Thursday, January 18, 2007

What do you really want?

In my unschooled mind, "burnout" and depression are not easily distinguished. Have I grown tired of blogging. Have I lost interest in reading others think or even the news? Can life itself let one down?

I think many such questions are faces of a very basic question that most of us have had to ask on some occasion: "What do I want...what do I really want?"

If you answered "I don't know what I want. Nothing seems to interest me..." then your friends and family would be on you in a flash with suggestions of good prescription drugs, or therapists who had been effective when they were depressed.

There are circumstances in which I see that question as a rational response to the situation rather than a response driven by unhealthy low levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, N-AcetylAspartate and high ratio of choline to creatine. The clearest but least pertinent case is havng two equally unpleasant options of which you must choose one. Far less clear and far more pertinent is having to choose between two lovers when underneath it all, the reason you ever had two lovers was that you don't know how or truly want to be in love with either of them or maybe with anyone at all. Perhaps your family has been asking you when you are going to settle down. Far more common but so vague that you really have to examine particular cases is when one is struck with boredom. You reach for food or for the remote out of reflex when a moment's reflection would tell you it will not satisfy. As we are wired, novel dross will sometimes trade even with familiar gems though only so long as the novelty has not worn off. We can careen, brainless as a pendulum swinging between the potential of dread and the kinetic of titilation, from attraction to attraction and never be distressed by it until we begin to notice the careening as much as the attractions.

Always consider the possibility that if you don't know what you want, it might be because you don't want anything. Its kinda like the perfect stillness of the deep woods when birds and insects are out of season and the wind has stopped. You might not notice silence if you aren't listening for it.

Who said you had to want something in order to be happy?

Would you believe the wanting of things, no matter how refined or primitive its form, is the seed of all enslavement?


Anonymous said...

Good thoughts, G.

Thanks for reminding us of these things.


GreenSmile said...

Ah, etbnc! I guess I haven't posted anything worthy of comments for some time now.

I was momentarily concerned that the "I don't want it" thought could be the manifestation of an "I can't have it" feeling: sour grapes passed off as a very subtle fine wine. But no, I think there really is such a thing as just being free of needyness for all but the truly essential things that any animal would need.