Matt Perryman

You don’t really want what you want

By Matt Perryman

Music, foods, TV shows, movies, clothes, places to travel, things to buy, it’s all fashion trends.

You think you sprang to awareness, a fully formed rational creature, with the in-built desire for whatever thing you saw while scrolling Tick-Tock vidyas?

Next time you feel a greedy desire slithering its greasy hooks around your peaceful soul, press pause.

Take a breath and ask yourself “why this?”

Why do you really want this thing you allege to want?

Next, ask yourself “then what?”

What happens when you get this object of desire?

Are you then satisfied, your life’s work complete?

Or is it more likely you’ll consume, then forget all about it as you get ready for the next product to consume?

Most desires a person claims to want are not desires at all.

What you have instead are conflicted, unconscious, impulsive, automatic habits of wanting that you didn’t choose and never thought about.

Schopenhauer wrote that while we are free to do what we will, we don’t will what we will.

He’s half right.

If you walk through life in a half-awake slumber, then you’re not willing much of anything.

Your appetites rule you. Your appetites, and the nonstop bombardment of propaganda that shapes your appetites for you.

You can’t be a free individual if you only act out desires that somebody, or something, else installed inside you.

(And your society that calls itself free isn’t very free is the majority of its citizens are acting out automatic programs impressed on them…)

This state of unconscious slumber is neither good nor bad, by the by. It’s a fact about how we are and how we live as human beings. You wouldn’t want to go through most of your day in full blinding self-awareness.

We only wake up into true consciousness when the otherwise smooth-running machinery of living breaks down.

It might help to deliberately search out moments throughout the day when you can step outside the unconscious flow, find space to truly think, and ask yourself the harder questions — what do I want, and why?

Matt Perryman

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