mercredi 6 août 2014
PLEASURE WITHOUT DESIRE
One of my favourite philosophers, Gilles de Leuze, once famously declared:
Tell me your desires, I will tell you who you are.
In the western minds, who you are, is often confused with, what you are.
No such confusion exists among American Indians, who are interested in who you are.
To them, who you are, leads to what you are.
A desire in the Oriental context is so different from the Western context. The Buddhists renounce Desire, the Yogic Philosophy encourages disengagement from desire.
Once sitting inside the now defunct El Modelo Restaurant in Piedras Negras in Coahuila, I was asked this question, by a visiting psychotherapist from California who spoke with a west African accent. Can you condense in one sentence, how to achieve happiness?
I thought about it, and answered
Decrease your desires. That will make you happy.
This was long before I had encountered Buddhism or Yogic philosophy.
I had learned it from the Indians.
I was recently crossing the Missouri River, looking at its flow, the banks with eager, green trees.
It filled me with pleasure.
That is when I thought about Pleasure without Desire.
Pleasure rising out of Desire is addictive.
It may create aversions
Which may fuel structural defects of the mind
Addiction or attachment may arise out of the memory of that pleasure
In the end, that desire causes pain.
Those who live under regimes that promote Desire, by denying them, double that pain. (I am thinking about my Iranian friends)
But the Indians remind me, there are plenty of Pleasures to be had.
My UmonHon Indian teacher reminded,
Did you see that eagle flying around?
What about the clouds on this bright day on a blue sky?
The more I think about it, I realized that Indians know how to live a life of pleasure from which Desire is isolated, Desire is outside the sphere of pleasure.
Working soon after with my Mexican colleague, I realize that it is the Pleasure without Desire that drive us to do our humanitarian, holistic medical work.
Look for pleasure that does not leave you with craving
Pleasure without desire can be found
In relationships, not just personal or family relationships but in the concept that the Indians have: Mitakuye Oyasin, We are all related
The above concept was well illustrated by an Israeli Soldier involved in Operation Moses when they airlifted 100 000 Ethiopian Jews stranded in refugee camps to Israel. An American reporter asked the soldier who was carrying an elderly woman to safety, Is she heavy? And he answered; she is not heavy, because she is my sister.
Everybody is the same; it is easier to say that. In the 1970s, it was generally accepted social sciences theme that People are rational and the departure from rationality occurs because of emotions such as fear, affection or hatred. But we now know the above to be incorrect.
Instead of what you can do for me, ask what can I do for you
Try to be a Human Being
How one day, after coming home hungry from an unsuccessful walrus-hunting expedition, an INUIT found one of the successful hunters dropping off several hundred pounds of meat [for him]. He thanked him profusely. The man objected indignantly:
" 'Up in our country we are human!' said the hunter. 'And since we are human we help each other. We don't like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs.'
Giving thanks or showing your gratitude is also a form of pleasure without desire. So are remembering people who had been kind to you in the past.
The sensation of pleasure without desire is entirely different from the ecstasy of pleasure that arises out of desire
Try it and you would see
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