Desires and its signs

August 11, 2012

Everything [I see] becomes ‘something for me‘.” writes Dr. John Peacock in the August 2012 Full Moon Insight Journal.

He continues,

Think of the signs of desire within contemporary society, which is most the material goods, which are offered out: the fashion, the new technology, new cars, everything of this sort. What do they proffer? Well, very crudely, it is something like the hope of happiness and contentment, status, power, identity, control. … When you are not seduced by the sign, then there is a sense of release. It is perfectly OK to enjoy the experience, as long as you are not craving to repeat it. We are corporeal, embodied, sensual beings. We are going to have stuff coming through the senses. When the Buddha says ‘guarding the sense doors,’ it is not about cutting ourselves off from the senses, but guarding ourselves against the craving that arises from repetition.

I’ve been working my head off this week, buried in emails, meetings, documents, trying to get ready for a new semester. What ‘signs of desire’ drive me: happiness and status (my students will like me and I will like me too), identity (I am a good … teacher … dept chair … committee member … scientist …), control.

Work, work, work, if you like, but don’t be seduced.


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