this reminded me of something Vineeto wrote to me in ~Oct 2022 that is really apt.
I’ll put a relevantly-snipped version here:
VINEETO: Have you found out yet what is the last obstacle to giving yourself permission to allow yourself to become free ?
CLAUDIU: As to your last question, I haven’t found the last obstacle yet . I’m not sure if I would know it’s the last one until after I am free? Then I could look back and say “it was that one” haha.
CLAUDIU: Currently I am finding that desire is a big one for me. I’ve come to realize I like the feeling of desire, of chasing after something. I am realizing that this is because it gives ‘me’ a shape, it validates my existence. But as I don’t substantially exist it’s very tenuous. Meeting the object of desire provides a feeling that this accomplished feeling could be infinite and eternal, even though I simultaneously know that it absolutely is not.
[…] I still find myself chasing my desires. At the same time I am seeing how I don’t feel good when I’m doing this. And contrary to what I thought and experienced before, it’s actually ridiculously easy to get “back on track”. It just takes me wanting to do it, to getting back to that feeling good (which for me is suffused with pure intent now), and then within a few moments it’s happening again. But there is this strange pull back that I continue to feel in the background, to follow the desire again - and I realize the pull is me / is not ‘outside of’ me - but there it is regardless.
VINEETO: As I understand it, ‘you’ wanting to stay in existence are presently choosing to chase desires to express ‘your’ objection to manumit your (actual) body from the ‘your’ tyranny.
Here is what Richard had to say on the topic of desire -
Respondent: Want is desire.
Richard: Yes, the ‘I’ that was revved up desire like ‘he’ had never desired before … only ‘he’ channelled all of ‘his’ desire into enabling the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent through ‘his’ demise. And ‘he’ succeeded.
Respondent: Desire is ego.
Richard: Oh yes … and the ego has a job to do: When ‘I’ willingly self-immolate – psychologically and psychically – then ‘I’ am making the most noble sacrifice that ‘I’ can make for oneself and all humankind … for ‘I’ am what ‘I’ hold most dear. It is ‘my’ moment of glory. It is ‘my’ crowning achievement … it makes ‘my’ petty life all worth while. It is not an event to be missed … to physically die without having experienced what it is like to become dead is such a waste of a life.
This is altruism … pure and simple. (www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listbcorrespondence/listb36.htm#24Sep99)
Richard: Nothing worth anything is gained without extending oneself way beyond the norm. One has to want freedom like one has never wanted anything before. I say: rev up desire until one feels that one must surely implode … and rev it up some more. Unless freedom is one’s number one priority in life – amounting to an obsession – one will always live a second-rate life. (www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listbcorrespondence/listb19b.htm#24Jul98)
And here is what ‘Vineeto’ wrote -
[Vineeto]: With the memory of the PCE ‘I’ could clearly see that ‘I’ am standing in the way of perfection and therefore ‘I’ agreed to take ‘myself’ apart. The impetus to examine, investigate and change comes from ‘me’ – ‘I’ am willing to die because ‘I’ have unmistakably understood it to be the best and only solution to the human condition. Once ‘I’ made the full-hearted decision to actively stage my own disappearance, the journey became easier and I could make use of my instinctual passions to help ‘my’ mission. Now desire helps me to achieve the best possible, aggression to stubbornly stick to my goal, nurture to altruistically sacrifice my ‘self’ for the benefit of this body and every body, and fear, well, fear gives me the impetus to end fear forever.
But it is ‘me’, and only ‘me’, who is willingly doing all the work of becoming free. (www.actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/vineeto/list-af/alan-e.htm#28.3.2002)
Once the overall desire - to become free from the human condition - is firmly established and there is a clear hierarchy of what is most important to you, then everything else you desire can be simply a preference, and the enjoyment and detailed appreciation of being alive, the delight in using your intelligence and all your capabilities to achieve what you would like plus the job satisfaction that comes with that.
To link it back, the hamster enjoying himself on the wheel reminded me of this “plus the job satisfaction that comes with that”.
To summarize, the point is not to stop desiring, as a moralistic/spiritual/religious/buddhistic principle… rather the point is to actually desire, more than ever, with 100% of your ‘being’, desiring in the same way you desire anything else – but desiring becoming actually free, as opposed to anything else.
It’s impossible to stop desiring… but it is easy to desire just one thing.
With that primary desire in place, you can then want/need/prefer/desire whatever else you might want in life, and it’s no ‘problem’ as far as actualism is concerned, it’s just you living your life and enjoying pursuing those things, because your overarching goal is in place and you’re heading inexorably towards your destiny.
Personally I find I’m currently still scared to do this. I can relatively easily start doing it… and then I see that this would lead to the end, it would actually work, and I pull back. The hard part is not desiring to be free per se, in that it’s some trick or technique… it’s in actually desiring to be free, sincerely, 100%, and accepting all the ramifications of what that entails.
Hope it helps!