When the first of my coworkers arrived in the parking lot this morning, I got out of my car, unlocked the door to the building, and spent the next five hours throwing objects of various weights and sizes into containers at various distances. I am not complaining, of course. I find something satisfying in making inanimate objects fly through the air and land precisely where I want them to. It feels like a game at times but there is more to it than that. There are quite a few popular sports and recreational activities that involve a similar concept (basketball, target shooting, golf, pool, et cetera) but why? I believe that these things function as a psychical manifestation of our will and that this is the root of their appeal which also hints at our desire for freedom.
When one throws, pushes, or shoots an object, what is he or she really doing? I would say that this person is affecting some change in the environment outside of the limits of his or her psychical reach. That sounds like a simple action but it is a big deal because it is a power that few other animals possess and it is likely one of the things that, for better or worse, put us on the top of the food chain. It begins with a thought. A person has the will to change something that is out of his or her reach and, through a motion, he or she makes that change happen. The will manifests in psychical form, as if by magic, and this is enjoyable to the individual.
The source of the enjoyment that is generated by projecting one's will through throwing things is, perhaps, more interesting than the concept of projecting the will itself. We like to cause change because it is an expression of our agency. Having the ability to manifest our will is at the core of liberty and personal power. When we can easily shift from "I want to" and "I did," we are free. We play these games of distance and will and we taste that pure freedom, if only for a moment, which it brings us pleasure. It is not the action itself that we enjoy, it is what it represents and what it makes us feel because freedom is a desirable condition.
As an aside, I know that this post was rather short and a bit "rambly" but I'm tired (as it turns out, throwing things all day is pretty exhausting in addition to tickling my desire for freedom). However, I am planning on writing something more substantial and a bit headier in the coming days so if you found this to be a bit rushed and unpolished, you can look forward to that.
All the images in this post are sourced from the free image website, unsplash.com.