Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, with Luke Burgis
What do you want? We get asked a question like that often: when you order at a restaurant, when generating a Christmas list, when at a crossroads in a dating relationship. But of course, there are differing levels of seriousness to that question: sometimes it is what do you prefer or what strikes your fancy, and sometimes it is what do you really want. In other words, what do you desire?
It is hard to think of a more piercing or demanding question than that: what do you desire? What do you really want? But then again, there is another question that goes right along with that one that most of us don’t confront even if we do take seriously the question of what we want. That other question is how do we want… how do we desire.
And it is precisely that hidden question of “how do you desire” right alongside the slightly more evident question of “what do you want” that my guest on today’s show takes utterly seriously, and helps us to take seriously, too.
Luke Burgis teaches business at the Catholic University of America, where he is also Entrepreneur-in-Residence. An entrepreneur himself, he has co-created and founded four companies in wellness, consumer products, and technology. Now he is managing partner of Fourth Wall Ventures, an incubator that he started to build, train, and invest in people and companies that contribute to a healthy human ecology. On the basis of his extensive experience along with his equally extensive classical training, research, and spiritual formation, Luke has authored a book filled with stories of woe and transformation, analysis of the mysterious workings of desire, and proposals for beginning to lead a healthier, more creative, truly human life. His book is Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life. You can find an excerpt of the book in the Church Life Journal in an article titled, “The Joy of Hate Watching.”