Desire

Jericho - Barnett Newman

Rousseau, La Nouvelle Eloïse.

 "Woe to him who has nothing left to desire! He loses, as it were, all he possesses. One enjoys less what one obtains than what one hopes for, and one is happy only before happiness is achieved. Indeed man, greedy and circumscribed, destined to crave everything and obtain little, has received from Heaven a consoling strength that brings everything he desires closer, submits it to his imagination, makes it seem present and palpable, delivers it to him, so to speak, and in order to make this imaginary property more delightful to him, modifies it as his passion dictates. But this whole spell disappears in the face of the object itself; nothing any longer embellishes this object in the eyes of its possessor; one does not fantasize what one beholds; imagination no longer adorns anything one owns."


"Desire" comes from Latin “desiderium”, which refers to a nostalgia, or a lack of a constellation of stars. We often desire what is beyond our reach - but also beyond our needs.


If we are lucky enough to have the means to do so, we can get what we desire to fulfill it - but we could also change our desires.  Why do we desire things that are out of reach, if we can fit our desires to what we have?  Why do we have desires that make us unhappy?  And what can we do about it?  

In this Olio, we'll explore various schools of thought, from the Stoics' condemnation of desire to Spinoza's definition of desire as the very essence of men. Why do I want what I want? Is it really because I derive pleasure from it?  I desire what I don't have, so desire is a painful feeling of lacking, missing, longing in that sense. But could I be happy if I didn’t have any desire to do, be, have anything?




Location: Berg'n

899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Hip, late-night beer hall featuring microbrews & food vendors in a spacious, industrial-chic venue. Classes will be held in the private room.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Jun 19

The (Un)Enlightenment and What it Means to be Modern

Taught by Lev Moscow
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jun 20

Believing is Seeing

Taught by Briana Toole
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $15

Jun 22

OlioHouse | Breaking Bread: An Olio Salon Dinner

Taught by Brian Lewis
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jun 23

Female Power and Desire in Shakespeare after #MeToo

Taught by Christina Katopodis
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Jun 25

The Artist in an Alternative World

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Jun 25

OlioTour | Federal Hall & African Burial Ground

Taught by Jamie Warren
6 p.m. at Federal Hall

Sign Up - $0

Jun 26

Jun 27

The Long History of Selfie Culture

Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Jun 29

OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism Weekend

Taught by Skye Cleary
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jul 7

Museum Trip | 'The 80s Show' Private Tour

Taught by Charles Riley
2 p.m. at Nassau County Museum of Art

Sign Up - $20

Jul 13

OlioHouse | Considering The Tyranny of Choice

Taught by Michael Haltenberger
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jul 25

Frida's Fragrance: Art, Scent, & Persona

Taught by Jessica Murphy
7:30 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $20

Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $


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