Luke Burgis Quotes

Who is Luke Burgis?

Luke Burgis is Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Director of Programs at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Burgis wrote the books 'Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life' and 'Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person'.

Born November 20, 1981

Books by Luke Burgis

Best 15 Quotes by Luke Burgis

“It’s easy to be an armchair contrarian. It’s hard to take contrarian action: to question the dominant narrative, to be honest with yourself, to tell the truth even when the immediate outcome is pain.”

“Rivalry is a function of proximity.”

Unrepeatable Quotes

“Each person has a unique and unrepeatable vocation. If it is not discovered, embraced, and lived, it is lost to the world forever.”


“The life of each person can’t be understood in a snapshot, a resume, or a social media profile. We have to enter fully into the stories of each individual if we hope to know and love them as God does. He is the Author of every human life. And God is an author worth reading.”


Wanting Quotes

“An unbelieved truth is often more dangerous than a lie. The lie in this case is the idea that I want things entirely on my own, uninfluenced by others, that I’m the sovereign king of deciding what is wantable and what is not. The truth is that my desires are derivative, mediated by others, and that I’m part of an ecology of desire that is bigger than I can fully understand. By embracing the lie of my independent desires, I deceive only myself. But by rejecting the truth, I deny the consequences that my desires have for other people and theirs for me.”


“Desire doesn’t spread like information; it spreads like energy. It passes from person to person like the energy between people at a concert or political rally. This energy can lead to a cycle of positive desire, in which healthy desires gain momentum and lead to other healthy desires, uniting people in positive ways; or it can become a cycle of negative desire, in which mimetic rivalries lead to conflict and discord.”


“Desires are discerned, not decided. Discernment exists in the liminal space between what’s now and what’s next. Transcendent leaders create that space in their own lives, and in the lives of the people around them.”


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“Girard discovered that most of what we desire is mimetic or imitative, not intrinsic. Humans learn — through imitation — to want the same things other people want, just as they learn how to speak the same language and play by the same cultural rules. Imitation plays a far more pervasive role in our society than anyone had ever openly acknowledged.”


“Italians have a way of saying 'I love you' that is particularly instructive: Ti voglio bene, they say. It means 'I want your good' — I want what’s best for you.”


“It’s not enough to know what is good and true. Goodness and truth need to be attractive — in other words, desirable.”


“People don’t fight because they want different things; they fight because mimetic desire causes them to want the same things.”


“People worry about what other people will think before they say something — which affects what they say. In other words, our perception of reality changes reality by altering the way we might otherwise act. This leads to a self-fulfilling circularity.”


“The more people fight, the more they come to resemble each other. We should choose our enemies wisely, because we become like them.”


“The pride that makes a person believe they are unaffected by or inoculated against biases, weaknesses, or mimesis blinds them to their complicity in the game.”


Products by Luke Burgis

“We’re more threatened by people who want the same things as us than by those who don’t.”


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