The Fulfillment Games
A new and radical psychological theory about satisfaction & happiness.
Froid repositions happiness as a symptom of fulfillment.
In the book Reasons For Being, Psoid Froid argues that happiness is not the highest level of satisfaction, rather fulfillment is. The reasoning is unusually simple: If you feel fulfilled, you will also feel happy — but the opposite is not true; you can feel happy yet unfulfilled. In other words, Froid repositions happiness as a symptom of fulfillment.
In a drug-induced state, you can trick your dopaminergic system into feeling pleasure, with pleasure being perceived as a kind of short-term fulfillment; it is only during the downtime of the drug that the lack of actual fulfillment becomes apparent. An example is binge-eating and binge-drinking; in the moment of eating/drinking it brings great satisfaction; it’s the hangover that gets you.
Psoid posits that the highest amount of satisfaction is achieved when you focus on long-term fulfillment. So then, what brings us fulfillment?
There are two main forces at play: Control & Release. They share a superficial resemblance to the universal ideas of Order & Chaos; Order can be brought into Chaos through control, but sometimes you must submit to the Chaos — because it’s outside of your control. To ensure survival & safety, Humans had to be able to control what need be controlled while accepting that some things could not be controlled; spending effort on things you can’t change is utterly unproductive. Thus the interplay between Control & Release functions like a seesaw; you want it to go both ways for maximum fulfillment.
Psoid proposes several big categories of fulfillment, the so-called ‘Fulfillment Games’. They have significant overlap, but each category is required for nuance.
‘So what are they?!’
In summary, these are various fulfillment games in which Humans partake:
The Control Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from expanding the control of self upon the environment.
The Cosmic Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from harmonizing with the environment, from self-transcendence, from submitting to environment, from feeling at-one-ness, from feeling inseparably connected with your environment, from figuring out one’s role in the larger cosmos, from abiding to the environment’s values, from accepting one’s place in the world…
The Individuating Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from demarcating the self from environment.
The Ego Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from expressing the self into the environment, from spreading your values, from leaving your mark on the world…
The Validation Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from the environment validating your values, from feeling important, from getting attention…
The Parentship Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from being a parent, of raising another being, from having and/or being a role model, from teaching others, from learning from others…
The Curiosity Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from pursuing what’s interesting, from increasing the understanding of the unknown, from imagining what could be…
The Serendipity Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from feeling lucky, from feeling blessed, from feeling you are in good hands despite the precariousness of existence…
The Goal Fulfillment Game
The fulfillment derived from setting and pursuing goals within environmental constraints.
That about sums it up. Obviously, there’s way more behind fulfillment than can be conveyed in a simple blog post. If you are interested in reading more, you can do so in the Humans Laid Bare Trilogyc and in Reasons For Being. In my personal opinion, the latter is the better book, though the former has plenty of idiosyncratic comedy & style.
The Humans Laid Bare Trilogyc is primarily about the ways in which language can promote and obstruct truth-seeking.
Find out more at: https://www.batwhaledragon.com/humans-laid-bare-trilogyc
Reasons For Being is primarily about the ways in which contemporary society has complicated purpose-seeking.
Find out more at: https://www.batwhaledragon.com/reasons-for-being