dmattwads

What is lust

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We've already had a couple other threads on other emotions like what is fear and what is courage so I thought I would ask the question about what is lust?

 

I'm not interested in talking about Chia as that topic has been discussed more than enough on this forum.

 

My question is simple, what is lust?

 

Some might say it's Jing but that doesn't work for me because children tend to have more Jing than adults, and before puberty they don't have sex drives.

 

So what is it? And why do people get so weird about the topic? It's bad, it's good, it's right, it's wrong, it's spiritual, it's unspiritual. So many various opinions about one topic.

 

What is lust?

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Unbridled craving blindly driven by a vicious cycle/circle of habit tendencies and to which surrender is often the outcome. 

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The natural physiological (and psychological) desire to extend the species and its ability to hide behind the thoughts and inducing a huge inertia. This is my experience as a late adolescent with all sorts of hormones acting up.

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2 hours ago, freeform said:

Lust is just a mental-emotional extension of our base drive to procreate.

 

1 hour ago, skyblue said:

The natural physiological (and psychological) desire to extend the species and its ability to hide behind the thoughts and inducing a huge inertia. This is my experience as a late adolescent with all sorts of hormones acting up.

 

The problem with those explanations is that if it's only or mainly about procreation then why don't human beings just go into heat for a brief time like other animals procreate and then forget about it for the rest of the time? 

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6 hours ago, C T said:

Unbridled craving blindly driven by a vicious cycle/circle of habit tendencies and to which surrender is often the outcome. 

 

Is it always unbridled?

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3 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

 

The problem with those explanations is that if it's only or mainly about procreation then why don't human beings just go into heat for a brief time like other animals procreate and then forget about it for the rest of the time? 

 

Domestication :)

 

At its base - it's simply an urge caused by some of the oldest parts of us. Along the likes of hunger...

 

But, being humans, we also add all sorts of other issues into the mix... just as with hunger - there are many people with all sorts of food issues - with sex and lust there are all sorts of other issues.

 

The basic survival issues - food/nourishment, dominance hierarchy, sex... kinda follows the unfolding of childhood development...

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7 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

Domestication :)

 

At its base - it's simply an urge caused by some of the oldest parts of us. Along the likes of hunger...

 

But, being humans, we also add all sorts of other issues into the mix... just as with hunger - there are many people with all sorts of food issues - with sex and lust there are all sorts of other issues.

 

The basic survival issues - food/nourishment, dominance hierarchy, sex... kinda follows the unfolding of childhood development...

 

As it relates to personal survival the difference between food and sex is that eating is unavoidable for survival, while sex is not necessary to survive personally.

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1 hour ago, dmattwads said:

The problem with those explanations is that if it's only or mainly about procreation then why don't human beings just go into heat for a brief time like other animals procreate and then forget about it for the rest of the time? 

IMO it's cause animals don't have porn (& porn adjacent media/social pressures) 

 

I might go into 'heat', do something about it and then be calm for a few hours before putting the wrong show on Netflix and artificially restarting the process :D

Spoiler

Wrong button :ph34r: how to delete this?

Edit: original phrasing was pretty jncleaf

Edited by Wilhelm

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2 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

As it relates to personal survival the difference between food and sex is that eating is unavoidable for survival, while sex is not necessary to survive personally.

That's what you think as an individual human being. On an existential stage, evolution does not think so. Sex is not necessary for survival, but in the long run, lust is something more important than the feeling of hunger imo.

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11 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

IMO it's cause animals don't have porn (& porn adjacent media/social pressures) 

 

I might go into 'heat' and be calm for a few hours before putting the wrong show on Netflix :D

  Hide contents

Wrong button :ph34r: how to delete this?

 

 

That's not how going into heat works for animals LOL.

 

Back when I was a kid and my dad had the unfortunate task of having to babysit his own kids occasionally, not wanting to be put out by the task too much he would watch his HBO movies with us there. These movies had a lot of nudity and sex but as kids not having had lust kick in yet we just thought it was weird.

 

Therefore I would say porn does not give rice to lust, but rather lust gives rise to porn and then pouring simply conditions further lust.

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26 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

Is it always unbridled?

 

Yes, I think so because there's always a level of intensity to it, otherwise it could not be lust. Imo. 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, skyblue said:

That's what you think as an individual human being. 

 

Stating that eating is necessary for survival while sex is not is a scientific fact and not a matter of opinion.

 

13 minutes ago, skyblue said:

lust is something more important than the feeling of hunger imo.

 

By important what do you mean?

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Just now, C T said:

 

Yes, I think so because there's always a level of intensity to it, otherwise it could not be lust. Imo. 

 

 

 

 

What about the workplace crush? Maybe somebody at work has a crush on another person at work, but they don't act on it and they try their best to push it out of their mind. Yet the fact that the crush is there is indicative of some form of lust, but the fact that it is not acted upon would suggest that it is bridled.

 

I would even argue that the third precept for lay people that states abstinence from inappropriate sexual expression is another form of bridling lust.

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15 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

What about the workplace crush? Maybe somebody at work has a crush on another person at work, but they don't act on it and they try their best to push it out of their mind. Yet the fact that the crush is there is indicative of some form of lust, but the fact that it is not acted upon would suggest that it is bridled.

 

I would even argue that the third precept for lay people that states abstinence from inappropriate sexual expression is another form of bridling lust.

 

I'm looking at the root of lust, which is craving. Lust is just a very intense aspect of craving. And cravings tend to be quite elusive. One could at times even create an addiction or two in order to bring about a situation that presents opportunities to tackle the seeming *issue*, for the sole purpose of lulling oneself into a false sense of control, of growth, of sanity even. This is how neuroses plays out most of the time. 

 

One could always have unbridled intentions. They don't always get acted out. 

Edited by C T
grammar
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19 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

Stating that eating is necessary for survival while sex is not is a scientific fact and not a matter of opinion.


I agree with @skyblue

 

for the vast majority of our time on earth we did not feel like ‘individuals’... our identity was strongly tied to our tribe... saying ‘me’ meant my tribe...

 

Many cultures don’t even have individual names for their children... names are usually more like ‘first son, second son’ etc... individual names is a pretty modern trend :)

 

‘My, individual survival’ was completely meaningless for the hundreds of thousands of years of our race. There is no survival without others. (And that’s true now too)

 

Similarly - even until recently not having children to care for you when you’re old, meant you’ll die pretty young.

 

22 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

scientific fact and not a matter of opinion.

 

scientific facts are devoid of context - and can be made meaningless pretty easily...

 

let me do that for you now:

 

it’s a scientific fact that you can survive for years without eating.
 

Tens of thousands of coma patients are doing that right this minute.
 

 

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6 minutes ago, freeform said:


I agree with @skyblue

 

for the vast majority of our time on earth we did not feel like ‘individuals’... our identity was strongly tied to our tribe... saying ‘me’ meant my tribe...

 

Many cultures don’t even have individual names for their children... names are usually more like ‘first son, second son’ etc... individual names is a pretty modern trend :)

 

‘My, individual survival’ was completely meaningless for the hundreds of thousands of years of our race. There is no survival without others. (And that’s true now too)

 

Similarly - even until recently not having children to care for you when you’re old, meant you’ll die pretty young.

 

 

scientific facts are devoid of context - and can be made meaningless pretty easily...

 

let me do that for you now:

 

it’s a scientific fact that you can survive for years without eating.
 

Tens of thousands of coma patients are doing that right this minute.
 

 

 

I agree that perhaps what humans identify with as being the "self" has evolved over time, but this does not seem to be relevant to the topic of lust.

 

If by eating you mean you mean "mastication" the intake and chewing of food through the mouth for sustenance then yes technically you are correct, but if by "eating" the broader topic of taking in nutrients is the main point then coma patients do indeed "eat" even if it is via artificial means. 

 

But again these issues seem to be off toipc. 

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16 minutes ago, C T said:

 

I'm looking at the root of lust, which is craving. Lust is just a very intense aspect of craving. And cravings tend to be quite elusive. One could at times even create an addiction or two in order to bring about a situation that presents opportunities to tackle the seeming *issue*, for t

he sole purpose of lulling oneself into a false sense of control, of growth, of sanity even. This is how neuroses plays out most of the time. 

 

One could always have unbridled intentions. They don't always get acted out. 

 

Perhaps the confusion here is in the words.

 

When I use the word "lust" I am thinking categorically, as a type of craving. Hunger is a type of craving for food, thirst is a type of craving for drink, lust is a type of craving for sex.

 

Now these various forms of craving can have different levels of intensity of course. There can be mild hunger where a snack would be nice but not necessary, whereas there can be unbridled hunger where someone might murder in order to get something to eat. 

 

The same could be said for lust. In its mild form someone might think someone attractive is "cute" whereas lust of the intense passionate variety can be quite intense and led to the point where it is "unbridled". 

 

I think we have been missing each other in the terms.  

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40 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

That's not how going into heat works for animals LOL.

 

Back when I was a kid and my dad had the unfortunate task of having to babysit his own kids occasionally, not wanting to be put out by the task too much he would watch his HBO movies with us there. These movies had a lot of nudity and sex but as kids not having had lust kick in yet we just thought it was weird.

 

Therefore I would say porn does not give rice to lust, but rather lust gives rise to porn and then pouring simply conditions further lust.

Oops 😅 yeah my phrasing was pretty unclear there.

 

Again, in my opinion, lust in animals is biological.  I think the difference is that humans have created a plethora of mental stimuli to artificially 'jumpstart' what was previously just a naturally occuring process.

 

So although your biology wasn't primed to react to the show your dad put on (I used to hate when my parents did that as well 🤮), there were certain mental seeds that were planted and reinforced each time you consumed these sorts of media.  Enter hormones a few years later, and kaboom!  What was once a naturally occuring physical act had a wealth of emotional and mental processes attached to it, which in my opinion is what separates us from animals here (and not in a good way).

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1 minute ago, Wilhelm said:

humans have created a plethora of mental stimuli to artificially 'jumpstart' what was previously just a naturally occuring process.

 

What do you think motivated humans to create this mental stimuli in the first place?

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Lust is a direct result of the ego and its need to possess whatever it desires. I see that as the primary motive force behind lust -- though the trigger indeed is sexual desire. Similarly, all the possessive urges of the human-animal are based on the ego

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19 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

Perhaps the confusion here is in the words.

 

When I use the word "lust" I am thinking categorically, as a type of craving. Hunger is a type of craving for food, thirst is a type of craving for drink, lust is a type of craving for sex.

 

Now these various forms of craving can have different levels of intensity of course. There can be mild hunger where a snack would be nice but not necessary, whereas there can be unbridled hunger where someone might murder in order to get something to eat. 

 

The same could be said for lust. In its mild form someone might think someone attractive is "cute" whereas lust of the intense passionate variety can be quite intense and led to the point where it is "unbridled". 

 

I think we have been missing each other in the terms.  

 

I got what you mean. But in my view, 'dabbling' in fantasies and infatuations, which is what you consider as mild forms of lust, is just not the same. Imo, there has to be a degree of wantonness and habitual indulgence attached to justify the term. 

 

Maybe the kind you want to talk about is the milder form, where it only pops up the odd time. 

What I'm referring to is actually more bothersome, rooted deeper, and is overall more detrimental to cultivation. 

 

If its not unbridled, then why even talk about it? 

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So far we´ve said that lust is base, unbridled, and rooted in the ego.  It´s all true.  Furthermore,  lusty urges often get in the way of spiritual aspirations. I think it´s important to think about lust and relate to it in a way that´s consonant with our values and supportive of our goals.  For this reason, I´d be cautious about the forgoing descriptors of lust -- even if they´re accurate. The downside to saying that lust is base and unbridled and egoic is that many of us have negative associations with those words: they´re indication of badness, if not outright evil.  This is a trap.  What we don´t want to do is build up a heavy negative charge around the topic of lust.  We don´t want to orient ourselves so that we´re spending a lot (or even a little) of our energy trying to get away from lust.  Why?  Because to do so would enslave us to the very thing we´re attempting to flee.  

Edited by liminal_luke
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31 minutes ago, C T said:

If its not unbridled, then why even talk about it? 

 

Desire is still desire regardless of degree.

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46 minutes ago, dwai said:

Lust is a direct result of the ego and its need to possess whatever it desires. I see that as the primary motive force behind lust -- though the trigger indeed is sexual desire. Similarly, all the possessive urges of the human-animal are based on the ego


This “need to possess” is the overly yang aspect of lust, lacking in it’s complimentary yin component imo..

 

You fellows (in the posts I’ve read - having only gotten so far before my fingers started itching to type), seem to be missing something deeper, “lust” is one of the powers of connection and creation.

 

And honestly this woman is just in a mood while contemplating the many ways women have been bridled and domesticated and taught to behave in order to avoid causing the arising of the “need to possess” variety of lust so many seem to focus on.

Edited by ilumairen
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