Hopes vs. expectations


I have been wary of telling this, because the thing hinges on an abstraction that not everyone may be in a position to grasp.  But in recent weeks, it’s been really prominent to me.  And one can tell from recent posts that I don’t much care for abstractions.

A hope is the mere desire for this, that or the other.  Or, it doesn’t necessarily need to have an object:  it can be sheer desire, that feeling all by itself.  An expectation, on the other hand, is the specific desire for a specific future situation, such that my happiness comes to depend on that outcome.

If it doesn’t happen, I’ll feel bad.  I’ll be frustrated or disappointed.

The goal, then, becomes to have hopes but not expectations.  Hopes without expectations.

Related:  “I will not be disappointed.

Disappointment, or fear of disappointment, is a big deal, at least for me.  The desire to avoid it is why the desire for certainty and the fear of uncertainty are such strong human motivations.  I have supposed the story of Adam and Eve (the “Fall”) was meant to explain how disappointment first came into human experience.

Even without expectations, I suppose events of disappointment are inevitable in life — meaning they are merely to be accepted.  The associated sorrow, anger, grief are merely to be accepted also.

There are a number of common thoughts about these things that I regard as thoroughly mistaken.  Some come up in the Bible.  For years, I supposed that disappointment meant I had deviated from God’s will, God’s plan.  But I now regard God’s will as merely natural law, nor more, nor less; and God’s only “plan” as that sentient beings act as they choose — and face the results of their actions.  That’s called karma.

Romans 5:5 is nonsense.

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