightly more developed person already manages to “die of starvation next to a full fridge” because of some far-fetched reasons prohibiting him or her to eat enough.

So if you feel guilty about buying something: congratulations, you are developed human! )

UNCONSCIOUS GAMES

That is, the more developed a person is, the closer he gets to his unconscious and the more his anxiety and tearing apart his conflict of desire and guilt for it.

Then marketing works not only for the sake of desire/need/lust but also to persuade a person to overstep the feeling of guilt and fear of imaginary punishment for happiness and help give in to desire.

In short, sellers do whatever they want in order to somehow rationalize a person’s desire and soften the feeling of guilt for lust.

Brands persuade ascetic consumers with many supportive ideas like “you deserve it,” and “because everyone does it”, and “that way is more efficient, cheaper, more practical, etc.”.

Companies are very frequently present their goods as great compensations to whatever need.

If you see andy item is sold with the purpose to FEEL something (happiness, to relax, joy, confidence), then you see a compensation.

Initially, you want to buy a jacket to feel warm in winter or buy a drink when you are thirsty, but not to feel cool, exceptional, attractive, or “part of the gang”.

Therefore, samplers, trials, test drives, fashion magazines/Pinterest/ Instagram (“I will only have a quick look”) and even the concept of “responsible production” such as “buying our shoes you buy and a pair of shoes to someone in Africa” were invented.

It’s hard to accept the influence of “inhuman” (independent of the mind) nature of desire, based on needs and other unconscious games, but it still affects our daily desision making but its still useful to know about that kind of possibility.

It could be especially hard for atheists because religion and the notion of a higher power to guard the well-being of the human race can be seen as a comfortable buffer between human beings and the unconscious. Then fighting with desires can be seen as a battle with the life itself takes a current picture of the world for the warrior to the hell of depression.

HOW DIGITAL TOOLS AND SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS?

At the same time, the Internet is very helpful for consumers to decide on purchases, feel the joy of fulfilled dream (ideally a need) and be happy.

First, people see how others buy and own things it and this “calms down the conscience” through the ancient herd reflex. Behaving like others could save our life in ancient time, so today same behavior are bringing us feeling of relieve.

And secondly, the Internet and everything that happens in it is often perceived by consciousness as something unreal, like a dream or a game. Therefore, online purchase seems to be “non-real” and the feeling of guilt does not occur. Companies know this side of human behavior, but consumers can also turn it to their own benefit.

For example, online shopping allows consumers to avoid additional costs, save time and find the best possible price/value offer. Keeping such benefits in mind can turn evil web site advertising to a haven of shopping.

All sorts of payment systems with “one-click payment” are also “soul relievers”, when the whole process occurs so quickly that a person realizes that he/she has ordered something tangible only when the postman hands him or her a package.

Even easier is to spend money on intangible goods like online education or books. When such purchases frequently bring zero benefits (because it is hard to mine actual knowledge that way), we will trick ourselves that we did something right and good for ourselves which will definitely be useful someday (not today).

Its nothing bad about vise use of games, sex, food, yoga, massage, sport, coffee, drawing, singing, dancing, sweets, shopping, online scrolling, reading news or any other non-harming tool for compensation on the way of personality development.

Spending money is the same as spending time. Actually, online window shopping or surfing through pictures or videos bring hormonal release as well as making and ticking lists, talking (to strangers too) and checking the news.

Internet and Social Media is a great gift of cybernetics to humanity and both can be used as a very effective compensation tool for those who understand nature of desire and human behavior mechanics. More important is to use ‘good enough‘ philosophy and making a reasonable choices.


ps. For those interested in this issue, you can further read Freud and Lacan.

About BASIC NEEDS: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Murray’s system of needs, human behavioral biology by Robert Sapolsky or Human ethology