A human being can trivially be defined by a sum of desires. What makes us valuable, in the end, is the arrangement of these desires and the quality of these desires. If it is of course difficult to always control our desires, there are nevertheless ways to make them less toxic for us, in that they develop a higher dimension of our being.
What is a vile desire? It is a desire that transgresses ethics, i.e. that consists in doing to others what we would not like to be done to ourselves. It can also be defined as the satisfaction of a primary need without considering its moral dimension.
The difficulty with which we try to repress the negative, lustful or obscure thoughts of everyday life finally testifies to a lack of method in our capacity to fight against this phenomenon. If we are all equal in the way of solving this problem because there is a certain universality in human psychology, we don’t all start from the same place. Growing up in a toxic environment can leave us powerless to deal with repeating patterns. The cycles that we repeat over and over again are the mark of our inability to overcome pitfalls that for others are insignificant. In the same way that a fly can fly into your bedroom window dozens of times, as humans we have the same ability to repeat illusory cycles. While there are many approaches to emancipating ourselves from this tendency, not all of them are suitable for everyone, simply because our beliefs can act as a filter that would reject this or that practice.
One thing is certain, it is that the tendency to maintain vile desires leads us ineluctably towards disharmony. Harmony could be defined as the quality that allows us to be at peace with ourselves and finally to feel full satisfaction within without the need to seek it elsewhere.
Desires are, in short, a projection of ourselves onto our environment, most often in a distorted way since they are the fruit of our subjectivity.
The animal and the divine
The human being is an animal endowed with a free will. If we can put forward the idea that all forms of life contain sacredness, we can say that the degrading dimension of the human being comes down to wanting to reconnect with his animal nature exclusively. While we are of course compelled for survival to take into account our physiology, we have the choice to go beyond this aspect of existence by focusing on our divine nature present in each of us, which we can encourage and propagate.
Essentially disharmony occurs when a conflict arises between these two dimensions of being and we let the animal within us win because our divine and moral nature has not been sufficiently solicited.
If it is difficult to believe in our divine nature, we can just as easily adopt a logical reasoning in order to overcome the tendencies that we detect. If we are aware of our limitations and the suffering caused by vile desires, we can always fight them with reason.
The first step is to become aware of the nature of one’s desires and to sincerely wish for a change. When a vile desire arises, we need not be alarmed if it does not persist. On the other hand, if a vile thought persists and we can’t get rid of it, it is good to use reasoning to get to the source of the problem.
There are a multitude of causes that can lead to vile thinking. In addition, much of our thinking comes from our relationship with food and the ways in which we clarify our thoughts every day. Food affects our intellect because the nutrients it contains can act as a catalyst for emotion. The most emblematic example is chili or coffee, which can produce marks in our mind that disappear as our body eliminates the elements involved.
Holding hateful or greedy thoughts can also be an important focus of vile desires. I don’t think it is necessary to show how hatred and vile desires are intimately linked. On the other hand, I think it is necessary to show the links between greed (and even ambition, which is a kind of little sister of greed) and vile desires.
[be careful, what follows may offend your convictions, try to read to the end without throwing stones at me]
Ambition is the external search, most often in the form of materiality, for a pleasure, for an enjoyment, because of a dissatisfaction that one feels. Ambition is more noble than simple greed, which is to want to accumulate or seek to possess without moral consideration. Ambition is a more subtle greed, it is the expression of a lack that finds a moral justification, that is why it goes unnoticed and even praised in our society.
Have you ever been embarrassed by the excessive ambition of someone you knew?
Ambition, since it emanates from a feeling of dissatisfaction, is never well received by those around them. Extremely ambitious personalities are most often toxic even if they manage to disguise their intentions with beautiful projects such as wanting to help people (cf. politicians). Ambition inevitably leads to greater dissatisfaction and therefore potentially generates more negative effects on the path of all those who take it.
But should we vegetate and do nothing because we refuse to be ambitious?
We can act in a way that appears outwardly ambitious when in reality our actions emanate from a sense of satisfaction. You can’t judge at first glance whether two active people are acting out of a sense of satisfaction or whether the other is acting out of ambition.
Do you really believe that if you are satisfied, you will stop acting?
The more satisfied you are, the more your actions will be directed towards a certain nobility. It may seem that you are less active, but this is precisely because you are working on a different level. An ambitious person needs materiality to represent his contentment that he cannot find inside. The achievements of a serene or wise person are usually of a different nature because they do not waste time proving their worth or futilely seeking satisfaction that they already have.
Everything proceeds from contentment
If you are hungry, you seek food. Once you have eaten, you think of something else, usually you will seek to satisfy a higher desire by following the steps of Maslow’s pyramid. The problem with ambition is that it assumes that you lack something in a profound way and whatever you achieve, your actions will be tinged with a form of lack. Conversely, acting with a sense of harmony and peace makes us much more valuable to the world.
It is above all a feeling of fullness, that is to say of contentment with oneself, which is at the origin of our noblest desires, which in fact drive out vile desires. The vile desires are born from our insecurities, from our precariousness. Above all, we must find full satisfaction in what we are and see ourselves as a complete individual who does not need to look outside of himself for the satisfaction he seeks. You are a diamond that does not know itself, it is up to you to tap into yourself to find it. Once you have found harmony through this encounter, you will make the right choices and you will no longer exhaust yourself in futile pursuits.