Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pleasure We’ve got to have it. What is pleasurable to you may not be of any use to someone else. It can be as simple as a sunset or as decant as a dessert. Or, as extravagant as a weekend in Paris. We all have our own little pleasures. Pleasure is an instantaneous feeling of something good.
Professor Gregory Burns, a neuro-economist at Emory University notes that some pleasures are no less a matter of survival. When you ask a teenager what gives them pleasure they usually say sleep. Basic needs, food sleep and sex.
Yale Psychologist Paul Bloom says why we enjoy what we enjoy is very complicated. He wrote a book called How Pleasure Works. Pleasure is as much about our brain as our experiences. Cost of something is engraved in our brains as being better. He did a test. He gave people a wine tasting test. The wine he told them was very expensive was the wine most thought was the better wine. In reality, the both bottles were average priced wines. The parts of the brain associated with pleasure and reward are stimulated.
Expensive works only on humans. Your dog doesn’t care if it is spring water from a bottle or water from the faucet, humans want the filtered spring water. People get pleasure from spending lots of money on non-essential things like stuff at auctions. For example, was Michael Jackson’s jacket worth $1,800,000 dollars? Or President Kennedy’s tape measure sold for $48,875 or Eric Clapton’s guitar sold for $959,500?
At auction, when someone’s famous garments were washed, they lost value. It is like you washed the famous out of the garment. Sometimes it can be as simple as going to a good cupcake shop that gives immediate pleasure. Isn’t that why we give a crying child sweets or ice cream as soon as we can?
Then there is benign masochism. That is why billions of people world wide eat hot chili peppers. We know it will pain our mouth and even make our eyes water, but, we eat them anyway. The same reason we watch horror movies that terrorize us. Why we like sad songs that make us get emotional. Your mind is saying I will master this nasty and then I will feel pleasured. Same with roller coasters, I will master the thrill of near death and then I will feel better having conquered near death experiences.
So, after the near death thrill of bungee jumping or anything you can think of doing on a dare devil level, why must we do it again? Experiments have been proven that surprises are pleasurable. When people say, “the first time is always the best” it is because it is the best. You surprised your senses. What is truly great about life is that there is always something new. Something to look forward to and hopefully to enjoy no matter how weird, exciting or just tasty.
Don’t forget the pursuit of finding someone that finds your pleasures pleasurable too. You can experience the “first time” pleasure together if you are lucky.

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