Saintly Thoughts

On the Slavery of Desire

I suppose there is some subconscious human drive to square our desires with our duties, to alleviate the is/ought distinction.  Perhaps this unification of desire and duty is the very definition of Edenic bliss, where the human soul most closely paralleled the Divine Soul, and where desire (while not necessarily good in that it was prone to error in its ignorance) was yet innocent of the capacity to want what it perceived as evil.  If this is true, then such unification of the is/ought dichotomy is surely impossible, for the very fact that we can perceive the existence of the dichotomy ensures human pain.  An example of this is knowingly wanting that which we know will cause future strife for the purpose of a momentary relief from our suffering--eating an extra helping of ice cream which we know will contribute to our lethargy and obesity or bedding the alluring stranger knowing the risk of future disease and the destruction of our more abiding relationships. 

Granted, such isn't the only scenario wrought by this dilemma, and in fact may be a bad exemplar in that it also incorporates the element of "time" into our consideration.  For, since we are beings doomed to exist in time and yet perceive our existence beyond time (via memory and the anticipation of the future), we feel the immediacy of the momentary alleviation of desire most fully, and yet we have the power to perceive the inevitable consequence of such desire.  But the consequence is far off, and nevertheless even if the effect is seen clearly, some intervening cause may come into play and relieve us of consequence.  This is why Luck is the strongest and most abiding of the pagan gods, so abiding that she remains the true deity of most of humanity (though the puerile throngs are too simple to perceive the true nature of the deity they praise in other guise).  And happy is the body of he whom luck smiles upon and who is spared the natural consequences of his desire, for he (so long as the body remains) is practically invincible!    

But for those of us--for good or ill--who refuse to prostrate ourselves before the alter of Luck (or in prostrating, Luck has disinterestedly banished from her presence), what is left for us?  For surely, if we give in to the desire of the moment to stave off the pain of existence for another day, our final pain shall be that much greater.  But our momentary pain remains unbearable, and the longer we refrain from slaking the thirst of the demon god Desire, the greater the pain of the moment becomes. 

The logical conclusion to such a paradox?  I know of no answer but despair, and in my despair I sink down into the depths of that demonic embrace which lies in the heart of that great abyss.  There I will dissemble swiftly and forever in that vital cauldron of being, dissemble with no mediating buffer.  The pain of such dissembling is greater than the pain of being, but is inevitable.  Such is the fate of we who are unlucky, in a world in which all other gods have been destroyed and buried deep beneath the earth.