We have a tendency to overcomplicate desire. We pile
mountains and mountains of laundry on top of it. We say that we require this
thing and that thing—we want all this today, and we’ll want all that tomorrow.
In truth, desire is quite simple.
From Being to Connection to Desire
Desire arises naturally from connection. When a plug is connected to a socket, it didn’t get that way because it longed to be there or because it needed to. The plug is in the socket because it fits, and is functional in the socket.
You could say that all the plug really wants is to be in the socket. If it could want anything, it would want that. Why? Because that’s where it fits. That’s where it works. That’s where it makes sense for it to be.
But this desire didn’t come from some ungodly, soulless place. This desire would simply be a natural extension of the plug’s connection to the socket. It makes sense for the two to connect, and so this connection is desired.
Similarly, the plug didn’t have to build or create a connection to the socket. It didn’t have to fight some uphill battle with social conventions and mind games in order to befriend the socket. The plug and socket don’t have to put up any effort to connect at all. The connection already exists between them. They were, quite literally, meant for each other. All a human has to do is recognize this connection that already exists and simply give it the appearance of being real, by plugging in.
So, desire is a natural extension of connection. Similarly, connection exists quite naturally. It is not forged—it is already present.
Not only that, but connection is itself a natural extension of another thing—being. Being is what makes connection so natural. It is what gives connection the quality of being already-existent.
Your connections to the things around you arise naturally from what you are. A plug’s connection to a socket arises naturally from its being a plug.
We tend to connect to things that are quite similar to what we are. We connect with things that are of a similar nature to ourselves. A plug and a socket are both in the business of conducting electricity. And so, it makes sense for them to connect.
Desire arises naturally from connection, which arises naturally from being. What you are, in essence, is quite simple. You are life.
You are life, and so it makes sense for you to connect to that which enables life—that which gives you what you need to do what you do, which is live. And that is precisely what you, as life, desire to do: you desire to live.
You are life, connecting to life, desiring to live.
This is similar to saying that a plug is a carrier of electricity, and so it makes sense for it to connect to that which enables the flow of electricity. All a plug really desires (if it could desire) is to electrify.
You Must Do As You Are
When a programmer sits down in front of a computer to program, what is it that he wants to do? Program.
But why does he want to program in the first place?
As a programmer, it makes sense for him to connect to that which enables him to program. And so, that is precisely what he desires to do.
You may still wonder: what point is there for him to program? There is already so much going on in the computer. Why does he need to make things happen of his own accord? Why can’t he just kick back and go for the ride?
We could easily say that while he is a programmer programming, it only makes sense for him to continue programming. He’s there in the chair and he is not going anywhere else, so he might as well keep programming.
But will things happen without effort on his part?
Yes, they will. But here’s the thing. You can’t use a computer without touching it, you bonehead. You have to direct it. You have to give it commands. You have to press buttons and move the mouse and tell it what to do.
You cannot use a computer with absolute passivity. You can kick back and watch YouTube videos for a while, but you’re the one who made that video start playing. And eventually the video will stop, and you’ll have to direct the computer to do something else (unless you just want it to remain with that window open until the thing eventually runs out of power, shuts itself off, or something else happens to put it down and out).
As a computer user, you are always making things happen. You are the one. It may seem that a lot of things are happening independently of you- especially if you get hacked- but you start, and run, the show. The computer does as a result of your doing.
And so, the programmer cannot help but program. A programmer is, after all, what he is.
The Deciding Factor: Awareness
But here’s the thing. There is a major variable at play here. It affects what code he writes, which programs he runs, and the quality of his programming. This variable is the awareness of his being a programmer. In other words, it is whether he knows who he is.
Awareness is what sets certain programmers apart from the rest of the pack. In fact, awareness is what gives the programmer his title as such.
A programmer without awareness is not really a programmer, but a coder. The coder scraps around the Internet to see what he can find and throws in code to the IDE, not thinking much about the larger implications of what he’s doing. He’s not really sure of what the end product of all his coding will be—or even is supposed to be, for that matter. He’s just taking it a few lines at a time, running the code he has and reacting to it, fixing it. He plays a game of endless trial and error, though it’s not very clear what the trials are for.
The coder is very similar to the script kiddie. A script kiddie is a person who reuses another person’s code, usually with the intent of using it against someone. Script kiddies generally don’t know why the code works the way it does, and they probably wouldn’t be able to write it themselves. They just know that if they execute it, it will do something.
Script kiddies are basically hackers who don’t do any of the legwork themselves. They’re like a person who comes in at the last minute to put the final stroke on another person’s painting, in order to stake the claim of having done it all themselves.
They get results, but they don’t really understand the work. To their detriment, in the long run, they don’t totally understand the results, either. Basically, they don’t know what they’re doing.
Here’s the thing. It’s no coincidence that the term is “script kiddies.” We all were script kiddies once—when we ourselves were kiddies.
Of course, as you know, kiddies don’t stay kiddies forever—they grow up. Coders don’t have to remain as coders. If they choose to become more aware, then they can become something else. Coders can become programmers.
After a long while of throwing different bits of code together, the coder starts to make sense of things. He figures out how certain commands and data structures work. Slowly, he starts to put the pieces of the puzzle together. He starts to see a bigger picture, and he starts to get how he can use code to create that bigger picture.
The most important thing going on here is that the coder is starting to realize his power. He isn’t just writing random words and symbols anymore and hoping they produce a certain result. He doesn’t feel lost in a sea of computer code he doesn’t understand and applications that seemed to have always been there.
The coder is starting to see now that he writes the code. He doesn’t write the code as some physical act. He authors it. He decides what goes where. Not only that, he can say even why it does. And the more he understands the code he’s working with, the more he’ll be able to do with it—as he intends to, in particular.
The coder who has such as awareness as this is on his way to becoming a programmer. The programmer doesn’t merely type and execute code. The programmer creates comprehensive, full-fledged programs. These programs may have thousands or even millions of lines of code working harmoniously with one another. These programs were not created by taking into account only one line at a time and failing to see the forest for the trees. Such programs require putting as many pieces of the puzzle together as you can, and seeing the bigger picture.
To become aware of your role as the programmer- the one who writes the code- is to enlargen your awareness. You put the pieces together. The puzzle gets bigger. You see that there is more within the domain of your control, as a programmer, than you once thought. This means that you are bigger and more powerful than you once thought. You grow into this new idea about yourself. The picture enlargens.
The One Desire
Just as the basic desire of the programmer is to program, the basic desire of life is to live. This is the only desire you need to give concern to. As long as you tap into that base desire, you will be unstoppable. Every obstacle and hardship and piece of flotsam and jetsam you can imagine no longer bother you. You do not regard them as problems any longer. They’re just stuff. They’re just part of life, and there’s nothing wrong with them. At the end of the day, they cannot hurt you.
A programmer can concern himself with a lot of things. He can consider the number of programs he completes, or the number of lines of code he writes, or the number of languages he uses.
But is his value determined by sheer output? Are these things what really matter?
How about life? What determines the value of a life—the number of hours lived, places seen, or actions completed?
No. Life is not about sheer output.
There is only one thing life wants. Life wants to live. The specifics do not matter.
The way that living looks today will look different than it did yesterday, just as being a programmer looks differently than it did yesterday. Today you will write different lines of code, run different programs, and use different languages than you did yesterday. But, you are still living by the base of your being—you are still a programmer.
The programmer can get very concerned about the specific details of his programming. But how much motivation is the thought of using a specific command or keyword going to generate? Who cares about that one command?
No one does. They don’t care about what specific commands you use in your program. They only care that you do that one thing—the only thing that matters. They only care that you be yourself, and program.
The essence of awareness is knowing that you are life. When your awareness expands, this means that your picture about what life is- about who you are- enlargens. Your awareness expands to see the bigger picture.
When it comes down to it, seeing the bigger picture is all that you really care to do. You want to know that you are life. If you do not know that you are life, then you will not get to experience the realization of your basic desire, which is to live. How can you experience living if you do not know that you are alive? And so, your aliveness will not matter to you—not if you do not know of it.
When you know that you are life, you know that you are the programmer of your life. No longer are you left hanging in the air, unconsciously reacting to code as it executes, unsure of how and why it’s doing what it’s doing, hoping that the whole darn thing doesn’t fall apart in front of you. Instead, you take conscious responsibility for your life. You don’t just mechanically go through the motions of your life—you author your life. You live your life. You do precisely what you were meant to do.
The next time you feel stuck or unsure of what to do, simply tap into the base desire of your being: to live. Don’t concern yourself with the minutia of life: that will take care of itself. Go, instead, to your one, big, broad desire. What is it instinctually telling you now? What would now enable you to electrify and to live, like a plug in the wall? What does it mean, in this moment, to be life? You don’t need to articulate the answer linearly and logically. Just go and be it.
When you give your attention to the only thing that matters, all of the other things follow accordingly.
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