Objects of Desire – TSK Class 3, Unit 1


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.


About David Filippone

For more than 25 years I’ve been a 'student' of the Time, Space, Knowledge vision (TSK), not a teacher. And I write from an inquiring student's perspective neither proclaiming nor declaring. I figuratively sit in awe at the feet of a master, Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche. For the past 12 years, my personal TSK guide has been Jack Petranker, Director of the Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, and the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI), past dean of the "Tibetan Nyingma Institute", and author of "When It Rains Does Space Get Wet?", "Inside Knowledge", and other TSK related books and articles... I've also received TSK instruction from the late, Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Retreat Center... As a volunteer for the past several years, I've been curating the often TSK focused, CCI Facebook page at... https://tinyurl.com/ybyfolcf
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