What is desire?

Okay, ask youself the question: What is desire?
Is not desire simply the way we wish things could be? Doesn’t desire manifest itself through fantasies/scenarios that we invent through our immagination. Isn’t the wanting of things to be different, the wanting of things to match our individualistic tastes, accually desire? When I desire something, I will immagine myself having it and what I am doing with it. Unfortunately I think we all run into the brick wall of reality when our day dreaming ceases.
My proposition is: if reality is subjective(which we all know it is) can we not bend our desire to our own reality? Is it really possible to have what we desire when manipulated into a reality of our own. The only thing standing in the way of this goal is society’s view of the daydreaming/fanaticizing, which is supposedly abstract and very very distant from manifesting itself in the “actual”(society’s)reality.
All that to ask this final question: why does desire have to be so distant, so divorced from modern reality. Why can’t we live in a reality that supports desire, and works for it, not against it.


We do live in a reality that supports desire.

If there was no desire, reality would be entirely meaningless.

We live our lives by setting goals for ourselves. These goals are based on our desires. For example it is a goal in my life that I get married and have children. That is what I desire. If I did not have this desire, I would not have children. I would not reproduce. Reality would cease to exist, because human beings would no longer exist.

Reality and desire co-exist, and they are both vital to each others survival. I desire a reply to this post. Good day.[/i]

hello there, i do believe we can bend desire into our reality. actually ive written a whole lot about that subject pretty much. you may wanna check out the post called “i can do anything” maybe it would push you to one side or the other of you inquiry?

IgnorancemustbeBliss I like your definition of desire very much and agree with it but I think that you make some errors in your second paragraph:

I am a bit surprised at your complacency when you write this. I would not argue against reality being subjective but only to a degree and I think that this is what has emerged from the “I can do anything” debate. Take a look at the later posts in the “What is quality” debate too where the nature of reality is also being discussed. When we see an object we all see a slightly different colour, a slightly different shape according to the relationship between us and the object. If I take my contact lenses out then an object becomes fuzzy and this is my private interpretation of it. If you choose to look at a smooth object under a microscope it will appear rough. These are examples of subjective reality which is all we ever experience. But just because that is all we experience doesn’t mean than there isn’t an objective reality too. The object has a shape, it has dimensions but these are altered by our perception. Therefore whilst relaity is subjective to a degree, there is an overwhelmingly objective reality too, and this is the object of scientific study.

You’re questions are the following:

Do you not mean, why can’t we bend reality to our desires? Is this not what you are suggesting that you want in your final question? Our reality does support our desires to an extent but the objective reality that I have been discussing is not flexible enough to support whatever desires you may have. Having said that your individual reality is and it can be influenced (bent, as you suggest) by the use of drugs. What are dreams if not an entirely subjective reality that reflect your desires. However we cannot do anything, although we may genuinely think that we can and are doing so when we have bent our individual reality.

The objective reality undobutedly has a huge effect on the individual one and all that you can do if you want to ‘do’ anything is to reduce the hold that the objective reality has on your subjective one. But surely life would then become boring? Take a look at the “perfect world” debate because if we were conscious of an ability to reduce the hold of the objective reality, then we would just manufacture an almost perfect dream-reality. I don’t think that that would be at all satisfying!

Alex, my post was an idea about desire that simply hit me. The holes you poked in my theory though bring up a few interesting topics. I could never agree with you more, that our interpretations of the world are our own private, and very unique views that are solely defined by our experience of reality. Also, the collective reality that we share is overwhelmingly objective when compared to the subjective aspects.
But, the idea I wanted to create was a “what if” the reality that most people agree as reality(objective) was totally different. Can the hypothetical question be asked: what if we all lived in a reality where our desires were not met by the annoying stairs of success, but instead with our immaginations? Is not modern society based around the stairs of success? Is that not what we all collectively define as meeting our desires… climbing those stairs? If there was such a world where one’s normal way of reacting to desire would be to dream, then wouldn’t one see things differently?

That is all I wanted to throw out there in first post.


what is desire? what is a piece of cheese? It seems like there is really only a point in asking what desire is if you have personal issues over it.

lol, that’s the whole point of these discussion boards isn’t it? If what is desire doesn’t interest you go look at something else. If philosophy doesn’t interest you, you’ve got the wrong discussion boards :slight_smile:

I have done some thinking a long time ago about the very thought experiment you are proposing. What I came up with was that technology advance to a point of a Virtual Reality station being in every home and everyone could live out all their desires. We could finally prove Fraud right or wrong. I personally believe that many problems would be solved with VR realities. Regular visitors to bars and the bubbly would sieze drinking their problems away and finally say everything they wanted to say or do whatever they wanted to do in VR. The only problem would be having to return to reality and all your problems would be right back. But I think it would strengthen people. Murderers and Rapists could get their desires out till their blue in the face in the safety of a VR station without harming anyone. Although, the argument could be made that their desires would simply grow or they would wish to actualize their desires instead of doing it in a VR machine, but the numbers would still drop, for some it would be enough. Those who dream of standing up to a certain person, whose presence makes them cringe and they can’t even make eye contact with them, would be able to settle their fears in VR and it wouldn’t be so hard to do it in reality anymore. Or so I think.
People do create their desired life, it’s all those powerful and rich people out there. There is even a society created for those wishing to learn how to make their every dream come true…Scientology. I know their mission statement but I don’t know enough about what they really do to judge, so I make no claim for Scientology being good or bad.

What’s your take?


well, many people can act out their desires quite comfortably within the technology that we do have… role playing has seen a extreme growth over the years, there are flavors for even the most peculiar of desires.

a point that must be made,

all desires could not be harmonious, somewhere down the line someone looses their freedom to act their desire for anothers…

I actually think that in most Western cultures, personal desire is encouraged and fostered. In school, particularly America, we’re told to follow our dreams and attain our goals and the best we can be. The system guides us to achieve our dream of becoming a doctor or lawyer, architect or business man.

The reality of most of the world, unfortunately is that desire remains what it is: a dream. Across the world, people cannot achieve their dreams because of situations they live in. I agree that we should try and help those people attain their desires, but reality disallows us. I’m not talking about subjective reality, the reality we see, but true reality. The reality where there is no possible way to achieve universal happiness, fulfill all dreams, and create world peace. Unfortunately, we don’t live in such a world. Thats the unhappy reality of it.

Magius video games and the internet set up a type of virtual reality machine in everyones house. Now a full body virtual reality machine that actually feels real and can be connected to other people would be the next possibly the last step. It would be a form of telepathy if we could set up thoughts in our heads that we think up and send them to other people. Something I’ve wanted to create since I started playing video games over the internet. To make fantasy a reality by making it so you can interact with people. The problem would be that reality would always have to play a role because you’d have to keep the world running. But to see things that you want in place of things that you don’t want. Letting your mind wander in depth. I think it’s a future possibility.

where does desire (in general) come from? or for that matter likes and dislikes?
is it random and irrational? some desire can be cultivated ie, learning to love something. yet certain things i cant explain, like my thing for star wars for example (and no im not info sci fi).
desire in terms of attraction to someone else has chemical explanations (pheremones and stuff like that)
is it really freudian association? why is it that i like tofu and raw cucumbers? why is it that im drawn to certain flowers but orchirds do nothing for me?

In some religions (typically those which are “mystic”), desire is what prevents people from attaining the “truth”, whether that be unity with a God or understanding of the world.