Posted by Trotter on November 2, 2008, at 12:26:25
In reply to Re: Desire versus Acceptance, posted by Nadezda on November 1, 2008, at 9:32:13
> I don't think happiness or acceptance are static, or become states that reign without any interruption-- I think they're progressive, momentary, and evolving--intertwined with the progressive, momentary and evolving experiences that can evoke, or dissipate, them.
Yes, our feelings and emotions are always changing and getting mixed up together, depending on experiences. We are not designed to be happy or content all the time.
> You can be more or less in a mind to accept or to join experience with resistance or refusal. But the waves of these emotions, or attitudes, can be always succeeding one another, and interacting.
> So I don't find them so much contradictory, or opposed, as potentially building on one another and mutually supporting.
I don't believe desire and acceptance are opposites, but I do believe they work in opposition to one another. The more one desires something, or things to be different, the less one is accepting things as they are, and the less contented one can be.
However I do believe that desire and contentment can be mutually supporting. For example one can strive to achieve things during the day, and provided one has been sufficiently successful, one can then reflect on those achievements and stimulate contentment in the evening. Of course the trick is to be satisfied with the level of success achieved, and not instead focus on what is still to be done.
>Sometimes both desire and happiness can be impaired,
Yes, I'm familiar with this condition :).
>but I think they can also nurture one another, and create excitement and vitality.
Yes, desire does create excitement and vitality. I tend to call this happiness too, but it is altogether a different flavor of icecream to contentment. Which flavor do you prefer? I like both, but perhaps I am being too greedy. :)
> To the extent that desire leads inevitably to disappointment, it can become destructive-- but only if the disappointments are too crushing-- which I suppose is always a risk with desire.
Yes. The motivational speakers say dare to dream. Shoot for the stars. Certainly if you want to be successful it pays to aim high and build strong desire. But the higher you aim the more likely you will ultimately fail. Look how many depressed successful people there are in all fields of endeavour. The problem with strong desire is that one is rarely 100% successful in gaining the object of one's desire. Most of the time we are totally or partially unsuccessful, and this certainly does not bring happiness.
I'm not saying desire is bad. But I do believe that without at least a balancing amount of acceptance, one will not be very happy.