for pleasure, and for fun

Walpurgis Night approaches, our summery Halloween, and we shall have the beautiful start of Summer, and tales of flight on broom and pitch fork, the strange and the wondrous, and the Devil’s Sabbat, and maybe a pirate or two (gotta love pirates) with black twirling moustache and curved blade, around bonfires on moor and in meadow, with spirits accompanying, the scent carried on the air, or maybe at the edge of town, where one thing turns into another, or in the crumbling of buildings and the overgrowth of resurgent green, and the bloom, where the smell of sap seeps from the quiet at sunset.

Today I found myself thinking about pleasure, and fun. How these things are so often devalued, and yet in my experience, they have accompanied every truly serious endeavor I have undertaken, and especially every spiritual one. People talk about “guilty pleasures”, those things they really do take pleasure in, but would not admit, for fear of losing credibility, being uncool, an embarrassment. These pleasures are a good guide as to the real nature of pleasure, when censorship and the frigid stifling of moral or aesthetic consensus is absent. Sometime quite early in my life I seem to have decided instinctively that such pleasure should form part of my life’s work, and that it’s reintegration into value would be a very good and healthy thing.

The objection to pleasure seems to be that it cannot be serious, it cannot be moral, it cannot be healthy. I say these things are all essentially incorrect, notwithstanding that the terms themselves are often questionable.

There are many kinds of pleasure: physical, emotional, intellectual, philosophical, mystical etc. So if there is any vice in pleasure, it is the blocking of its full enjoyment and adventure, the limitation of it. All things have consequences, even the consequence of wisdom, growth and wholeness. We don’t get anywhere by not living.

In itself pleasure is the most unalloyed and innocent virtue, and this is all the more apparent when you consider the nature of life and mortality, and its ultimate physical destination.

I don’t believe in death, but I do believe in a good life that you will not regret having gone for.

So on this eve of May, I wish you pleasure, and I wish you fun!

“On the Way to Walpurgis Night” by David Teniers d.J., Nachfolge (anagoria) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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