Conditioning for Pleasure


I’ve been working with a coach on experiencing pleasure. It’s not that I haven’t experienced it at all, but it was few and far between, and I did not enjoy my day-to-day existence.

I can probably say I started experiencing joy for the first time about a year ago.

My default mode of going through the world was surviving. I am now working on thriving, which requires a completely new way of being to come online.

As always, I am struck by where I come from. How it promised it all and delivered nothing.

My mother would wax poetic about how Eskimos have 100 words for snow (they don’t) and how jews have a hundred words for joy. Because we’re so fucking joyous, right?

“Worship God with Simcha. Come before him with Renana.” If you sang it with enough fervor, maybe you’d start feeling it.

Noach Weinberg’s fundamental, absolute beginner class was The 5 Levels of Pleasure.

Leave it to that dude to take what is supposed to be a felt experience and turn it into an hour-long mental masturbation meta-analysis of what pleasure was supposed to be like. Including deeming certain pleasure “counterfeit”.

Figures, this coming from the community that taught the secrets to a happy marriage before they all got divorced.

And so, as usual, I am building it all up from scratch, experientially instead of intellectually. And instead of starting from zero, which would be sad enough, I am starting with a deficit, unlearning all the bullshit that was ingrained in me by my parents, aish, and orthodox Judaism.

I’d tell them to go fuck themselves, but they might enjoy it.

And that wouldn’t be allowed.

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