What do you desire? – What makes you itch? – What sort of a situation would you like? – Let’s suppose … I do this often in vocational guidance of students. They come to me and say, well, we’re getting out of college and we have the faintest idea what we want to do. So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?
Well, it’s so amazing. As a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers. But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way. Or another person says well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses. I said you want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do?
When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid.
Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually turn it – you could eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much. That’s everybody is – somebody is interested in everything, anything you can be interested in, you will find others will.
But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track. See what we are doing, is we’re bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lifes we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing, so it’s all retch, and no vomit it never gets there.
And so, therefore, it’s so important to consider this question: What do I desire?
Well, when we answer that question in a naive way, we figure out that we want a desire, what we want is to control everything, to create girls that don’t grow old, apples that don’t rot, clothes that never wear out, advances that get from one place to another instantly so we don’t have to wait, power available to do anything that you could see and do it just instantly like that, to get this funny technological omnipotence.
But if you take time out to think about that and really go into it with your full strength of imagination and find out whether that’s where you want to be, you will soon see that’s not what you want. Because the moment you have a situation where you are really in control of things, that is to say in which the future is almost completely predictable. A completely predictable future is already the past. You had it. That’s not what you want. You want to surprise. You don’t know what that’s going to be, because obviously wouldn’t be surprised if you did what a pleasant surprise. But like you say what sort of a surprise would be pleasant.
You can’t really answer, because you know if there are to be such things as pleasant surprises that must also be unpleasant surprises, must be rude shops. So you’re like somebody taking a, one of those wishing well boxes you top to know where you fish it and you bring out a package and you don’t know where you got a dead rat in it or a new camera. Then that’s the way, that’s that seems to be the thing, that really excites people. But quite certainly there comes out of ths inquiry. a feeling of real disillusionment with the ideal of power. To be in power, to be in control is not something that any sensible person wants.
People are frustrated in love with their children. There’s a natural tendency to human beings seek power. And that’s a very negative thing, about having a bad time to seek power after frustrated in love you should try to get back on the love people. Because nobody wants power. You may say that shirking responsibility, that if you were a really responsible person, you would go out for power and try to use power to the best possible advantage, for the benefit of all.
All right what would be the benefit of all. Ask them. What do you want me to do with this power. I’m dictator. What would you like to do. Well nobody knows, because they haven’t thought it through. They think of all sorts of short-range things and they are largely conflicting and confusing because they’re not well-thought-out.
But again when it finally comes down to it nobody wants to be God.