Cultivating Desire by Frederic Lenoir Recognizing what brings joy

“Cultivating Desire” by Frédéric Lenoir: Recognizing what brings joy

From philosophy to the neurosciences, via psychology, sociology and economics – the philosopher and bestselling author Frédéric Lenoir reviews all forms of desire in his new book. cultivate desire. With this work for the general public, he invites everyone to live to the fullest… and as he writes, to live to the fullest. A key to getting there: knowing what brings joy.

Desire is the engine of our existence. And the desire to live doesn’t just mean being alive, being functional on a daily basis. It means embracing that crucial impulse that drives us to create, love and surpass ourselves.

However, many people prevent themselves from thriving on a daily basis and allow limiting thoughts to overwhelm them.

But how do you cultivate the power of desire without falling into the trap of permanent dissatisfaction or social imitation – doing the same as others? How to avoid the consumption trap that pushes everyone to buy more and more things?

With intelligence and a great deal of clarity, Frédéric Lenoir invites his readers to focus their desires on things, activities and, above all, on people who make people grow and bring joy.

decrease in vitality

The writer, philosopher and sociologist, recently in Quebec, explains in an interview that he wanted to write this book because he felt that desire among the population in general was waning.

“The vitality decreases. Fear and insecurity took up so much space that I told myself that it was absolutely necessary to talk about the life impulse, about desire, about what drives our lives. Once we are afraid, we end up surviving instead of being in life. I felt that.”

“I wanted to write this book so that we can get out of this frightening climate, where we are afraid above all, where we no longer dare to go out, on the contrary, to live our lives to the fullest.”

The opportunity for change

He notes that the pandemic has created frustrations of all kinds and that we now face inflation and economic woes.

“I believe it can redirect our desires to deeper things, more into the realm of being, that cost next to nothing and bring us deep joy.”

This is an opportunity to break out of consumerism.

“Rather than buying a bigger car, why not learn to sing, I’ll read a book that will allow me to expand my knowledge of such and such, I’ll take the time to look at it’s nature or for ‘a better relationship to have to my loved ones…’

“All of these are desires that are within us but are somewhat stifled by the desires of consumer society. What we live can be an opportunity to transition into other types of desires.

change society

He notes that society is changing in the face of excessive consumption.

“It’s moving. There are a lot of young people today who don’t want that anymore. They leave the system, don’t want to make a lot of money anymore and then spend their lives paying off debts. They want to travel, make music, be in nature , cultivate a garden, spend time with their friends.

“They don’t necessarily want to make a lot of money and consume a lot, so they rideshare, they do roommates, they buy second-hand clothes, etc. And that to me is a sign of a slow societal shift, towards getting out more and more to feel good.

  • Frédéric Lenoir is a philosopher and sociologist.
  • He is the author of numerous books that have been translated into twenty languages ​​and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
  • He is co-founder of the UNESCO-recognized organization SEVE (Savoir Being and Living Together), whose Canada branch is based in Montreal.
  • For more information:
  • He has other book projects up his sleeve and is working on a television series project.


Frederic Lenoir

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