A Psalm for Nurturing Desires: The Shaping of Desires in Psalm 63
Simon Chi Chung CHEUNG

Desires are essential to human nature. There is a longstanding tradition arguing that the formation of character cannot do without the shaping of a person’s desires. Xunzi, a classic Chinese philosopher, refers to the moulding of desires as "nurturing" (yang). This paper aims at reading Psalm 63 anew, exploring how it depicts and nurtures desires. Each stanza of the psalm, as argued here, is demarcated by desire-related themes at its two ends. Spatial movements in the psalm, contrary to previous suggestions, are not indicative of the psalm’s life setting. They rather represent the psalmist’s quest for God in whom the psalmist’s desires can find full satisfaction. The pervasive use of the trope of food in this psalm is another means of nurturing desires, by showing how the psalmist desires what is right despite his physical and emotional yearnings. Finally, it will be shown that, according to the psalm, displaying the right moral qualities is a necessary concomitant of having the right desire