There’s a quote in “Terminator 3: rise of the machines” (2003) that I’m really fond of. It goes like this:
Terminator: “Desire is irrelevant. I am a machine.”
Why do I like it?
A first observation would be that the quote can be considered a given fact – of course the Terminator is a machine without any desires. What is so great about this? Well, if I say the quote, if I consider myself to be the machine that the Terminator really is, then a paradox occurs.
Now it’s quite obvious that I am not a machine, that I have desires, and, thus it is very intriguing – why would I say such a thing?
Well, the paradox can be solved – in the original version the quote says a scientific fact – the Terminator is a machine. In my version, the quote is only a wish. It’s something like: “I wish so much to have no desires. I wish so much to be like a machine. I actually want this to happen so much, that I can even state that right now I am in that state, only to motivate myself further.”
I feel like, once again, I have to explain myself – why the need to be a machine and have no desires? The life can be seen as a computer program, with patterns – I have some parameters in which I wish to function (a physical health, a fitness state for the body and a set of values & principles and a state of mind for the body & soul). On the other hand, as a human being, I tend to fail what I wish for (I tend to do things which are bad for my health, don’t help me get fit, don’t follow my values & principle, don’t always am in the state of mind I wish to. I tend to do things in spite of what I actually, deep inside, want. I tend to go with the flow, and ignore the reality.
And here comes the great part: if I apply the Terminator’s quote, I can actually feel that I can live a life which follows all my values, principles and doesn’t follow what I really wish for. So this is the desired state – don’t follow the desires, and be a machine that follows its set of principles and values.
In other words, I wish to live according to my principles, not my desires.
The quote is an ultimate desire, said nicely by an actor interpreting a machine.
I end the blog post like a Terminator: “Desire is irrelevant. I am a machine.”
P.S.: A similar article in Romanian:
- Citatul meu favorit din toate timpurile: “Terminatorul: Dorința este irelevantă. Eu sunt o mașină!”.
Later edit: and a follow-up: