Desire is Arbitrary

tags:    cleaner living personal meditation philosophy



My sweeping breath work is having an effect on my daily life now. I noticed that my desires are becoming weaker. I mean this in a good way.

For instance, when I smell fresh coffee, it smells good. I would enjoy having some.

But I don’t have the same longing for the coffee that I have had in the past. The desire to drink it is less, without affecting the enjoyment of the coffee itself, it seems.

But More

But as my emotional distance from the desires is growing, I noticed another thing. The desires themselves seem arbitrary. Years ago, as a child I enjoyed playing with some toys more than others. Now I can see there was nothing inherently special in that. I had a building toy that I really enjoyed, and there was another building toy that I did not enjoy so much. I can see that one toy was not superior to the other. Neither was it more ‘suited’ to me. There seems to be some arbitrariness to these desires.

Arbitrary Identity

This connects to our sense of identity. We identify ourselves with and by our desires. But these seemingly appear arbitrary to me now. This makes me feel like much of my ‘identity’ was arbitrary. I could have just as well been a person who did cycling as I was a person who swam a lot. Sure there were outside influences but those are not personal. Aside from outside influences there are no inherent reasons why I chose swimming over cycling. It may not be completely arbitrary but there is some level of arbitrariness to my choices, even though I would not have agreed with this at the time.

Shallowness of Identity

In fact, the very attachment itself that I have felt for my desires made me feel they were not arbitrary, but had some meaning. Now, as I am letting go of more and more of my attachments it is becoming easier to see their shallowness.

What I am eager to see is: does this mean it will get progressively easier to let go of more and more of my attachments? I have a feeling that it does.