It would probably be worthwhile to untangle the question a little:
Two qualities of hope are being referred to. One is hope for tangible or realizable things, things that can be achieved in practice. Here, it is said, hope is necessary. This can be questioned but this is what is being proposed, that hope is necessary in practical affairs.
Secondly, it is being said (and no disagreement has been expressed with this so far as I can see) that hope for self-improvement, hope for freedom from the burden of the known, hope for that which is impossible to attain through effort, all that kind of hope, which Patricia neatly sums up as ‘becoming,’ simply adds one more burden to that which is already being carried.
As there is agreement on the second contention, that ‘becoming’ and the hope that feeds it is without worth, let us look at the first contention, that hope in practical affairs is necessary and therefore of worth. But to do that we should look at the mechanism of hope. What is its function in practical affairs? What does it serve?
I recently entered a novel I have written to a competition. I hoped it would reach the long list. Unfortunately it did not. But was my hope necessary? It certainly did not change the outcome. ‘Hoping’ did not influence the selection. But the hope was there at the beginning. There exists a phrase, “Blind hope.” My hope was not blind however. I had worked hard on my novel and estimated that it was good enough to stand a chance. A calculation was involved but the outcome was uncertain.
But this is the same with most things. When you plant a seed you make a calculation. You do the work. Hope, in this blunted form, is part of that. If you did not hope you would not plant. Whenever the outcome of an effort is uncertain, hope is involved to some extent.
There is both uncertainty in outcome and anxiety about that uncertainty. This is natural. What seems unnecessary however is the belief that hope can move things, change the outcome etc. And I certainly note that impulse occurring in me. The belief in the magical qualities of hope (and belief) serves to dampen down anxiety arising from uncertain outcomes. Hope serves to still the mind. It is an analgesic, similar to religion. And the price one pays for it is the loss of clarity.
Magical hope extends in all fields and in all directions, including becoming. I ‘hope’ I will be better in the future is not far different that hoping to win the lottery. All the energy put into magical hope (including ‘positive thinking,’ prayer, supplication and ‘asking the universe’) simply super-activated desire and leads to its twin, disappointment.