Hunger – Discussion Chapter 12
Indeed, we are always hungry. Hunger does not always have to concern food. Although, in many situations, the need to eat becomes the most obvious sensation that we want to satisfy. Hunger can be psychological, emotional or physical. The problem is, the human body is very complex, and it takes a great amount of effort and focus to have a clear understanding of which sort of hunger one needs to feed. A person’s real hunger can be pointed out by what they are really chasing after, even after satisfying the kind of hungry which is most apparent to them. The question of what we are really hungry for remains meaningful beyond the realm of art in the sense that we are bombarded with many desires to the extent that it becomes difficult to satisfy all of them at the same time. I may be hungry for some juicy pork ribs, yet after that, I will desire that beautiful painting for my house, desire to have a pet, a posh car and the yearning to see my mother. I believe that it is not only through withholding the will to act on the most apparent form of hunger that will help us to know what we are really hungry for, but also through meditation.
Labels – Discussion Chapter 13
The important insight that I can draw from this chapter is that there lies a thin distinction between art and life. It is easy for an unfocused artist to get consumed in the concerns of life, simply because, in many ways, life is intertwined with art. When an artist does their work and presents their results to the public, it is inevitable that people will want to interpret and define the artwork in the absence of its creator. One of the ways used in the attempts to define and interpret artwork is be coming up with labels – a way to differentiate a certain type of art impression from another. Since these labels are so compelling and tend to drive influence and general perception of a certain artist’s work, an artist will easily step into and get lost into the conversation of how his/her work gets labelled. It is imperative that an artist recognizes labels as one of the distractions from the original focus of their work and creativity, as they will fall prey to the prying interpretative claws of society.
Power & Politics – Discussion Chapter 14
The desire to express our dominance is almost impossible to resist. This is because of the tons of benefits which are promised by occupying a position of control. Humans are troubled with the need to have control in what we do, and in our life, especially because many things are unpredictable and people are stubborn – they do not easily comply to our requests or demands. Therefore, power as an illusion is the kind which we use as a distraction to the real power. To obtain power, we need to be aggressive not only in the social sphere, but every other spheres of life. The having control in the social sphere is most desirable and we will find that there are many people who are more aggressive and better at acquiring real power. Therefore, for those who are less aggressive, unable to attain the desired form of power in the social sphere, will resort to other domains where they can practice their sense of dominance, so that they can rest their innate desires for dominance. Since one cannot acquire real power, they find alternate and less competitive avenues where they can have an illusion of power.
Vision – Discussion – Chapter 15
It is undeniable that everyone has a dream – a vision of an ideal version of themselves and the kind of lives they want to live. These dreams drive our desires, interests, and people we are attracted to, and those who are drawn to us. With the recognition that social ties have an influence on our dreams, or the vision that we create for ourselves, I can agree with Dunham that we could actually be limiting ourselves by taking a hold on dreams which are narrow in scope. I believe that a person needs to break beyond the social boundaries and influences, to be more in connection with themselves and with nature for them to have untainted dreams and visions. This will help in the development of a unique persona which is open to new ideas and all kinds of criticisms, as long as it remains charged towards self-improvement.