Sunday, December 19, 2010

Discussions with The Mother - #2 -Topic: Desire.

(depicted above: the overriding existential experience of being perpetually thwarted)

‘The only desire one should entertain is the desire to overcome desire. Desire is the sole originator of discontent. Most desire is unachievable and clashing desires (between two people or competing groups) are commonplace, ergo desire inevitably leads to animosity, conflict and misery.’

At least, that’s what I said to The Mother as we rode the donkey home from mass. She, needless to say, disagreed and said that it was more common for people to desire things that are readily obtainable without any fear of ill feeling. Although I could see the truth in The Mother’s argument, I refused to admit as much.

‘Well’, I said ‘you might say that but to fulfil one’s desire is to be satisfied and I think it is quite obvious that the majority of people are unsatisfied, just look at the state of the world. For example, we all desire harmony yet we can’t agree on how to obtain it and often go to war over this.’

‘Whatever’, said The Mother before requesting that I stop the donkey so she could get a choc-ice. A choc-ice in the dead of winter! I ask you, how illogical a desire is that? It’d only make her cold. Another example of desire’s detrimental effects upon the individuals that harbour it. I ignored The Mother’s request and instead began to form a manifesto of sorts.

‘What if we could somehow regulate desire on a legal basis?’
I asked The Mother. ‘What if all desires were banned except for harmless desires, like the desire to go to the jax or something. We could list all permissible desires in a government publication. This would prevent potential clashes and alter our overriding existential experience so that it is not one of being perpetually thwarted.’

‘Sure, go get yourself elected and do that then but stop the donkey first because I want a choc-ice’, said The Mother loudly.

‘Of course’, I said ‘the powers that be would probably exploit such regulation to their own corrupt ends. They’d probably just sanction unrealisable desires to keep us striving for the impossible and feeling bad about our lives. To keep us lost and discontented and dependent upon them, like with advertising. Advertising is equivalent to the way we dangle the carrot in front of the unfortunate donkey here. It’s all about making us feel we are missing out so we keep buying and keep working to earn the money to buy.’

‘I’d like to buy a choc-ice now if that’s OK’
, interrupted The Mother rudely. I told her we should keep going as I wanted to get home in time for the Fair City omnibus (Harry Molloy returned from the dead that Tuesday and I missed it) but The Mother completely lost her cool. ‘Choc-ice!’ she roared, ‘Choc-ice! Choc-ice! Choc-ice! I desire a feckin’ CHOC-ICE!’

The Mother’s protestations startled the donkey and he suddenly let out a deafening bray. He then reared up and bucked the pair of us off his back and onto the road. As the beast darted off into the horizon, I looked at The Mother and delivered my coup de grace. ‘Well now The Mother’ I said, ‘look at where your desire for a choc-ice has got us’. The Mother scowled and said nothing. Then, she got to her feet and walked off into a nearby Londis.

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