Two Great Tragedies

Would you rather be always hungry or always full?

It sounds so obvious that you would want to be always full.

Would you rather never be hungry or never be full?

Again, it seems that not being hungry would be better at first glance.

When you’re hungry, it hurts. Your stomach hurts. Your body hurts. It is craving food and it feels like it is caving in on itself. It literally is. When there is no food to digest it starts taking nutrients from wherever it can to keep itself going. You want food. You need food. And when you get it, it feels so nice. Hunger is the best sauce. Any meal that you eat after a couple days of starvation is better than any dinner you can eat at a five-star restaurant after already having a full breakfast and lunch. And even then, if you had a five-star meal in front of you and you did not have the appetite for it, it would not mean anything. When you are full, you feel like you never want to eat again. Then of course time leads to digestion and you are hungry once more.

Oscar Wilde wrote that there were ‘two tragedies in life; the first is not getting what you want, the second is getting it.’ There are plenty of sayings that people say these days about such a sentiment. “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” There is something about the pursuit of some desire that is inherently fulfilling. When a difficult goal is achieved, there is a moment of ecstasy, but it is often only a moment. Victory has been achieved, but then there comes complacency and boredom. Once a goal has been accomplished, there is nothing else to do with it. There is nothing left to do except to move onto the next goal.

But what if you have no desire to move onto another goal? Perhaps that last goal was the last thing that you could think of. You do not want anything else. You do not hunger for anything more. What then? Nothing. Existence without purpose. You are what you eat, and if you do not have the appetite to eat anything, then you are nothing. There are plenty of people who go through life not wanting much, but they do want some things and they do want life. One who wants nothing, hungers for nothing, what do they become?

I believe that it would be better to never be full. To always hunger for more. This does however have the problem of satisfaction. Eating more and more and more with no end, you would have to consume everything and eventually you yourself would certainly be consumed. Also there is the problem of waste. Would one who is always eating not also always be excreting? I am sure there is a twisted image of a certain type of an ouroboros in there. Though the ouroboros is a symbol of infinity. Indeed, these cycle of constant hunger and consumption in many ways is much like the nature of life the universe. Being hungry is existence, not hungering is not existing.

Though there certainly is an appeal to not being hungry, to not being a part of nature, perhaps to existing outside of the universe or existing only as a spectator. Whatever such an existence is, it is certainly not human.


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