Eric's Sunday Sermon; A World of Pleasure
Really we had a graduation party for graduation from pre-kindergarten? Every grade?
It is my pleasure to serve you
Pleasure probably is a good thing. Hard work occasioned by what you call success is pleasurable. Addiction and obsession do not bring pleasure. Perhaps no pleasure is found without love.
Let us not be shy here, we all love pleasure. If you do not like pleasure as opposed to pain stop reading and dial 911, please do not drive yourself get an ambulance. Stay away from loved ones. And stay away from sharp objects and even probably you should stay away from the gym. Perhaps with that silliness out of the way we can take a look at what is pleasurable for you.
Upon just a little bit of contemplation we see that pleasure and pain share the notions of love and hate to each other. Most know that the opposite of love is not hate but apathy. On reflection we also see that pain is not the opposite of pleasure, apathy is. We must care about a person, situation of thing in order to love it or get pleasure from it. Admit it that is cool. If I have no taste buds or ability to smell I would be totally ambivalent toward the flavor of food. Maybe I would kind of care that it was nutritious and maybe texture would matter but I doubt that eating could possibly bring me pleasure. (a caveat regarding cooks, especially family cooks it gives my wife pleasure when I eat her cooking – so that gives me pleasure)
Let us jump right in on an interesting phenomenon. Most of my fear in life has to do with not getting pleasure from something, I am not afraid of wild beasts or lack of food so I go right to loss of pleasure. Just say I am a writer (maybe a stretch ;-). And I am afraid to publish. Some could say that that fear is about failure. Probably some truth to that. But couldn’t we also say two more things about that fear; I am afraid that my writing will not bring anyone else pleasure and I am afraid that there will be no pleasure in my writing anymore if it is clear it stinks. Can we see the subtle distinction? And it seems to fit that if we don’t give a damn that whole pleasure and failure thing just goes away.
I do not know why I was thinking about this song - cool though.
I just love this.
The Art of Winning
Pleasure is not happiness. Happiness is a lessor component of Joy. But we could say that happiness and joy are pleasurable. However that really does not work because winning is pleasurable also. And that does not make pleasurable winning. Of course that brings us to the rather popular concept with a twist “success does not make pleasure”. Cool huh! On the other hand losing all the time would not be pleasurable.
Here is a rule I use for writing my sermons. Do not try to give someone pleasure by their reading of the sermon, try to create a space where their thoughts give them pleasure. My favorite poets are like that. I have to read the darn poem 3 times which is not pleasurable but then I get it and that is very pleasurable.
Hard exercise is not pleasurable – and it hurts. But boy it can be so pleasurable to better health.
You knew I would have to go here, so here we go. Sex. If the point is just to reach a climax then that is something that just feels good. Sharing intimacy that creates a bond that transcends the sex and creates good feelings in another is pleasurable.
“It pleases me when you….” That seems to make sense. But I do not see our use of the word “pleases” as the same as pleasure. Common root fine but it ends there. I do not worry much about codependency but someone being reliant on another seems dangerous. I hope you see my difference, which is murky at best. And in this case I think we can take another quick look at happiness and joy, seeing the difference and applying it here. A store clerk please you whereas a grown child who is awesome brings you much pleasure.
Let’s take a look at harm to others. Do you think that a violent revenge could really bring someone pleasure. “It brought him immense pleasure to see his son’s killer executed”? I do not know on that one as my reference is limited. I wonder if it brought pleasure to the Grand Inquisitor to kill heretics.
Which brings us to sporting victories. There is some real juice in that one. I have known top athletes who have had a bad game and won, not get any pleasure out of it. But I cannot count the times I have seen athletes perform in a brilliant manner and it is obvious perfecting their skills brought them amazing pleasure. So what of success as that which brings us pleasure? I simply am not buying it. I would find it hard to accept that a soldier involved in a massacre of a victory over his opponents finds pleasure there.
I just stuck this in here.
I find pleasure in art. Strange affect here but what a voice.
Different recipe, but same base ingredient - Love
So for me, I just paused and really reflected on what “brings me” pleasure. We first get over the idea of bringing someone else pleasure gives us pleasure. A different subject and in the end too superficial to have the impact we are looking for here. So if I say “brings me pleasure”. It seems to me to mean that I have constructed my life in a manner in which I can receive pleasure. Going all the way back to the top. I have to care and love something in order to get pleasure out of it. That crazy old love bug inserting itself in another area of life. Here is one for me that I got from my mom. Accept responsibility going forward. Accept difficulties. And hold your word to get it done. If I can do that I get a whole lot of pleasure. Why? Because I love thinking of myself as a man of my word.
Here are ones. When my adult children give me a phone call. When my young son, is properly proud over an accomplishment. When something I grew turns out good. When I make a positive impact on others. Hey, I just love those things. Here is a strange one; when I really love my wife. Something tells me that pleasure has the attribute of being something that you can look back on and still get the pleasure.
So pleasure and love are choices. Probably choices that we made years ago. Or maybe new ones that are a result of years. I choose to love things, put my heart out there to receive its due, good or bad. And when that which I love is good I revel in the pleasure. Your pleasure is important to me because I love you. Those iffy concepts of pleasure are no longer iffy when we seek that pleasure through love. If we love that which brings us pleasure, then we cannot go wrong on our journey to have pleasure. No wrong act ever happened within the commitment to love. Show me someone who got pleasure from something wrong and I will show you a fool who does not know love.
I am going to go do some gardening. It will please me, make me happy and bring me pleasure. Treat your self to some pleasure.