Enable noble desires to surface

We could say that every human desire – no matter how narcissistic or indulging – has some trace of goodness to it; some small intent to attain what is beneficial. This would imply that there are desires more advantageous than others, as in less harmful or egotistically bent; desires that extend the individual and include the well-being of others. Perhaps we could agree to call these altruistic propensities ‘noble desires’, at least until we find a more fitting name to distinguish these types of desires from the more base ones.

So how might we enable noble desires to surface? First of all it may be difficult for such desires to rise up into the light of consciousness if we are tangled up in lower ones. Should our appetites, impulses and dislikes go unchecked, we may find our behaviour being largely determined by these forces. In other words, if we allow our cravings and aversions to shape our lives, it may be impossible to foster noble desires into its full potential.

So what can you do in particular to help loosen your fixation with unnecessary desires? What is an effective way to emancipate oneself from routinized behaviour, addiction or compulsion? How can you break free from ignoble desires in a natural way, so that you might give space to noble desires? Depending on where one is coming from in life, there can be a number of ways to answer this question; I would love to receive your response in the comment section below.

For those inclined to participate in virtue ethics, we may wish to first pinpoint which vice is thwarting our progress to living a good life. Let us say that we often fail to apply courage in an effective manner. Then we will want to determine in what way we are off centre when it comes to exercising this virtue. Because courage resides between two vices – cowardice and rashness – we will need to know what side of the extreme we are tilted towards.

Should we be overly coward like while carrying on with other men, then it could be to our advantage to learn martial arts to help bolster confidence in our ability to handle ourselves while under duress. As for those of us who are overly aggressive or rash in our behaviour, then we may find the playing of a musical instrument to be a useful measure to soften one’s irascible nature, so as to bring about equilibrium, thus enable one to apply courage in an appropriate way.

Because our desires or aversions can so easily and seductively take us off course and into the thorns & thistles of deficiency & excess, by nature we are obligated to keep them in check if we want to take a higher road; i.e. to tread the path with care, so as not to go down dead end pathways.

About Jason Youngman

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Psychology, Self Improvement and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Enable noble desires to surface

  1. Hi Jason, best wishes for this time of year and for the New Year.

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