The human drive to become physically sated expresses itself in many ways. In the realm of food, to take just one of a hundred examples, the richer the better. Yet is all that saturated fat in beef, chicken and fish preparations really necessary? What purpose does our society’s overwhelming tendency toward sugar serve? Balance the passing moments of pleasure against diabetes, weight gain, inflammation, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and a whole host of etceteras. Yet these preparations overwhelmingly dominate the diets of those within the developed world (burger chains don’t sell billions in Bangladesh).
Would that those tendencies could be translated to become mentally sated! Such desires are nowhere near as pervasive within our culture, within our homes. The physical body has practical limits; it’s difficult to survive when toting 350 or 400 pounds. But can the brain ever get enough? Feed it every day. Push and stretch till it hurts. Work hard to become sated in this way and experience first-hand just how difficult it is to actually reach that point. When was the last time you pushed away from your desk, muttering, “I couldn’t learn another thing”?
Go into any supermarket and look at row upon row of sodas, frozen foods, canned goods et al. All literally stuffed with sugar, crammed with carbs, filled with fat. Go for that matter into any bookstore; witness the popularity of condensed editions and audiobooks. Why do people so hesitate to take their mental coffee straight up? Why are we constantly plied such soft-tissue cream and sugar?
Why else? Because they sell. Our free society gives us fresh steaks at one in the morning, and super-premium ice cream at every 24-hour convenience store at every intersection in every town. That same free society also provides the Internet and the widest range of educational options in history. Worldwide employers, such as Starbucks and McDonald’s, have also begun to buy into the clear benefits of having an educated workforce.
Gorge on every bit of it. Become mentally fat. By extension, your rich inner life will never want for calories.