Desire - To Follow Your Star
The English word desire means: “To want something very strongly; to long for; to crave,” and it comes from the Latin phrase de sidere, “from the stars.” Sideris is a “heavenly body, star, constellation.” Desire is from the heavens, and to follow your desire is to follow your star.
We all have a dozen or more desire-stars to follow, our own constellation. These include: friendship, exercise, food, sex, play and power. Desires often come as a sequence – we want to eat good food, in a great place, while feeling love and laughing with our friends. It takes skill to line up a day so that even some of our desires can be fulfilled. When we apply ourselves to this skill, we are practicing a Yoga of desire, kamayoga, (kama = desire), and flowing through kamakrama (krama = ordered sequences).
This show is amazing:
especially ACT ONE. LIFE AT ZERO.
a guy who lost all his testosterone. With no desire for anything, he entered a state like a monk.
Originally aired 08.30.2002
Stories of people getting more testosterone and coming to regret it. And of people losing it and coming to appreciate life without it. The pros and cons of the hormone of desire.
- HEARD IT
This American Life producer Alex Blumberg explains that he wanted to do this show because of his conflicted relationship with his own testosterone. He tells host Ira Glass that the reasons go back to a girl in his eighth-grade homeroom and the 1970s seminal feminist novel The Women's Room. We also hear from a man who stopped producing testosterone due to a medical treatment and found that his entire personality was altered. (9 minutes)
ACT ONE. LIFE AT ZERO.
The interview with a man who lost his testosterone continues. He explains that life without testosterone is life without desire—desire for everything: food, conversation, even TV. And he says life without desire is unexpectedly pleasant. The man first wrote about his experiences, anonymously, in GQ Magazine. (8 minutes)
ACT TWO. INFINITE GENT.
An interview with Griffin Hansbury, who started life as a woman, but began taking massive testosterone injections seven years ago, and now lives as a man. He explains how testosterone changed his views on nature vs. nurture for good. (17 minutes)
Song: "To Sir With Love", Lulu
ACT THREE. CONTEST-OSTERONE.
The men and women on staff at This American Life decide to get their testosterone levels tested, to see who has the most and least, and to see if personality traits actually do match up with hormone levels. It turns out to be an exercise that in retrospect, we might not recommend to other close-knit groups of friends or co-workers. (12 minutes)
Song: "What Kind of Man Are You", Ray Charles
ACT FOUR. LEARNING TO SHUT UP.
Novelist Miriam Toews, author of The X Letters (which appeared in an earlier episode of the show), tells the story of a recent road trip she took with her fifteen-year-old son. (11 minutes)
SELECTED CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Blumberg
PHOTO: Thor Bjorklund