Anti-Satisfaction in Life

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Dissatisfaction and the desire to beautify our reality is what drives us as artists and creators:

Why do we get so easily bored or satiated?

The desire to create even more epic buildings [architecture] as a great testament to human willpower. Saigon, 2017
The desire to create even more epic buildings [architecture] as a great testament to human willpower. Saigon, 2017

A thought when walking back from the gym after hitting a new PR in my squats:

How can one live a life in which one is never bored, satiated, satisfied?

Some thoughts:


Google's epic and grand mission to make all the world's information open and accessible.
Google’s epic and grand mission to make all the world’s information open and accessible.

“I’m never satisfied, can’t knock my hustle.’ – Jay Z

I like the basic notions of Buddhism and Christianity of desiring ‘satisfaction’ in life, and being able to be satisfied with little. For the most part, most of philosophy is about frugality, simplicity, and deriving satisfaction from life.

But what if the opposite were true?

What if the great secret to life was to become MORE EXACTING, MORE DISSATISFIED, and MORE HUNGRY — for more?

Is hunger what drives us?

My desire to make even more epic photographs is what drives me as a photographer-artist. Google Office, 2019 #cindyproject
My desire to make even more epic photographs is what drives me as a photographer-artist. Google Office, 2019 #cindyproject

I can personally say, after eating all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ, I usually fall into ‘food coma’, and take a 1-2 hour nap. After eating all that food and satisfying my hunger, I go to sleep. I become dormant. I have no desire/need to do anything.

If we want to do more, act more, achieve more, and become more — perhaps we need to let ourselves go hungry.

But is hunger our ‘primum mobile’? (“first mover” in Latin)

Primum mobile

Hanoi, 2019 hoan kiem lake
Hanoi, 2019

What is the first thing [biologically] which truly motivates us to act or move? Is it just hunger?

Yes and no.

What is hunger? A desire for the body to consume nutrition in order to augment itself. For example if you lift heavy weights, your body signals hunger — and thus you end up eating a lot of meat and protein in order to build up your muscles bigger, so you become stronger.

So in this way, hunger is an aid [motivates us to eat more meat] in order to become stronger.

The desire to become stronger

Saigon, 2018
Saigon, 2018

My thought [echoing Nietzsche’s in his ‘Will to Power’]:

The human organism’s deepest desire is to become stronger.

Ideally, we desire to become master over all humans, and preferably — the entire earth (even Plato says this).

Mexico City, 2019
Mexico City, 2019 #abstract

Now this is the problem:

As children growing up, we are indoctrinated by our teachers, parents, religion, cultural norms, etc that selfishness is evil, you must ‘play nice’ with others, and everyone is special and gets a gold trophy.

But if you really think about it, every child is a mini-tyrant. The child wants the parents to be its slave. But we essentially train/’domesticate’/punish our children to OBEY US (the parents). We desire to train the child to become like us. We [as parents] don’t want to see our children become more powerful than us, and we certainly don’t want to become the slaves of our children.

My thought:

When I have a child, I want to train my child to [hopefully] become 100x more epic than me.

Does dissatisfaction drive us?

Hanoi, 2019 #streettogs hoan kiem
Hanoi, 2019 #streettogs

If we wanted 100% perfect satisfaction, what would be the difference between us and a cow?

Also if humans were easily satisfied, we would still be eating acorns in some cave somewhere.

I would prefer being a dissatisfied person with a Tesla self-driving car, Apple products, and RICOH cameras making cool shit, rather than twiddling my thumbs in a forest somewhere.

Dissatisfaction is what drives us as artists

I think our desire as artists is this:

A desire to give birth to beautiful artworks.

In a sense we as artists are like parents. We desire to give birth to children because we have pride in our DNA, our lineage, and we want to propagate our genes.

Artists sometimes get discouraged to NOT create artwork because they feel that their attempts and artworks aren’t “good enough” or pale in comparison to other great artists from the past. But this is silly. This is like a parent not wanting to create a child because all the other children who came before are somehow superior.

Let us channel our dissatisfaction and pain to CREATE!

The ultimate:

To become a creator, and to create much [become a prolific creator].

To create, we need dissatisfaction and the DESIRE TO BECOME MORE to drive us to create.

Furthermore, as artists we are dissatisfied with reality, and we desire to use our artistic power and force to transform, transfigure, and TRANSMUTE reality to become our own ideal version of reality.

Thus as artists, we create things in order to make our own version of reality; a richer, more beautiful, and more sublime reality.

Make on!

Philosophy by KIM

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