I wanted to observe my internal processes during different desires, and also during incidents of avoidance. Among other things, I observed the desire for an iPod, the hunger for lunch, the avoidance of anger and not wanting to display it, desire for employment that was really a desire for some kind of financial security or independence. I even observed the desire to move out of the present to hang out in a space of imagined possibilities, in avoidance of the present.
I noticed, during a recurring desire for a ‘thing’, the tendency is to imagine myself in possession of it, in certain attractive scenarios or stories. I saw myself enjoying it, and there were pleasing feeling tones around the story. The pleasing feelings seemed to feed into a space that felt sort of lacking, a hollow that is almost ‘itchy’ for filling in; like not wanting to be here with what is, and hankering for something new. Avoiding something is very similar, but the feeling tones were different. They seemed to come from a desire to not want to feel uncomfortable, as I was immersed in an imagined story of how ‘things’ might be. Hunger, on the other hand, felt very basic or direct, but then I also proceeded to projections of filling the hunger, fulfilling the expectations that sprang from it.
Both desiring and avoiding seemed to emerge from concerns centered around my self-interest; there’s a story from the past about the good thing I want or the bad thing I want to avoid, and there’s a projection of a story in an imagined future; a space in which these stories are accepted as a possible future. The underlying feeling of a restless dissatisfaction seemed to motivate my-self to use these images as a basis to identify with the object, and a way of proceeding to act toward achieving the imagined desired object or avoiding it. I realized I could drop the self urges and just observe this process standing partially in it, and outside it, as an observer. The latter seemed like a way to encompass both.
I also noticed at times that it sapped my energy to want something if there was a lot of ‘process’ involved in the wanting (same with avoiding). So that at the end of investigating aspects around the desired thing (even though that seemed somewhat interesting), I still didn’t have it, the thing was still ‘out there‘, and I felt disappointed, frustrated, that the whole process was circular and a waste of energy.
A final point, I remember achieving something I wanted after much prior effort looking into it, it was a particular car, and I did feel the presence of it, and my involvement with it when I drove it. But after awhile the restless identifying with it, and the investigating process had concluded. There was little left to the imagination. In a short time I was once again ultimately faced with ‘what is‘, and the urge to move away from it.