There are two kinds of desire, thin and thick. Thick desires are like layers of rock that have been built up throughout the course of the lives. These are desires that can be shaped and cultivated through models like the parents and people that we admire as children. But at some level, they're related to the core of who we are. They can be related to perennial human truths: beauty, goodness, human dignity.
Thin desires are highly mimetic (imitative) and ephemeral desires. They're the things that can be here today, gone tomorrow. Thin desires are subject to the winds of mimetic change, because they're not rooted in a layer of ourselves that's been built up over time. They are like a layer of leaves that's sitting on top of layers of rock. Those thin desires are blown away with a light gust of wind. A new model comes into the life: the old desires are gone. All of a sudden we want something else.
In the stream of daily life, we're pushed and pulled in a million different directions. And if we don't extract ourselves and find time for recollection, we won't be able to listen to the lives, to listen to others, and to understand the way that the relationships and the desires are growing and emerging. We'll be surprised if five or ten years from now, we've pursued desires that have led to a place that we really may not have wanted to go. Listening is critical to the transformation.
Read the video transcript: bigthink.com/videos/mimetic-desires
About Luke Burgis: LukeBurgis has co-created and led four companies in wellness, consumer products, and technology. He’s currently Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Director of Programs at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship where he also teaches business at The Catholic University of America. Luke has helped form and serves on the board of several new K-12 education initiatives and writes and speaks regularly about the education of desire. He studied business at NYU Stern and philosophy and theology at a pontifical university in Rome. He’s Managing Partner of Fourth Wall Ventures, an incubator that he started to build, train, and invest in people and companies that contribute to a healthy human ecology. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Claire, and her crazy New Orleans cat Clotille.
Read more of the stories on mimetic desires: The social brain: Culture, change and evolution | A Big Think Long Take ►►bigthink.com/the-present/bret-weinstein-the-social-brain-culture-change-and-evolution-big-thinks-long-take/ Mimetic desire: How to avoid chasing things you don’t truly want ►► bigthink.com/neuropsych/mimetic-desire-luke-burgis The ugly psychology behind scapegoating ►► bigthink.com/videos/scapegoat
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