"But if one begins by having pleasure, it is like knowing how to swim: one never forgets it." Helene Cixous
Now I wonder if the half an hour of "happiness" last night, and this morning, of allowing myself to feel as pure a joy as I could, which is not easy, wasn't an evocation of 'pleasure' rather than 'happiness.' I took great pleasure in the mystery and miracle of breath, body, experienced an inner ecstasy of being, of those I love, and the unfolding of my life and talents, indeed, for moments, this happened, but was it a sensual pleasure of loving life rather than deep happiness?
It was in the range of the orgasmic, that kind of ecstasy, but not localized or specific. It was like I let my brain produce all the high endorphins, neurotransmitters of ecstasy, and my mind was filled with light.
But happiness? I sought to allow what a full and complete happiness would be like. My seemingly huge issues and problems and worries kept nagging at the edges, but I was able to fully immerse or emerge in a field of pure joy for long moments and the minutes passed quickly.
I wonder what happiness is? I know what pleasure is, that indeed I do, but happiness?
Pleasure may be independent of life circumstance; happiness surely never is.
We can profoundly enjoy the moment, savour the pleasure of a flower or a smile or the kindness of a heartwarming act, but the trajectory of our lives, our underlying contentment with our lives, our feelings of accomplishment, of being a vital part of thriving communities, does savouring the way the wind blows over the water on a languid Summer's day affect any of that?
Is there a difference between pleasure and deep inner happiness?
And yet I felt profoundly ecstatic when I let myself...