The Basis of All Desires and The Truth about Growth (Digest)

Note: this is a summary version of a longer essay.

The basis of all desires is to be who you are.

All the things you do out of desire is an extension of your fundamental desire to be Who-You-Are. Everything from the choice of your vehicle to who you hang out with to what you wear, your choices are driven by your desire. By acquiring those things, you are looking for tools that allow you to be more of Who-You-Are.

When you were a baby, you were not expected to be anything more or different than who you were. At that point, Who-You-Are is not fully realized, either, so the situation is simple — have some fundamental needs met, and you’re set. When a baby is happy, then all is well. If not, parents start out by suspecting that one of the fundamental needs is not met.

But as we grow, we are subjected to a lot of external entities that tell us who we ought to be, which is usually different from who we are. Schools, for example, make us fit into their one schedule, one set of subjects, each taught one way. If we fit, we are in. If not, then we are no good. Parents try to make us fit, not because it helps us be who we are, but it makes be more acceptable to the society.

What they don’t realize that the methods we choose to pursue are our attempts to allow ourselves to be more of who we are. Some of such efforts are ineffective or inappropriate. But our fundamental desires to be Who-We-Are is never inappropriate and should never be neglected or suppressed in order to be who we should be. When a child desires a toy, what he is saying is “I want to be stimulated.” A parent may or may not give him the toy, but the fundamental desire — that of a curious being wanting to be what it is — should always be honored and fulfilled.

But instead we are taught that some of our desires are wrong and invalid. We can’t be who we are. On top of our foundation, they pile up their expectations of who we should be. The distance between Who-We-Truly-Are and Who-We-Actually-Are grows. We become unfulfilled.

So the growth process begins by cutting down. By destroying much of what we learned, to expose our core and get back to the basics. Only after doing so, can we begin to truly build up and expand — the way we were doing, back when we started.

So here is the fundamental:

  • To discover Who-We-Are, and
  • To discover ways for us to be more of Who-We-Are.

Let the hacking begin.

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9 Responses to The Basis of All Desires and The Truth about Growth (Digest)

  1. Jennifer says:

    Ari, this is great info.

    Parents and society think they are doing us a favor – it’s in our best interest they think – by helping to conform us to fit in. But you know I’ve never known anyone who conformed that made a difference.

    It’s only when we are allowed to be ourselves and use our natural talents and abilities and do things the way God created us to do them that we will be fulfilled. Ive been reading a book on temperaments and have been reminded of this same lesson while reading the book.

    Discovering who we are at the core is a crucial start. I like how you pointed that out.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Change Your Life One Thought at a Time – Part 4

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Jennifer,

      You are right, they mean well. The thing is, it’s impossible to pass something other than what you were given, unless you do experience something different yourself.

      This is a topic I want to write about in future, but as parents I feel it’s my responsibility to be better parents than my parents. That’s not to say they weren’t great. They were, and many things they did to me I’m going to pass on. But I am consciously choosing those things, instead of unconsciously following a pattern. There are things I am filtering out, for sure.

      I don’t blame any parents and teachers and other grown-ups ahead of us for passing down what they did. Self actualization (being totally who you are meant to be) is impossible to understand unless you experience it yourself. And so far in our history, it’s rare to find people who are really actualized. If you’ve never been there, you can’t teach others how to get there. You can understand some things just in concept, but we mostly learn by example.

      I’m still discovering myself to what extent I can allow myself to be who I am. I thought I was doing pretty well, but turns out I can go farther. But that’s also a story for another post. 😉

      ari

  2. Robin says:

    Hi Ari – I think you are quite right – our desires are telling us something that can be helpful to listen to. I think perhaps that people disapprove of us trying to be who we are, when we are young, because it makes them feel uncomfortable.

    Robin’s last blog post..Feelings Are There To Be Felt

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hey Robin,

      Well, I think there are a lot of social and cultural conventions that are designed to prevent us from who we are — not because who we are is necessarily bad, but some of its implications appear threatening to social order.

      I’ve discussed this in detail elsewhere , but in a nutshell, people believe in this equation:
      allowing individuals to pursue who they are = selfishness = lack of cooperation = they will not contribute (or even disrupt) to the needs of the greater community. So they feel that they have to force children into submission and cooperation.

      Frankly I disagree with that notion, but I think I understand why they think that.

      The whole notion is driven by fear. We need to replace it with trust. Trust that those of us who are fully realized will turn around and contribute to the greater whole, willingly and joyfully.

      ari

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