Bigsley the Oaf

sometimes infinite

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on March 7, 2010

I think that an interesting thought experiment to do is to think about what it would be like to know everything, to have infinite power, to be a god.

It hits on one of the basic abstractions we use to make sense of ourselves – Desire. In our shared ontology desire is a cause uncaused. Desire is why we get out of bed. Desire is why we eat. Desire is why we fuck. Desire is why we push towards our long term goals. Desire is why we indulge in hedonistic excess.

But would we have desire, as gods?

The evolutionary psychologists would have you believe that your desires take root in evolved pressures, psychological imbalances. Desire for “social acceptance,” desire for “sex,” hunger, thirst, desire for “stability,” etc. If they are correct then our desires are finite – they can run out – isn’t it so?

So, would a god simply satisfy his or her desires? If so, why would he act? If his desires limit his actions then he is not all-powerful so that, perhaps, the concept of a god-entity motivated by desire is self-negating. I suppose that a god that -also- comes equipped with infinite desire would have infinite power, but wouldn’t it be awful to be such a god? Wouldn’t it be terrible to have an itch that you could never fully rid yourself of?

Or perhaps we would operate outside of desire entirely. But! Deep in our intuition we know that desire is requisite to the type of consciousness we pride ourselves on experiencing. A stream does not flow downhill because it desires to go there, the sun does not shine because it desires to do so – desire is what keeps us together – and it is precisely the fact that we wish to flow uphill, that we wish not to shine or to shine, that we construct our own destinies – THAT is what makes us human and conscious and aware, isn’t it?

Examining the converse, could we claim that the gods among us are those with insatiable desires? Those who are compelled to obsession, overwork, compulsive climbing of rocks, solving of equations, plundering of riches. How could you touch the stars without an everyday burning itch in the roots of your soul.

I suppose it’s a pretty old and difficult set of questions – what are our desires? what is the nature of “to want?” Can we want to want? What is the real source of our desire for desire?

Lots of questions. The universe remains silent, yet.

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