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


Oct 15

Olio Seminar | Kafka will Ruin Your Life and Make You Laugh About it

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Strong Rope Brewery

Sign Up - $60

Oct 21

Attraction or Fetish? Exploring Racial Trends in Dating

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Oct 22

The Fear of Leisure

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Oct 23

Eros: The Geometry of Desire

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Moon Rise Studio

Sign Up - $15

Oct 27

Olio Breakfast Club | Frankenstein: Who is the Monster?

Taught by Patricia Kim
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Oct 30

Olio Workshop | Modern Anxiety and Ancient Healing Arts

Taught by Darryl Aiken-Afam
7:30 p.m. at St John's Episcopal Church

Sign Up - $125

Nov 4

Olio Fiction Workshop | Challenging the Received Boundaries of Genre

Taught by Kat Rejsek
7 p.m. at Little Roy // Flatbush

Sign Up - $175

Nov 15

Do You Have Kids? The Politics of Motherhood

Taught by Ifeoma Ike
7:30 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $15

Nov 22

Anti-Education

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!