What exactly is hunger and how is it that all living things, to include plants and animals feel hunger? Okay, I cannot really give the answers as to how or why we feel hungry that is to try the answer the question of the ages but then I guess we can explore this concept of hunger. Is it the same across the board? What is the difference between hunger for the species? For animals? For plants? I'm not sure we can really know how plants react in times of hunger - okay maybe we can, weeds do suffocate others so they can get to eat and feed form the sun's rays. and I guess for insects, parasites who feed on skin and blood - but then is there some sort of similar point of desire, a belly, a well where from the springs of hunger emerge from?
Do we all experience hunger in the same way - that sense of desperation, at all costs needing to be sated, that sense of want, need, salivation, we see it in dogs, we see it how they beg and plead with their eyes to be given that morsel of food - although one might argue that that is not hunger, that is desire, want.
So I guess hunger stems from a need, not a want - a need to nourish, to survive, at all costs. In that sense we almost experience some loss of control - civilisation has done a good job of making us inhibited, forcing us to guard and preserve our public appearances. And to a large extent, most of us do try, except when we are hungry. You need only to watch how people behave when they are in a canteen and are told all the food has run out.
When the stakes are high, and this is not only for belly hunger, as hunger takes various forms, baby hunger, wealth hunger, power hunger, we will trample and step on others, to fuel ourselves of whatever it is we need, or feel that we need. That is the not-so-good face of hunger. But it also has its value. Feeling hungry makes us feel alive. It gives us a sense of purpose, a life, a soul, some understand it to be evidence of perseverance and some know that sometimes, we should only seek to be hungry for what we need.
Hunger, for hunger sake, wanting for wanting sake is an eternal insatiable kind.
Reading Kafka's Metamorphorsis made me start to think of how hunger, the same need to fill our stomachs is subject like many other needs, to the law of diminishing marginal utility. That, and also how amazing it is that our hunger is satisfied in different ways for different beings/species, as a matter of taste, , a dog won't really feel satisfied by a vegetable and neither would a cow want to feed on flesh - but then it is beautiful that the same desire, the same concept is experienced in so many various ways by us all, and that is what makes life so beautiful - the multi-layered and complex experiences that come from a common source for us all, how we all see, but see differently feel but feel differently, love but love differently.
Amazing too is the realisation that with such simplicity, Kafka has portrayed so complex a phenomenon, and stirred something within me- and it is this hunger, for knowledge, that fuels.