··· Tags pointing to: want ···

In Order To…

In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything,
Desire to have pleasure in nothing.
In order to arrive at possessing everything,
Desire to possess nothing.
In order to arrive at being everything,
Desire to be nothing.
In order to arrive at knowing everything,
Desire to know nothing.

In order to arrive at that point where you take no pleasure,
you must go by a way that gives no pleasure.
In order to arrive at that point where you know nothing,
you must go by a way you do not know.
In order to arrive at that point where you are free of possessing,
you must go by a way you do not possess.
In order to arrive at that point at which you are nothing,
you must go through that which you are not.

— St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, bk I, ch 13, sect 11  <link>

It is a queer and fantastic world. Why can’t people have what they want? The things were all there to content everybody; yet everybody has got the wrong thing. Perhaps you can make head or tail of it; it is beyond me.

— Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier  <link>

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.

— G.K. Chesterton  <link>


Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

— Author unknown, quoted by Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture  <link>

Let your desire be the vision of God, your fear the loss of Him, your sorrow His absence, and your joy in that which may take you to Him, and your life shall be in great peace.

— St. Teresa of Avila  <link>

We Don’t Know What It Is That We Want

It is very strange that we don’t know what it is that we want. Then why do we think there is anything we want? Because we want it. Why do we think we want it? Because we are unhappy.

Oh, you say that is only because we are poor or stupid or oppressed. No. It is preciously when we are rich and smart and free that we feel this desire the most. It is preciously these peak experiences, those highest moments in your life that you feel most clearly and poignantly the desire for something more. This lovers’ quarrel with the world. This happens not among the poor but among the rich, not among the uneducated but among the educated, not among the insensitive but among the sensitive.

When you see the most remarkable natural beauty or find the most complete human love or reconciliation, it is then when it looks most like a pointing finger, a prophet, an icon from heaven, a suggestion that there is something more. The perfume that you thought was its own end, when you get close to it, seems like the perfume from a beautiful woman who is unattainable, a goddess.

Maybe it is much clearer if you put it negatively. Nothing in this world is totally satisfactory. We are discontent the more self-aware we are.

— Peter Kreeft, from lecture on “Desire” (The innate hunger for total joy)  <link>

Men want three things. They want to live, they want not to be oppressed themselves, and they want, most subtly, to be recognized.

Richard Brookhiser  <link>