It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Desire feeds Suffering and Suffering feeds Desire (an exercise in logical deduction)

page: 1
3
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:45 PM
link   
Desire feeds suffering, and suffering feeds desire. This is something many on this site have claimed is false, while others have argued it to be true. Some have even tried to claim that through logic and reasoning one must deduce that this premise is undoubtedly false. So let us break this down using some sincere and strict logic and reasoning to see what we can come up with.

The premise is: Desire feeds suffering, and suffering feeds desire. Desire and suffering feed each other. They are inexplicably linked in a circular exchange; one leading to the other.

First, let us define this word, “Desire”.

Desire: A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. Definitions of Desire (numerous definitions to choose from, all of them defining it in a similar manner)

So, desire is a wishing for something to happen which is currently not happening, or it is a wanting to possess something which is currently not possessed.

Now we must ask ourselves a question, why would we want something to happen other than what is currently happening? Why would we want to possess something other than what we already possess?

I would propose it is because we are dissatisfied with what is currently happening; we are dissatisfied with what we currently possess. By this I mean, what is currently happening is seen to be not satisfactory; what is currently possessed is seen to be not satisfactory. Here are a few examples to further clarify:

Example 1:
It is currently 94 degrees outside and I am sweating profusely and feeling over-heated. I am not satisfied with this feeling, thus I desire for something else to happen, namely to be in an air-conditioned environment with a big glass of ice water. I desire for something to happen because I am dissatisfied with what is currently happening.

Example 2:
I am currently broke, I have only 25 cents to my name and I haven't ate since yesterday. I am not satisfied with this feeling of being broke and hungry, thus I desire to possess that which I currently do not possess, namely money. I desire to possess something because I am dissatisfied with what I currently possess.

We desire something other than what is because we are dissatisfied with what is. So desire stems from dissatisfaction. This is fairly easy to see, right? I mean, using logic and reasoning, this is what is deduced. Hopefully we all can see this, and are still on the same page.

Maybe we should define this word, “Dissatisfaction”.

Dissatisfaction: 1. The condition or feeling of being displeased or unsatisfied; discontent. 2. A cause of discontent. Definition of Dissatisfaction

Now, I will admit, this definition is rather flaky and circular. Dissatisfaction is the feeling of being discontent, yet discontent is the feeling of being dissatisfied. We have gotten no where, we have clarified nothing in this regard. So I would like to propose that dissatisfaction is feelings of angst, restlessness, anxiety, unhappiness, frustration, distress, annoyance and uneasiness. Hopefully we can all agree to this definition.

If so, what do we immediately see? Can't all of these adjectives be used to also describe suffering? In fact, isn't the word “dissatisfaction” synonymous with the word “suffering”? You say no? Well, then what do we mean by this word, “suffering”?

Suffering:

The word suffering is sometimes used in the narrow sense of physical pain, but more often it refers to mental or emotional pain, or more often yet to pain in the broad sense, i.e. to any unpleasant feeling, emotion or sensation.
en.wikipedia.org...

When I said desire and suffering feed each other, the kind of suffering I was talking about was more-so this mental or emotional pain describe in the above quote. And isn't this word, “unpleasant”, synonymous with “dissatisfaction”? “Not satisfied”, or “not pleased”, seems like we are talking about the same things, are we not? In fact, dissatisfied, unpleasant, and suffering all seem to be pointing to the same thing.

If I say I am unhappy, frustrated, distressed and restless, would you not consider me to be suffering?

Therefore, to conclude, we have logically deduced that desire arises out of dissatisfaction, and dissatisfaction is synonymous to suffering. Thus, it is logically consistent to say that desire arises out of suffering. The premise still stands as true. Now, do we want to reverse engineer this process to see if suffering arises out of desire? I guess that must be done, huh? Actually, I'm guessing this is what most of the opponents are arguing, which is, “desire arises out of suffering, sure, but desire does not lead to suffering”. I think this is what they are saying. Okay, then let's see if the original premise can remain true, desire feeds suffering and suffering feeds desire. This shouldn't take as long now that we have established our definitions.

Continued...
edit on 12-5-2012 by LifeIsEnergy because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:50 PM
link   
Continuing:

We have determined that desire is being dissatisfied with what is, and thus wanting what currently is not. Now, say we get what is not, and make it what is. In other words, say we get what we desire. I want a new car because I am not satisfied with my current one, so I buy a new car. I want a better philosophy on life because I am not satisfied with my current one, so I think of a new one. Now I have what I want, I have fulfilled my desire. But what happens when that car gets a dent in it or ends up being outdated quickly by next years model which has a brand new innovative design and a bigger engine, all for the same price? What happens when my philosophy on life is proven to have holes in it? Do I not feel dissatisfaction; angst, restlessness, anxiety, unhappiness, frustration, distress, annoyance and/or uneasiness? And isn't this suffering?

Hopefully we are in agreement on these points so far. I can think of only one counter-argument to this, and that is, “desire does not lead to suffering but craving does, and desire and craving are not the same.” In fact, I have heard this argument many times, and it really is the only good argument one can make at this juncture. Unfortunately, for the person making it, it is just not a good enough argument to be accepted as true. Why do I say this?

Desire leads to craving, in every circumstance. This is the way our brains are set up, experience causes neurological firings of the brain to function in a certain pattern and that pattern then conditions the brain. In other words, experience conditions the brain to seek or not seek that experience again, dependent on whether or not the experience was viewed as pleasant or unpleasant. In this function, desire is the push to experience something while craving is the conditioning that results from that experience. Here are a few examples of how this might work:

Example 1:
It is 94 degrees outside and I am sweating profusely and overheating. This is the experience, an experience I am not satisfied with. Thus, I desire a new experience, namely one that brings about sensations of cooling off. I then fulfill this desire by finding a cool place to rest. Now, desire is born from the recognition that I am not satisfied with being in the heat, and craving is born through that desire being fulfilled, which in turn conditions the brain to desire a method of ensuring that there is always a cool place to rest when it is hot outside. Even if it is cool today, if I read in the newspaper that it will be hot tomorrow, I will plan today to be in a place where it is cool tomorrow.

Example 2:
I am broke and hungry. This is the experience, an experience I am not satisfied with. Thus, I desire a new experience, namely one that brings about sensations of being full and financially secure. I then fulfill this desire by doing some odd job for someone and getting paid money for my work, with which I go and purchase food with. Now, desire is born from the recognition that I am not satisfied with being hungry and broke, and craving is born through this desire being fulfilled, which in turn conditions the brain to desire a method of ensuring that I always have money for food, which means I get a job.

Many of you may say that what was just claimed is unavoidable, and rather necessary. I am not here to argue that, and in fact, I tend to agree. Desire and craving seem to be an unavoidable aspect of our life, yet they are linked together as one movement. One may now posit the question, “Who is the one living this life? Who is the 'I' that desires and craves?”, with the intention of reaching the unconditioned, where desire and craving are not applicable, but that is best left for another discussion.

The point of this exercise was to show, through logical deduction, that desire and suffering are inexplicably bound to one another; desire feeds suffering and suffering feeds desire. It was concluded that desire arises out of dissatisfaction, which is suffering, and leads to craving, which causes suffering. This could be stated in the reverse as well: suffering arises from craving, craving arises from desire, and desire arises from suffering. Either way, as we can see, it is a circle, one feeding into the other.

Hopefully we achieved some ground today with this exercise in logical deduction, and if not, that is okay too. Beware though, if you seek to challenge the premise of this exercise, and thus the exercise itself, be prepared to defend you premise with strong logical arguments, not merely emotional rants.

Peace.

edit on 12-5-2012 by LifeIsEnergy because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:51 PM
link   
I'm not sure if one can completely eliminate the desire or want for something... hence the continuation of life. Even those who desire to not desire anything.. are basically still desiring something.

So the real question is... the cost.

Is what you desire important enough to bear the consequences of pursuing it?

perhaps so, but even if not... are you just going to sit around with your thumb up you know where in the mean time? Will you fade into nothing? What will become of you?

I think our very being is driven by desire. In all my life and my experiences, I am always brought back to this point. Where will I go from here?

Where I desire.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:52 PM
link   
I disagree as there are quite a few things that I desire to have, yet I am not suffering in any way from the lack of having such. If I desire something strongly enough, I work hard to acquire that which I desire, which in turn may lead to some sort of suffering, but again, not as you proclaim.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:54 PM
link   
I believe buddah beat you to this assumption
and I mean that in the most sincear way, because, honestly, Budda said it first



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by savageheart
I disagree as there are quite a few things that I desire to have, yet I am not suffering in any way from the lack of having such. If I desire something strongly enough, I work hard to acquire that which I desire, which in turn may lead to some sort of suffering, but again, not as you proclaim.


You work hard to acquire... some equate that to suffering. this is the reason I mention the cost of what is desired. are you willing to pay the price. Are you willing to work for what you desire.

I think those who say they desire nothing are kidding themselves.

To work for what you desire is paying your suffering ahead of time.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:58 PM
link   
2 of the

The Four Noble Truths

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.


Not so much desire, as it is needed.
It is attachment that causes suffering.
edit on 12-5-2012 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:59 PM
link   
reply to post by NotAnAspie
 


Yes, I said that in my response, but then again, is it really suffering or "earning" that which you want. There is great satisfaction in earning what you desire, yes?



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:03 PM
link   
reply to post by NotAnAspie
 




I'm not sure if one can completely eliminate the desire or want for something... hence the continuation of life. Even those who desire to not desire anything.. are basically still desiring something.


Sure, but I clearly stated this is not my argument here. I am merely showing how suffering and desire are inexplicably linked; they feed into one another. That is all.

Peace



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:04 PM
link   

Originally posted by Jordan River
I believe buddah beat you to this assumption
and I mean that in the most sincear way, because, honestly, Budda said it first


Well, yes.




What is the point?



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:07 PM
link   

Originally posted by rom12345
2 of the

The Four Noble Truths

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.


Not so much desire, as it is needed.
It is attachment that causes suffering.
edit on 12-5-2012 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)


And if you read the second post, I explicitly stated, "desire leads to craving (attachment), in all circumstances". If you can piece together an argument against this, then please do so. Don't just say, "you're wrong!", otherwise the whole purpose of writing this out in a logically deductive manner is lost.




posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:07 PM
link   
As a finish carpenter before Obama ruined everything, I was doing two houses a day. I could barely walk sometimes when I got home due to my knees and back hurting so bad as well as everything else. My body may have suffered, yet I felt a sense of accomplishment rather than actual suffering.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:08 PM
link   
With some of your analogies.
a lack of desire could cause great suffering.
so my argument would follow reductio ad absurdum

I do however agree with the basic premiss, just not the choice of words, or examples.
edit on 12-5-2012 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
reply to post by NotAnAspie
 




I'm not sure if one can completely eliminate the desire or want for something... hence the continuation of life. Even those who desire to not desire anything.. are basically still desiring something.


Sure, but I clearly stated this is not my argument here. I am merely showing how suffering and desire are inexplicably linked; they feed into one another. That is all.

Peace


oh, i'm not arguing with you. I can't say i've read the whole thing but this issue has been raised many times on ATS and some do claim that the only reason people complain is because they are not satisfied but it is just their imagination and they should be able to turn off desire like it's a light switch or something... and i still say those people are talking smack.

So i am just stating that if desire and suffering are forever intertwined... you probably can add living and breathing to that list.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:15 PM
link   

Originally posted by rom12345
With some of your analogies.
a lack of desire could cause great suffering.
so my argument would follow reductio ad absurdum

I do however agree with the basic premiss, just not the choice of words, or examples.
edit on 12-5-2012 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)


Okay, you didn't read the posts, cool, just don't reply then. I never made any argument here for a lack of desire being good, or not causing suffering, or whatever you are talking about. The premise is: desire feeds into suffering and suffering feeds into desire. That is it!

Geez... maybe this was a bad idea.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:19 PM
link   
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


You wrote, "Beware though, if you seek to challenge the premise of this exercise, and thus the exercise itself, be prepared to defend you premise with strong logical arguments, not merely emotional rants."

I haven't seen an emotional rant yet but it does seem that you are agitated because you aren't getting responses that agree with you.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:20 PM
link   
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


I did read your post, and I agree, that "desire" and "suffering" are a feedback loop. I do however think that perhaps the emotive terms "desire" and "suffering" are not necessarily appropriate in a systems context.
peace.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:26 PM
link   

Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy

Originally posted by rom12345
With some of your analogies.
a lack of desire could cause great suffering.
so my argument would follow reductio ad absurdum

I do however agree with the basic premiss, just not the choice of words, or examples.
edit on 12-5-2012 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)


Okay, you didn't read the posts, cool, just don't reply then. I never made any argument here for a lack of desire being good, or not causing suffering, or whatever you are talking about. The premise is: desire feeds into suffering and suffering feeds into desire. That is it!

Geez... maybe this was a bad idea.


You know where i think conversations like this get complex? In the fact that deep down we all know that there is a cost to everything. It's really quite simple, yet it can get very lengthy in it's philosophical explanations... and like I said, some try to claim they do not desire for anything at all when they are on ATS desiring to explain it... which is a contradiction in itself. to describe this spiritual currency, they just blur and complicate the issue into an irrelevant realm where it seems they are saying that we shouldn't complain about anything at all and should just meditate ourselves into a state of nullification... which is still a desire for something. the whole conversation in itself brings about resentment for a lot of people, i think, because many who bring this up... like i have said, try to propose it in a way that completely dislocates the poster from even being attached to their own reasons for bringing it up at all.

maybe it would help to explain why you have an agenda for posting it.
everyone has an agenda... some just try to hide theirs to an unbelievable and unqualified extent.

so to simplify, what exactly are you posting this for. Who is your target audience? Identify your target audience and speak freely about what it is exactly you want them to think. what is your specific motivation and how does it relate to what is going on in the world or even just on this forum?
edit on 12-5-2012 by NotAnAspie because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:35 PM
link   

Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy

Originally posted by Jordan River
I believe buddah beat you to this assumption
and I mean that in the most sincear way, because, honestly, Budda said it first


Well, yes.




What is the point?


Give credit where it should be, i guess is what i am saying



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:55 PM
link   


NotAnAspie wrote:

I think our very being is driven by desire. In all my life and my experiences, I am always brought back to this point. Where will I go from here? Where I desire.


That's right.The journey of life is always from where you are towards where you desire. As the OP observes there is a kind of push/pull mechanism or locomotion effect which drives this progression. This is the wheel - a movement of repetition.

So there also exists a gap - the space or time between the present moment and the future point of realization (or frustration) of the desire.



Jordan River wrote:

I believe buddah beat you to this assumption and I mean that in the most sincear way, because, honestly, Budda said it first.


Concerning what Buddha is said to have realized and taught - Did he actually snuff out this energy called desire? Or did he snuff out the objects of desire. Desire, when it is enslaved by material objects and conditions naturally appears as being degraded.

I think it is a fine distinction to examine, because if desire is wrongly interpreted and condemned what is the outcome? Surely either desire(s) will become the subject of being repressed (in order to realize something 'higher' or more enduring, or the subject of indulgence. The gap that exists between desire and its object could be called 'time' in a personal psychological sense. When the average person thinks of time they don't recall Einstein's definition of it. It refers to the gap between their desire and the object towards which it is currently in movement towards. This is divided into units of measurement.




NotAnAspie wrote: I think our very being is driven by desire.


But what if our very being IS desire?

Do we even know what desire is? We call the gap between where we are and where we want to be 'desire' or we call it 'the movement of desire', but do we know desire before it has made its move?

Perhaps the gap that exists between being and the object of desire - a gap which is created out of a perceived sense of incompleteness, is the place to identify the source. Normally this space is not examined as it is considered a means to an end.

Two of Gautam Buddha's favorite meditation techniques were watching the breathing process in all circumstances and watching the walking process. Both of these activities possess the locomotion effect or push/pull movement where there is a centre-point of inactivity between the in/out or left/right movement - i.e. 'the gap.'

In support of this view, there are parables that tell stories such as the beggar who was in reality a king but had lost his memory and remained in a state of suffering, desiring the basics when in reality his home was a palace.



new topics

top topics



 
3
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join