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Letting Wants Come Alive

It often makes sense to be sort of dead and numbed.

For instance, imagine being a vegan with a circle of friends who are not vegan. Your friends like to go out on Friday night and get food and see a movie, and they tend to choose restaurants where the vegan options are lettuce-covered lettuce with a side of lettuce.

Assuming that you have already decided that these friends are worth hanging out with (i.e. you're not going to abandon the group over this issue), there is a way in which it is a bad idea to open up the restaurant menu with something like hope and expectation, only to reliably have those hopes dashed. It's strategically wiser to just eat your own food, at home, and think of the social outing as purely a social outing, rather than to set yourself up for disappointment.

However, there are many situations in which a sort of alive-and-active wanting is a prerequisite for anything good happening. In those situations, it's important to be able to notice something like "ah, yes, my wanting has been self-protectively anesthetized because I had an implicit sense that it was quite risky to expose myself to a high chance of disappointment." It's important to be able to notice it, such that you can then (perhaps) decide to override the standard operating procedure, and make the risky move, and let yourself wake up and want things.