On Sustenance, Craving, and the Human Hunger for The Next Big Thing
One of the hidden blessings of chronic illness has been the dissolving of more, better, best. The body instead resolves to teach our minds that it’s ok to be bored, it’s ok to feel less than super, it’s ok to rest and appreciate the little things. Because sometimes (often) that’s all we have.
Thank you. What a generous and steady gaze at what happened, and what we all suffer from, in ways large and small. A lot to think about.
I'm also in recovery and absolutely identify with the craving for more and hedonic adaptation. But there's another lens through which to see this that I also find interesting.
In his book, "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," Christopher Hedges referneced Freud's idea that we're all comprised of two forces: Eros, or creation, and Thanatos, or destruction. Hedges said that a journey with either of these forces feels the same at the beginning. It's only when we're far along our journey with Thanatos that we my realize we weren't propelled by an act of creation or love at all. Instead, we were chasing our own death.
The first drink for many alcoholics feels like Eros. I'll be that the excitement of the journey to the limits of human engineering, down into the depths, like explorers in an inaccessible world felt like Eros to those unfortunates who died there. They may not have known that it was the promixmity to death that drew them to those depths. Maybe Thanatos wore his usual disguise. Or maybe they knew they were flirting with the god of death and enjoyed the gamble?
This was so lovely in the thought provoking it caused for me. Where do I want "more?" When is wanting "more" a good, expansive thing? Things to ponder today, Thank you.
Absolutely. So well articulated. I know I definitely STILL suffer from the disease of more, even sober 16 years. At least I am aware of it. But I'm grateful to you for relating it to our global DIS-ease. Thank you.
Again, Elissa says it very well, in a way that builds, hopes, dreams for better without flinching at who we are right now.
Thank you for this post, it indeed raises a profound question about our human nature.
From the Ancient Greeks’ hubris, to the Christian virtu of temperance, a lot to think about.
I also wondered what was the motivation of these super-rich people? Was it the need to do something extraordinary so that you feel extraordinary yourself? That would point towards the Ego idea (I like Eckhart Tollé’s writing on this one). Is it the need for the adrenaline kick? More of an addiction in that respect.
I see it like a gap between ourselves and the external world: we never seem to fit, to be content and adapted to our environment like animals do.
The scale of unmet needs is endless and our world, our societies, our economy create even more. So many people don’t have the bare minimum, suffer from hunger and homelessness. A few have so much and they are still in need for more.
Lots to think about
Thanks again for your post!
The “more” button stuck in a pushed down position is a dangerous thing, personally and culturally. It creates an isolation as you so well describe. And also a kind of masochistic self hatred. How else to explain the uber rich content to sit on the floor of a can as it careens towards the endless depths? As if that’s were another price to pay for the real life experience they craved.
As always, grateful for your words of wisdom.
Excellent. It's so hard to resign from the race.
Excellent. I appreciate this fresh perspective. Very thought-provoking.
You eloquently put into words what I was feeling. Something about this adventure seemed off. Years ago all of the hype of the Challenger made me uncomfortable. There's no need to condemn exploration into the unknown, and to further our voyage into new territories. However all this takes discipline, care, time, research, money-lots of it, constant testing, all the stuff that is the antithesis of rabid hype to the public or as you put it trying to satisfy the hunger for bigger, better, more fulfilling. I hope this makes sense.
What a wonderful, thought provoking piece. Thank you for sharing.
Always wonderful to read you Elissa.
Excellent read. I really enjoy your posts. I remember Joe Eula designed Liza Minnelli’s album covers
Going to share your post