For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. – C.S. Lewis
Many of our desires are good. They’re good because they uncover in us the longing that leads to the very source of all such desires. The desire itself might be for a material object, say a digital camera. The question to ask though is, what’s it about a camera that really intrigues us? Is it a desire to know others in a deep way? Is it the need to appreciate beauty around us? Or is it to catalog precious memories that make life worthwhile? What’s even deeper than that?
By asking such questions we can understand better what will satisfy us deep inside. It won’t be the camera (‘they are not the thing itself’) it’ll be what the camera evokes inside us, it’ll also be the experiences that the camera enables in our lives and it’ll be the meaning that we discover.
What joy are you seeking in life? Is it the intermediate form or is it that which is deeper and truer?
Recommendation: Meditations (Penguin Classics)