Friday, 31 May 2013

Pleasure.

When we are young we experience pleasure and it makes us feel better.
We then assume that more pleasure will make us feel better still.

What actually happens is that our bodies and minds become addicted to pleasure and we experience ecstatic highs followed by bleak, depressive lows.  We are soon burnt out.

Rock music has been shown to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.
We become addicted to its pleasures.

Drugs have the same effect.

It is significant that a lot of rock music contains orgasmic guitar solos and crescendos.

Classical music has a completely different effect.
Much classical music puts the mind into an alpha state or meditative equilibrium.

Most of us spend our lives alternating between peak experiences and despairing troughs which we cure by inducing another episode of pleasure in order to experience that high once more.

This is the great illusion.
The answer does not lie here.

Yoga teaches us to practice detachment and it is through this practice that we are able to reduce the highs and lows and gain some equilibrium.

It is when we discover love, however, that the picture changes.

At first we crave love in a similar way to other pleasures.
Our moods are dependent on the presence or absence of the loved one.

When we discover that giving love is just as satisfying as receiving love we gain some control over our moods.
The more love we give the more love there is to give.

If we detach the love from the object of our love and expand the theater of our love to the whole of creation we experience a stable well-being.

Finally when, through the practice of prayer and contemplation, we make contact with the divine within us we discover that God is intimately involved with love.

At first this presence comes and goes as it does with David and the prophets.
But God withdraws in order to make a space for us to love into.

It is when we love those around us that we become established in this love and our anxieties diminish.

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