The bird lands on the garden wall.
In the house, the cat. A window between them.
Suddenly the cat starts running to the garden.
In a snap, the hour-long nap he emerges from is but a distant memory, if it is anything at all.
No sooner have the bird’s paws touched the ground than it rushes. The cat does not see the impossibility of his hunting business. He doesn’t see the glass. He runs towards the garden.
Instinct and desire. The first is the engine of the animal kingdom.
The second is the fuel of human action. Are they so different ? Which one is better ?
Their similarity lies in their power of definition : they both have the power to define us completely.
The animal, at this moment, is nothing but a hunter. It is the ancestral hunt itself.
The ambitious man, both consumer and seducer, is he not so totally defined in these moments when the desires withheld in the adjectives above are expressed ?
Nothing but ambition, consumption, seduction.
In this, instinct and desire are equally irrational and powerful.
It appears, however, that if human existence is so preferable to that of a skin covered with hair, scales or feathers, it is because the desire, as flammable, urgent, incoherent that it can be, is malleable matter…
Man can observe this if he simply sits.
He can work on it, like a blacksmith dips his sword in the fire, again, and again.
Also, the aging cat will no longer be set in motion with so much zest by the distant bird.
(There is a learning, a gain of wisdom enabled by the process of life / aging).
In this, desire is an instinct that can be approached. And instinct, an ancestor of desire.
To know that desire has its roots in the age-old tanks of instinct is to know we can glimpse the direction,
towards the watering down of instinct into desire.
It is already to see the lands of peace where the lion lies at the feet of man, where man is no longer defined by his inner jolts.
Is he then a realized being ?
©FJ July 2021 – All Rights Reserved
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