What is desire?

Desire is controversial.

Some traditions see it as evil. Others as a path towards truth.

But words are important and we should enquire what we mean when we say “desire”.

The word “desire” comes from latin “de siderare” that means “away from the stars”, “to take the eyes away from the stars (“de” is a prefix that has a meaning of cessation)


Because in the past before taking an important decision, people would ask the stars, and read them to find answers and reference points to navigate in the great unknown.

For example, if a king wanted to start a journey to explore faraway lands, he would read the stars.

If the stars told him to go ahead, he would “cum siderare” (consider it), act according to (“cum” – with) the stars.

If instead the stars told him to stop and stay at home, and he would leave regardless, he would “de siderare”, act regardless of the stars.

So the opposite of desire is consideration.

Consideration is seeing things as they are, according to their destiny.

Desire is going into the unknown, move away from the path, acting without any reference point.

Desire is imagining what is not yet present, it is the root of the creation of something that never existed before.

The meaning of desire is very far from lust.

Lust is the attachment to pleasure. The illusion that a “thing” will give us peace and completeness. In a never ending circle of experiences.

Latin and neo latin languages give us an interesting way to express it. 

In another post I talked about “conversion”.

The term conversion comes from latin “cum vertere” to go back to oneself.

The opposite of conversion is “de vertere” that means to go away from oneself (again the prefix “de”).

Today in neolatin language “de vertere” it means to have fun (“divertire” in italian, “divertirse” in spanish…).

On the opposite, to desire means to act according to what is true to our Heart, to be courageous.

To move away from the path of destiny.

Destiny comes from latin “de stinare”, that means to stop, to fix, to set.

Destiny is everything that is still, that is set.

But life is like a never ending river, it hardly bears the banks.

And when an obstacle tries to stop the flow, the stream increases its strength.

After all, life is desire. 

*The photo was shot by Umberto Del Noce. All rights reserved.

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