Session 3 - Where Desires Come From

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Where do our desires come from? Each time we want something else, like little children. Well, some of our desires come from our own physiology, from our body's need to provide itself with food and rest.


We divide our desires into food, sex, and family, basics without which we, as animals, would not exist. Additionally, although we humans lead a natural corporeal life, in which we are not much different from animals, we also need things that pertain to the human species: money, respect, power, knowledge, culture, education, religion, and many other things that we develop, and which are as important to us as food, sex, and family.


We are willing to sacrifice much of our desire for food, sex, and family in favor of more education, culture, and science. There are people who are willing to make great sacrifices to obtain money, respect, or power. They care very little about food, sex, and family, and satisfy those desires only on the necessary level.

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Topic

A person's physiological (animalistic) desires vs. his human desires.

Main Points

  • The source of people's desires.

References

"Maslow's theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs."

Wikipedia

Engage Yourself

Question 1:

In retrospect, from a sufficient perspective of time, sometimes it seems to us that we weren’t the ones who chose the path our lives have taken. So, who chooses the path for us? And how is all this connected to the new desire arising in us at every moment? Please watch the following video clip and then write who, in your opinion, chooses the path for us, and what is the connection between that and the desire arising at every moment.
 

Please write who, in your opinion, chooses the path for us, and what is the connection between that and the desire arising at every moment.

Question 2: Think for a moment, how many desires arise in you throughout a single day – so many desires and yet, we are hardly aware of it. We will spend the next few minutes drawing closer to becoming familiar with those inner drives called desires, and which arise in us and determine our daily schedule for us.

The main claim of the current lesson is that generally speaking, our desires are divided into two types: a) physical desires b) human desires. Reread the discernment between both types of desires, according to the text of the lesson. [see the transcript text above.] Next, there is a chart with pictures below. Sort the pictures according to the type of desire they evoke in you: physical/corporeal desires or human desires.

a. Sort the above pictures according to the type of desire they evoke in you: physical/corporeal or human. Please select only one answer for each of the below listed pairs.

b. Professor Rutt Veenhoven is a sociologist from Rotterdam University in Holland. The main topic of his research is the social conditions for creating human happiness. Below is a short quote from a recent academic article written by Professor Veenhoven:

"People compare themselves to others: in particular to compatriots of about the same age and social class. This 'social comparison' is seen to focus on observable and socially valued matters such as job prestige and the material level of living. The better off people perceive themselves to be relatively, the happier they feel."

Which types of desires are referred to in Professor Veenhoven's writings, corporeal or human? Perhaps they refer to both? Write your opinion on the issue and include a real-life example.

Question 3: Where do the physiological desires (food, sex, shelter) stem from in a person?

Question 4:

a. Has it ever happened to you that you gave up your desire to eat or to be with the family in order to actualize a different desire?

b. If above you answered "Yes," please write briefly about the incident. If you answered "No," please explain. If you marked "Other," please specify.