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Two pleasures

 

Explanations > Emotions > Happiness > Two pleasures

Bodily | Higher | So what

 

There are two pleasures that appear in various places, including Martin's Seligman's work on positive psychology as well as older philosophers such as Epicurus.

Bodily pleasure

Bodily pleasure is directly related to the senses and requires little thought. It can be thought of as animalistic in the way that animals, lacking sophisticated mental faculties, are particularly driven by these.

Bodily, sensory pleasures include eating, intercourse, stroking (or being stroked), playing physical games, observing beauty, experiencing pleasant smells and hearing good music.

Body pleasures are temporary and rooted in the here-and-now and, as such, have limited value in motivation. Historically, indulging in many body pleasures have been linked with hedonism and sins such as gluttony.

Higher pleasure

Higher pleasure has been describe as spiritual and intellectual. It typically requires more work than bodily pleasure but is also generally considered to be worth the effort (at least by those who have made the effort).

Whereas bodily pleasures are derived from external stimulation, higher pleasures come from internal thought, cognitive effort and spiritual striving.

Because thinking can reach back and forth in time, higher pleasures can be found in the past, present and future, as opposed to the bodily present-only limitation.

So what?

Understand the way people normally find pleasure and use these as temptation in persuasive messages. Use higher pleasure in getting them to think positively about the future.

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