Have you ever felt like doing something in a specific moment that would be utterly insane and ridiculous to everyone around you? This feeling comes and goes in my life. It creeps up from the depths of my unconscious, threatening to break free into my civilized day-to-day life. For example, earlier today I was having a normal conversation with a friend at the dinner table. Out of nowhere I felt this undeniable urge to pick up the cup in front of me and throw it at the wall. I don’t know where this urge came from and why I felt the desire to do this. Yet, the temptation to be uninhibited and “ridiculous” in that otherwise average moment is so inviting. Freud insisted that we had all of these thoughts, beliefs and desires repressed in our unconscious wanting to make themselves known in our lives. I’ve always found this theory fascinating because it implies that there’s more to all of us as individuals than we fully understand. We’re like incomplete puzzles, completely unaware of where our missing pieces are and what the finished image would look like.
Sometimes, these random bursts of temptation to do something completely out of the ordinary make me feel alive, almost primitive in a way. If you think about it, humans have found ways to fill this void by doing things that don’t quite make sense but that feed the temptation. Such things like skydiving, bungee jumping, reality altering drugs, etc., mimic that feeling of losing control. Why else would we do these things if not to feel completely uninhibited and why does that make us feel so good? I also find it interesting that for me, personally, moments of temptation come mostly when I’m in formal settings, social settings or in situations where I want to conduct myself well. It’s almost like part of me unconsciously strives to “misbehave” or desires to stop following any kind of guideline or social rule.
I’ve been in countless situations around big groups of people where I imagine myself screaming “FUCK!” at the top of my lungs. I visualize what would happen if I did it and how the people around me would react. Other times, in business settings, I’ve wondered what would happen if I started taking my clothes off, mainly because of how absurd it would be in that moment. I realize all of this might make me sound insane. I honestly thought there was something wrong with me until I asked my friends if these thoughts ever crossed their minds. To my surprise, most of them laughed when I asked and shared the temptations they’ve encountered in their own lives. One of my friends shared her desire to jump when on the ledge of a tall building or bridge. She insisted that it wasn’t a suicidal temptation but something that came from wanting to feel weightless, like flying. Research I’ve done also shows that I’m not alone in having these “absurd” temptations. All of this makes me want to look more into the subject of unconscious temptation. The human psych fascinates me, especially the areas we don’t know much about or fully understand.