From Carlyle's "Characteristics," 1837--
"For men, in whom the old perennial principle of Hunger (be it Hunger of the poor Day-drudge who stills it with eighteenpence a-day, or of the ambitious Placehunter who can nowise still it with so little) suffices to fill-up existence, the case is bad; but not the worst. These men have an aim, such as it is; and can steer towards it, with chagrin enough truly; yet, as their hands are kept full, without desperation. Unhappier are they to whom a higher instinct has been given; who struggle to be persons, not machines; to whom the Universe is not a warehouse, or at best a fancy-bazaar, but a mystic temple and hall of doom."
Carlyle puts forth that people who are "hungry" -- that want something -- are happier and feel less desperate than people who do not.
Hunger at a low level would mean seeing the world as a warehouse. You work, you move stuff around, and in turn you get food and clothing. Because "their hands are kept full" they don't feel desperation.
People who have their base needs met, but feel unsatisfied and want to keep climbing in the world -- they too have their hands kept full. For them, the world is less a warehouse, and more a bazaar -- a place for shopping. Again, gain currency and exchange it for luxuries and symbols of status and gain, and desperation is warded off.
But what of people with a philosophical disposition, those "to whom a higher instinct has been given"? Those who "struggle to be persons, not machines"? Well, it's a harder lot for them... without hands kept full of chasing around commodities and luxuries, you're left to contemplate on the universe and philosophy. The world, then, isn't a simple warehouse or bazaar, but "a mystic temple and hall of doom."
Truly, I've been happiest when I was hungry and striving for particular things. Is that universal, that pure contemplation and philosophy seems to lead less to happiness for most contemplators and philosophers than to a sense of desperation? And the easiest way to ward it off would be to get busy wanting things and going and getting them?
And yet, there's so much good in philosophy. Perhaps the answer is to contemplate with purpose, with gain... to look at the broad strokes of the universe sideways. To contemplate, not for contemplating's sake, but for change, expansion, and gain. To contemplate, and do philosophy -- and stay hungry at the same time.
The body is called a temple? It's said sometimes, but it's not correct for everyone.
For whatever reason, children with highly developed analytical and intellectual skills in the West usually don't gravitate towards more physical, strenuous, and intense activities. There's exceptions -- plenty -- but generally speaking, people who have extreme analytical mental ability tend to neglect their physical ability.
But then the body, a supposed temple, becomes a prison for the mind, dragging its possessor down into low energy, poor moods, and various aches and ailments and pains.
No, the body isn't a temple. The real temple is a place you like to engage in activities to be active and move and have your blood move and activate your muscles and get into motion.
And to succeed at that, especially if you're very analytical, you need to get your mind involved. Whether that be a competitive sport, or a set of exercises that you work towards constant form, or whether it's a game of increasing strength of flexibility or performance... regardless of the particular details, engaging the mind and body together becomes crucial for keeping your mind free and alive.
Read about my challenge here.
Super hungry this morning. I ended up eating raw broccoli, but that didn’t work, so I had an unflavored plant protein shake and that helped. Very tempted to eat fruit or drink Eva’s coffee with creamer.
We were out for a few hours doing errands and I didn’t plan my eating well, so I was super hungry when we got home. I had another unflavored protein shake, then some seitan. Not exciting, but it definitely fulfilled the hunger.
Later I got really hungry, so I ate more seitan, then potatoes, then flaxseed oil. Finally, I ate a carrot, and that did the trick.
This was one of my hardest days, because of the hunger. I think I have to give in to the hunger and eat one of my boring foods (or maybe a carrot) or this challenge will be too difficult for me.