Holding It In

– I keep thinking about [blank].
“Okay, so do [blank].”
– Yeah but I’m not sure about it.
“If you keep thinking about it, do it.”
– But what if something goes wrong.
“That’s the thrill of it. Not everything works as expected, otherwise life would be boring and pointless.”
– But I thought I didn’t have the ability to make choices in life.
“You don’t.”
– But it seems as though I can choose to do [blank] or to not do it.
“Imagine you have to use the toilet. You can ‘choose’ not to go, but it’s uncomfortable and that’s all you’ll be able to think about, and you’ll eventually hurt yourself by holding it in for so long. That’s not much of a ‘choice’.”
– So I can prevent myself from following my inclinations?
“You can attempt to stop yourself, but it doesn’t work. Either you’ll eventually succumb to your natural tendencies or you’ll smother yourself to the point of intense misery.”
– So I’m at the mercy of my urges?
“All you can do is follow your inclinations. A cat sees a mouse and she chases it. You would think the cat defective if it didn’t perform as its natural tendencies dictated. In the same way, you must follow your tendencies.”
– But that seems robotic.
“If hungry, don’t you eat? You’re already following your urges. They don’t exist for you to ignore, they are what move the story of your life along.”
– But shouldn’t I stop myself from doing something that could cause a problem?
“How do you know what will happen? You didn’t create you, you didn’t create the situation you’re in, you didn’t create anything, why would you assume that you know the best course of action? You have no reliable information on which to base a decision, the only thing you have, is your desire to do something, so do it.”
– I thought urges and desires were bad things that I should control?
“If that were true, you’d sit still all day, mimicking a rock. Your urges provide a purpose for living.”
– Do I need to see them fulfilled?
“Ultimately, they are pointless, just providing a reason for you to take action, there is no need to be concerned with their fulfillment.
– But will I be satisfied if I don’t fulfill my wishes?
“Satisfaction comes from the pursuit, not the attainment. Success and failure produce the same result: an end to the pursuit.”
– So I should follow my inclinations, stop restraining myself, stop believing that I can steer my life in a certain direction, pursue my desires, and not care about their outcome?
“Yes.”

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