How to think about pleasure | Psyche Guides - Deepstash
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Pleasure: A Distraction From Happiness

  • Humans are always drawn to pleasure but it may be a selfish indulgence that does not last. 
  • Truth, rationality and wisdom are the lasting virtues that one should be after.
  • People derive pleasure in millions of different ways, some beyond our understanding.

Example: People who hate sports cannot understand why thousands are cheering in a stadium for a few men who are chasing a ball.

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Pleasure Cannot Be Defined

Pleasure cannot be defined or described, but can only be known as an experience, which is subjective and personal, like:

  1. A hot cup of coffee
  2. Volunteer work for the local church.
  3. Calling our grandmother.
  4. Looking at old pictures, feeling nostalgic.

Even trying to categorize it as a pleasant experience misses the point of what pleasure really is.

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The Pleasures Of The Mind And Body

Pleasure can be divided into two kinds: Body pleasure and the pleasures of the mind.

A warm bath or cold beer can be pleasures of the body, whereas feeling one with nature or fantasizing about taking revenge from your boss can be termed as pleasures of the mind.

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Pleasure: Mindgames

  • Philosophy, by this definition, is often seen as the highest pleasure.
  • Pleasures of the mind are often harmless and pure, as they are concerned with the soul, and not the body.
  • Some view pleasure as simply an absence of pain.
  • The pleasure of learning, especially the learning of wisdom and virtues is one of the greatest pleasures of the mind.

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Pleasure: Up Close And Personal

The subtle emotions, the great things that are only felt, and the Godly matters are the content of the mind's pleasures. The Stoics were always detesting pleasures of the body, something shared by many Christians.

The fear of death made people find ways to diminish it, adopting the understanding that when we are alive, there is no death, and when we die, life ceases to exist.

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The Pleasure Found In Nature

The beauty of nature has been a source of pleasure for many. Nature is vast and overwhelming, full of isolation, solitude, freedom and away from the shackles of society. The pathlessness of wild trees offer a sublime escape from the world and into the unknown.

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