THE FIRST AND SIMPLEST PLEASURE IS THE PLEASURE OF OUR SENSES
The five senses performing a cognitive function are nothing more than our keys to the world of colour, sound, smell, form, and taste. Try to imagine for a moment that you have been deprived of just one of them. I believe there is no such a combination of four remaining senses that could fully satisfy the perceptive needs of a human being. Lack of all five ones at the same time would make a person and the surrounding world closed to each other. They would be extremely far from each other. One can endlessly philosophize about colossal importance and everlasting value of each of the five, but this would be the subject of another work. Whereas in the course of this piece of writing, I am paying attention to that particular kind of pleasure which is contained in the very interaction with reality through channels of the senses.
Habits, habits! Unfortunately human beings are prone to inevitably get accustomed to any frequent events. This thought makes me deeply upset. This fact is the main problem which hinders a person from taking pleasure in having the very opportunity of sensation and – to an even greater degree – in the process of sensation. In order to reveal what is hidden beyond the veil of routine, we will try to divorce simple things available at a moment's notice from the chain of similar things. This will make their beauty visible.
If we conducted an experiential research, I would propose such an experiment: to restrict for a time testees’ sight and hearing, and dim their smell, taste and touch as far as possible. One can easily suppose that after a while our guinea pigs would be parched with thirst for feeling, perceiving. As a consequence, there is almost 100% probability that the test subjects will find genuine pleasure in returning to the initial state. I wonder how the participants would arrange their perceptional possibilities they had been deprived of during the experiment after they got them back, what such value hierarchy will be like. If a test subject gets back only one sense (which he himself has defined as the most important one), what will his reaction be like? How will the presence of only one of the five senses tell upon the absence of the rest?
Let me consider one more aspect of the five senses’ pleasure. There is different kind of pleasure besides the basic pleasure contained in satisfaction of the perceptive needs. For each of us ‘pleasure’ means incredibly different things. Every person has his own unique framework of pleasure. Someone is crazy about a scene of stellar sky. Someone is bewitched by eternal current of the river. Someone is ready to give away everything he has to listen to the sound of a breaking wave in a silent summer night. Someone goes in field to listen to a ringing crickets’ chorus. Someone loves buzzing noise of the city. Someone abandons his regular life in favour of living where silence can be heard.
We like different sounds, have different tastes, and different smells make us close our eyes dreamily. Touching one and the same thing, everyone regards it according to his own bouquet of sensations. We look at the same things, but sometimes see them in completely different ways. And despite all these differences and varieties, we all concur in the fact that sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste certainly are the most powerful source of pleasure. Thus the crucial point is not to allow routine and habit to deprive us of it.
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