Thursday, October 8, 2009

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

What is satisfaction in life?


Joshua said...

I'm not sure, but maybe it's a form of satiety. On the whole though it seems different from the problem of happiness or as Huxley might put it the problem of deluding people to love their servitude. Accepting the rhythmic cycles of life, enables a furthering of satisfaction yet allowing a place in our lives for dissatisfaction which can both challenge us and be an unfortunate necessity.

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

I think satisfaction is
feeling totally confident, that I hit/match/strike my sense of life.
(Don't know if you understood...)


Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

i.e. Gods sense for my life!

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

Joshua, I can feel saturated and still eat more and lust for more, right?
So how can a form of satiety be completely satisfying to me?


Greg said...

Thanks. Glad you're commenting. Maybe the partial answer depends on the referent. What do you think?

Greg said...

Thanks. I'm not sure we can ever be totally confident so on that criteria satisfaction may always be a mirage. Same question that I posed to Joshua - does the partial answer depend on the referent?

Rhett & Valerie said...

Hey Greg,

I was just thinking about Jesus' conversation with the Samaratian woman at the well...
"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water...
Everyone who drinks of this water [in the well] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become to him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4).

I think Josh was on to something when he talked about being satiated. Unfortunately, I can't disassociate satiety from feeling full, or content. And even though I'd like to think I've drawn from Jesus' well, there are still times of draught, dryness and thirst.

When I'm going through those dry times, especially in light of what Jesus says here, it's hard not to doubt whether I've ever even tasted living water in the first place.

How do you encourage someone who desperately wants true satisfaction in life, who "pants like a deer," but feels she can never really get at the water?


Greg said...

Thanks. I like this, but would want to say that I wonder if "never thirst" has to be taken in an eschatological context and therefore it's pointing to a future time of being quenched, if you'll permit me to say it that way.

Seems to me Jesus too experienced dry times. He suffered and prayed. We do likewise. In doing so, we are tasting life as Jesus knew it. If this is the case, we should be encouraged by the reality that we are following in the footsteps of Christ and that, I believe, leads to satisfaction.

Joshua said...

Well, by the unfortunate necessity, I did have in mind a certain sense of the eschatological duality we experience in this life. For me personally, in this sense I think I'm typical of most Americans, we find a high degree of satisfaction when we perform well. But with this performance based sense on which we are dependent it is obviously not enough and can leave us dissatisfied nonetheless with life being the referent. I think there are also perverted senses of satisfaction that people genuinely feel, which is to suggest that they are not false, e.g. smugness. What is mostly floating in the back of my mind though, is the relational aspect of our satisfaction. We need others for satisfaction in life. But I totally agree that it's hard to make that kind of response without something more concrete in mind.

Joshua said...


I don't really belief in a complete satisfaction, although maybe a satisfactory satisfaction. We're finite, and our satisfaction is going to be relative as such. Satiety is just a metaphor, there are plenty of others that probably have more descriptive powers for satisfaction.

Greg said...

Exactly. Others and I might add, the world, are essential for us to move towards satisfaction - there can be no satisfaction without these two - yet the theological and ethical equally come into play.

A solely personal self oriented satisfaction is an inaccurate and insufficient referent as it ends up being one of the worst forms of reductionism - selfishness, which ultimately will prove to be dissatisfaction.

harry coe maynard said...


Good one again Greg,
My Dad use to tell a story about the little boy who sat looking at his Christmas present, his Mom said "What's the matter Son don't you like your present?" He said "It's what I always wanted,'cept not very much".

When we've been there a thousand years we've only just begun. Will that be satisfied or unsatisfied?


Greg said...

Harry coe,
Thanks. In response, when we there, I'd say that'll be another dimension where ther'll be continuity and discontinuity and satisfaction may be a perspective of another world.