"You don't want that thing; you want the experience of getting what you want"

This thought has been running through my head a lot recently. (Anyone know the actual quote?)

Think about the first time you had vodka. It probably tasted like hell because it was cheap, but then it made you feel nice afterwards. Pretty soon, that became a default: every weekend you could have some cheap vodka at a college party, so it lost some mystique. The experience of wanting something and getting it became lessened. Perhaps you then desired tastier vodka, so when you upgraded to Smirnoff it felt like a luxury again. Maybe you then got a job and started making money, so you could buy Smirnoff whenever you wanted. But then you didn’t get the experience of wanting something and getting it; you just got the experience of getting something. Lost its appeal again. Maybe you moved up to fancier vodka. Maybe you buy Grey Goose, even though I bet you money you don’t actually like the taste better!

Creating desires so you can fulfill them. Weird, right? Well, and not very productive either. I’m wondering what happens when you hit consumptive singularity, or whatever: when your whole life is just an exceedingly elaborate series of fulfilling desires. (and I’m not just talking stupid hedonism: these desires could include a loving family, career success, whatever.) Probably feels great. Hmm.

I think if I continued this post, I’d just hit Buddhism 101. Whoops. The original and useful point I’m trying to make is this: occasionally examine your life, and notice where you’re just desiring the experience of wanting something and getting it.


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