The Absence of Want

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
"If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having."

Henry Miller

Submitted: March 19, 2011

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Submitted: March 19, 2011

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The Absence of Want
 
In the absence of want, those who do not know how to get to that place, will feel envy and inevitably want to eliminate the person who has come to this reality from their world. When this time comes one will need to take a step back and look at the self. The need to redefine for ourselves those broad strokes that we make when others seemingly dwell on the mundane everyday specifics will be of utmost priority. These are the things that we are told by others to do. These are the obligations that are thrown at us, most aggressively with force. They must be erased from our lives, leaving us with the absence of want. 
For instance, there is the obligation to become something---to establish our place in the world around us by defining ourselves in regards to the world around us---the world outside our own self. As long as we do this, as long as we buy into the need that is pressed upon us---we will never be free. We all are told by those that control the pools of wealth and the institutional structures around us, that we are inadequate, and that to become something better, something dictated by the structure, we will then gain the wealth and therefore the happiness that we seek. We are, after all, unhappy without acceptance, no? 
 
Start by saying to ourselves that we do not need to be accepted by anyone. We are, at best, evolved bacteria---nothing more than side-effects of the primordial ooze and in that, none of us holds any greater an idea than the next. We all will die. That is the most beautiful thing. We all will die, and that equalizes us. We can finally find justice in this and really only this. We are nullified and obliterated in our complete utter absurdity and meaninglessness. The deliberate attempt to make more out of this, to assert meaning by creating needs and voids that must be filled, is an evil that can be averted once we see it for what it really is. This is an attack upon the very thing that makes us human---our survival. This same attack divides us as a species. Therein, we find the hatred for each other which we always seem to attribute to other nonsensical reasons which are almost always dictated by those same individuals who thwarted that initial attack in the first place. Those who beat us over the head with a meaning that they created, with one that they try and force us to need and want, they are the very same who profit from our divisive response. To watch us scatter and form irrelevant little groups brings these individuals pleasure, as they dub themselves the fittest survivors.
 
What then can we do? How do we free ourselves from the neon wanderings, from screen to screen and ad to ad, being sold every solitary image and sound, smell and taste? It can seem on the outset that there is nothing that can be done, and that the war has been won, basically before it was even started. It can seem like all the rules of the game we written by the winners, preemptively
 
But on second thought, that is simply not the case, is it? What is being cast upon us is want. Ironically, it is a want for us to want. For as long as we want things, they can be taken from us, and as long as the taking away of things is a threat to us, we are slaves to the process. In retaliation then in the fight against the world of want, we must refuse to want. We must come to terms with our own necessities, both physical and emotional, and reduce them down to the most basic. And even then, we will be prey for those who have dedicated their lives to finding ways of commodifying everything. There were days when water wasn’t sold in bottles, and no doubt, we will see the days when the air that we breathe is somehow stolen and sold back to us in the same manner. 
 
Is it too insane a proposition then to suggest that we asphyxiate ourselves now to the best of our ability? Of course I don’t mean the wrapping of our own hands round our throats, as that would defeat the purpose, would it not? What I am proposing is the elimination of the impulse of need, for I am suspicious of it. I wonder how much of what we believe that we need is in all actuality programmed in us through constant upgrading. This upgrading comes in the form of the images, words and nonverbal sounds that we are saturated with. I think that if we wanted to, we could resist these things, and in our resistance, we can improve on ourselves, by encouraging the absence of want in ourselves, improving our species and inevitably the conditions that surround us as well.
 
How does one do this? Can it be as simple as forming a mental block of these things that force themselves upon us? Is it more complicated? May some need to consume before they spit out what they find to be intrusive, distractive as well as damaging? Certainly that need to decide what wants are necessary to a specific person is healthier than the full acceptance of all that is thrown in one’s direction. There isn’t any code to follow. It is, after all, the structure that is in place, the need for codes, rules, systems, significant roles and players that must be resisted here, in order for us to find a place free of want.
 
When those that envy the freedom found in the lives of those that begin to refuse want is evident, how do we speak to them? They will certainly oppose any suggestion that their own lifestyle may produce only misery, just as we might when someone says it to us. But we are still locked in the “us vs. them” paradigm, and we need to get out of that. The fact is, there is nothing that can be said, for words are so much weaker than actions in this respect. Action is our only defense
 
Just as we are told by the structure surrounding us that we must see the pretty faces of celebrities and the famous (who plaster our billboards and fill our newspapers, televisions and movies), and envy them, we must understand that in doing so, we are slaves, and in wanting to move from a place of slavery to freedom we must stop. Beginning to see a face on a television screen as simply another human being, one with problems like our own, and one whose beliefs and hopes may not be much different, can be a place to start. Seeing the things valued by the structure itself, that wealth or power that comes with the role of said dice in the name of anything, may be another step as well. Understanding that understanding itself, is a primary human concern and that there can be no one further developed than another when we all have the same capacity to progress, if we want to. 
 
I suggest then that in our actions to stop wanting the things that the neon walk labors on about, that the advertisers scream at us with, and that the powerful and wealthy may tell us that we can attain if we do X, Y and Z---I suggest that we close our eyes in their encounter. I suggest that we stop listening when their voice begins.  I suggest that we follow through with the age old policy of tuning out when their image pops upon a screen. This is not the advocacy of ignorance; it is a refutation of acceptance. You cannot embrace those things that you cannot accept, and simply, to not want the things that the structure aims to offer will weaken it. In its weakening, people may begin to see it for what it is and then actively want to bring it down---to disable it, to dismantle it, and begin again. 


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