As a child, I was ravenously curious. Like all children are.
I was fully focused on my play. I curiously explored the world. It was noon and my mother called me for the meal. I responded that I am not hungry.
Was I really not hungry?
No, because I was fully focused on my play.
Imagine Picasso painting a picture. It is noon and his wife shouts: “Pablo, food is served.” Can you seriously imagine that Picasso immediately drops his brush and palette, rushes to the dining table, and pounces on the meal?
The very idea is preposterous.
Am I worth less?
You will remember situations when you “forgot” a meal because you lost yourself passionately in an activity. But, in truth, there was no forgetting. One cannot forget to eat for the purpose of staving off one’s hunger. The hunger for food is a natural force that cannot be ignored. Every baby is living proof.
However, you can forget a mealtime, because mealtimes are not natural. In nature, food intake is determined by hunger – not by the clock. Mealtimes are a human invention. Sticking to mealtimes is like a lion jumping through a hoop of fire. It is against nature. It is a conditioning.
Back to me.
I was curious and staved off my mental hunger with my play. Right in the middle of it, I was called for lunch. No ifs, no buts, I was ripped out of my play, hence out of my “mental feeding.” I was even forced to eat physical food although I was not hungry for physical food.
This created several disquieting conditionings.
I had to stop my curious exploration of the world. I learned that my curiosity was wrong.
I was torn out of my focus – with focus being an essential aspect of true curiosity. Thus, I unlearned to remain focused. Later, as an adult, I again had to learn to concentrate.
I had to eat although I was not hungry. I learned to follow external signals rather than my own internal signals.
I learned that my emotions and my instinct is worth less than instructions given by others. With this I learned that I am worth less than the people from which I receive these instructions. In other words, I learned a feeling of inferiority.
Curiosity is mental hunger. I was mentally hungry, but not hungry for food. But I was not allowed to eat mentally, instead I had to eat physical food. I learned to quiet my mental hunger with physical food (, which doesn’t work.)
Everybody sticks to mealtimes because they are considered normal. Mealtimes are considered normal because everybody sticks to them. This is a vicious circle that nobody questions, hence nobody exits.
The above did not happen once, but almost daily, which made the programs stronger. And it happens not just with food.
This is how I lost much of my curiosity and was slowly turned into a functioning robot.
This happens to all children.
If a force cannot act naturally, it will act otherwise. Every force “finds” a way to act. This is physics. The force behind true curiosity cannot be ignored either. Once a child has learned to use physical food as an alternative channel for its mental hunger, it will substitute curious explorations of the fridge for truly curious explorations of the world.
This throws a new light on the worldwide increase of obesity!
There are other ways of diverting the power of curiosity: collecting (possessing, shopping), sports, sex, information, travel, and drugs. I discuss these topics in detail in my book “Curiosity: The Mental Hunger of Humans.”