If I had one wish (provided say by a wish-fulfilling genie), I would probably wish never to wish for anything.
But to be alive means to wish for things, you may say.
What sort of life would it be without any wishes in it? The life of an ascetic? Of a recluse? Of a socially withdrawn person?
Few things have made me more unhappy than my wishes, my desires, my ideas about happiness.
When happiness did come to me, it often caught me by surprise.
It was hidden in small things or wore a face I didn’t think it would wear.
Would a person who doesn’t wish for anything be numb or dead?
Life would still happen to him or her.
Life always happens to us—we cannot withdraw from it.
We can withdraw from other people. We can choose to live in solitude.
But we cannot withdraw from the flow of life, from nature and its cycles, from out own Circadian rhythm.
We cannot step aside from life and regard it as a blank canvas.
To think we can is only to deceive ourselves. Or to write philosophy.
If I would not wish for anything, if I would not borrow other people’s ideas of happiness—which is hard to do if we live in society—perhaps my being would express itself naturally.
Perhaps I would do mostly the things I cannot help but do—rather than those I think I should do.
Perhaps I would be freed from the tyranny of the shoulds.
But what about the senses?
Isn’t wishing the fuel our senses need for us to feel alive?
Feeling too much too quickly is a pretty good way to go numb, to crave for more than is healthy.
Reducing stimuli, focusing on a few ones, is a way to better appreciate them.
I don’t wish to write. I would rather simply write.
I don’t wish to travel. I would rather simply travel.
I don’t wish to love. I would rather simply love.
I don’t wish to do this or that.
I would rather simply do what comes to me naturally.
Wishing backfires all too often for it to be reliable.
And lets not forget that we are still mostly animals.
In the end, I try not to wish for things or people or anything in particular.
I do not mean to deny anything—merely not to wish for anything.
To let life happen to me when it wills.
It’s not easy.
I can easily think myself into sadness.
But I can also be patient, and that helps.
Yes, I wish to wish for nothing, so that what is left is life not distorted by my ideas of happiness or what’s good for me.
8 thoughts on “If You Had One Wish…”
The featured photo here is interesting. I thought I recognized it, then looked it up to make sure it’s what I thought it was. Did you find it that way or do some edits?
What did you like about it in relation to this particular post, or did you just like it, generally?
Hi Andy. I found it like this only I’m not sure who to give credit to for it.
I believe that some art curators removed Venus from this one as part of a way to draw attention to famous artworks during the pandemic while many museums around the world are still closed. I think it was in Poland but am not sure.
One way to interpret it is that together with Venus, what’s missing from this painting is wish or desire—and I find it quite peaceful without those. Yes, something is missing, but ai don’t find that sentiment oppressive.
Thanks for the extra context, Vincent.
its not great to live in a consant state of longing or wishing, however it takes a fair amount of strength too to let go……….:)
There’s much wisdom in not wishing, even the Buddha would have liked your post if he could. But if I may, what of the things that happened to one, call it the Law of Manifestation or the power of thought, only because they first existed as a tiny wish in one’s subconscious mind? And aren’t the books we write or the art we create also a manifestation of what we once only desired?
Thank you Vincent. I so enjoy your blog and simple reflections on life. I myself have created a simplified perspective, even more so than I had in the past. I love the idea of not wishing…for wishing is really “wanting”, and our wants are usually never what we truly need. To let things play out naturally each day is the way to go. We can still have goals and expose ourselves to new things but in a less forceful way, no pressure, just letting it come.
Thank you again.
Amy Rebecca Perez
West Palm Beach, FL
Reblogged this on My Perfect Crazy Life and commented:
I so enjoyed Vincent’s blog and simple reflections on life. I myself have created a simplified perspective, even more so than I had in the past. I love the idea of not wishing…for wishing is really “wanting”, and our wants are usually never what we truly need. To let things play out naturally each day is the way to go. We can still have goals and expose ourselves to new things but in a less forceful way, no pressure, just letting it come.
Hope you all enjoy this article and subscribe to his blog as well.
He’s a special soul!!!