Peru – 01/25/12 (Day 4) – 06:49am

There was a gentleman on the bus talking about a good many things, but mostly about the human condition. How the way to get the most out of your time alive is to appreciate every moment, and do everything you do with intention.

Those weren’t his exact words, but I knew the message well enough. At one point he
spoke of how desire is the root of all evil. The word he used was “gold”, but I know that
was just the word and not the thing itself.

I think everyone has realized for a long time what the ruin of the world is – desire.
I’ve heard it so many ways and from so many places. Some say mammon, some say
money, some say sexual desire, and some talk about karma.

It’s all the same – it is the difference between want and need. Let me be clear: there
is no such thing as a need which is not biological. Everything else is a want. Even
the need for others – the “social animal” part of the equation, is based on a biological
need. It may be hormonal and harder to identify explicitly, but it’s driven by a need
nonetheless.

I wonder, though, if you might not be able to say the same about other things that might
be classified as a want. Isn’t desire filling a function biologically? Making us feel good
when we get what we want? Making our hormones dance and sing with appreciation?

By that definition, then, we’re left with two choices: define need as only things which
have nothing to do with the mind (which is impossible) or accept that our minds allow us
to make anything a “need”.

Is there any other way to define need?

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