Every creature experiences sensations and then reactions. When there are a variety of contrasting perceptions, then there will eventually be an experience of preferences.
However, the idea of eliminating preferences can arise. When someone says that they want to eliminate preferences, that is a momentary statement. In other words, the announcement is also a passing reaction to a temporary sensation.
Why would someone make a statement like “I really wish that I had no preferences?” They are saying something very ironic actually: “I would prefer not to prefer anything!”
That sentiment can be a sincere, hysterical hypocrisy. It can arise with a sense of internal conflict or disruption. There may be a deep shame or despair. There may be an awareness of naivete and a terror about being naive and confused and unsafe.
The simple reality is that there is a category in language called “preferences.” When there is a terrified shame about disappointed preferences, the behavior can arise of announcing socially that “I wish that I did not have any wishes. I would prefer not to have desires. I desire to no longer have preferences or interests.”
However, interests still exist. Sometimes an interest gets fulfilled and sometimes one’s interests are unfulfilled as of a particular moment.
Why would it be so important to someone to avoid having interests (or to hide them from other people)? Why would it be important to announce that their main interest is to not have any interests (or their main focus is to not have a focus)?
Are they actually attempting to bring about an internal calming? Are they being socially dismissive and aloof? Are they creating a cushion for themselves to slow down and allow past repressions to relax, to allow suppressed disappointment and discontent to surface? Are they promoting privacy and seclusion?
“I just wish that I would never be disappointed in the future! I wish that I had never been disappointed in the past either! I just wish that all my wishes were already fulfilled! I am scared that people might think that I would ever experience preferences and fear and disappointment and frustration.”
What is a preference? It implies an attention to two contrasting possibilities with a repulsion toward one and an attraction toward the other.
What is frightening about that? That itself is not frightening at all. However, people prefer not to feel endangered. People prefer not to feel frightened.
So, sometimes a creature may get so frightened that it basically “freezes.” It holds it’s tongue rather than speak. It holds back and holds off and holds up.
What does it hold up? It may hold up a diversion.
In fact, a creature may also fake that it is not afraid. It may publicize diversions like “Oh no, I am not afraid. Actually, I am only wondering about that issue because I recently read an article about it, but it is certainly of no real interest to me at all. But clearly it is very interesting to you. Why are you so interested in it? Did you see the article about it recently, too?”
People may prefer to shut down their displays of fear or even present pretenses of calm. In other words, they may practice some of the behaviors that go with being relaxed. It may be very hesitant and cautious, but they may begin to explore relaxation and calm and even a sense of humor.
“People should not have preferences about how people should not be! That would be ironic and irony is impossible and also very threatening and therefore does not exist.”
What else can be challenging? The experience of fear can be challenging, but what about the fear of experiencing attraction or desire?
“Oh no, I am beyond such immature and unspiritual experiences. Certain kinds of desire can be perceived as threatening by certain powerful political interests, so therefore I cannot have those dangerous desires in particular because I do not even have any desires in general. I am innocent! I am safe!”
Is it safe to be frozen? Maybe it is and maybe it is not.
Is it safe to pretend to be frozen? Maybe it is and maybe it is not.
“Yeah, but… I prefer safety right now! Therefore, I demand comforting reassurances without regard to their accuracy! I want you to tell me the truth… at least long as fits my preferences, but again I don’t mind if the truth that you tell me is not exactly precise or really even at all logical. ”
If someone is strongly attracted to perceived safety, then that could imply a present experience of fear. However, if someone is focused on completely denying the existence of fear (out of terror), then wouldn’t that totally distract them from ever making any reasonable assessments of risk or safety?
They would be paralyzed. They would be numb. They would be frozen. They would be holding themselves back.
They would hold back their preferences. They would hold back their interests. They would hold back their emotions. They would hold back their observations.
They would hold back themselves. They would be withdrawn. They would be remote. They would be reserved, repressed and highly cautious.
However, they would have an immense (and perhaps unconscious) desire to experience relief. They could be “unexplainably” attracted to something or someone.
Or, perhaps the explanation is very simple but they are just hiding themselves from perceiving it. Maybe they recognize what is actually safe and so they construct a fantasy of an exaggerated danger in order to justify socially their instinctual interest.
Maybe they vilify a devil. Maybe they demonize an enemy. Maybe they identify an apocalyptic threat to prevent or defeat.
Or, maybe they just experience the attraction. If they announce a social explanation to anyone or not, that is an entirely distinct issue.