Luke Burgis is an entrepreneur by experience who worked on Wall Street for a short time before moving to California to jump into the startup world in Silicon Valley. He established four companies and experienced many successes and failures while in California. From the outside, Burgis appeared to have everything. However, he felt he was on a never-ending journey to find “something” while not really understanding what that something was.
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As a successful entrepreneur, Burgis struggled with wanting one thing one day and wanting something else the next day. Dealing with conflicting wants on an ongoing basis led to Burgis stepping back to revaluate his life. As an avid reader, he studied various theories of want and the self and found a connection with René Girard’s ideas on the concept of mimetic desires and what drives them.
His research led him to spending three years in Italy in the quest to identify the driving forces of his life. As a student of psychology, classical philosophy, and theology, he learned to create distance to examine his true desires and distinguish the origins of his aspirations. Burgis learned how to identify various systems of desire and realized that people move in and out of those systems as their life changes over time. He wrote a book, Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life that explores why we want what we want.
This profound book shows readers how mimetic desire is present in their relationships. One of the chapters focuses on the rise of scapegoating and resulting violence that demonstrates how understanding the power of mimetic desire psychology can keep us from becoming involved in the negative behaviours of blaming others.
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Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C