There is not a little generalship and stratagem required in the managing and marshalling of our pleasures, so that each shall not mutually encroach to the destruction of all. For pleasures are very voracious, too apt to worry one another, and each, like Aaron's serpent, is prone to swallow up the rest. Thus drinking will soon destroy the power, gaming the means, and sensuality the taste, for other pleasures less seductive, but far more salubrious, and permanent as they are pure.
Charles Caleb Colton
I once heard that Quentin Tarantino, who I obviously love and think is a genius, says that there's no such thing as guilty pleasure, there's only pleasures. And I do love that idea, because I do think that there's a pretentiousness when people make a list of their favorite things. I like to live a life where I don't think of my pleasures as guilty pleasures.
There are neither raptures, nor ecstasies, nor transports of bliss in the pleasures of the table; but they make up in duration what they lose in intensity, and are distinguished above all by the merit of inclining us towards all the other pleasures of life, or at least of consoling us for the loss of them.
The rich of this world will vanish like smoke, and no memory of their past pleasures will remain. But even in their lifetime they do not enjoy them without bitterness, weariness and fear, for the very things whence they derive their pleasures often carry with them the seeds of sorrow.
Kempis 1380-1471 Thomas
I find the love of garden grows upon me as I grow older more and more. Shrubs and flowers and such small gay things, that bloom and please and fade and wither and are gone and we care not for them, are refreshing interests, in life, and if we cannot say never fading pleasures, we may say unreproved pleasures and never grieving losses.
They were unironic enthusiasts for all the mass pleasures the culture offered: television, NASCAR, cruises, Disney World, sports, celebrity gossip, and local politics. Szabo often wished that he could be as well adjusted as Melinda's family, but he would have had to be medicated to pursue her list of pleasures.
He could see her, but dared not remain for fear of annoying her by seeming to be spying upon the pleasures which she tasted in other company, pleasures which - while he drove home in utter loneliness, and went to bed, as anxiously as I myself was to go to bed, some years later, on the evenings when he came to dine with us at Combray - seemed illimitable to him since he had not been able to see their end.
Your Heavenly body is going to be an awful lot like it is now, only better. And if you enjoy its pleasures now, think how marvelous they're going to be when your body is supernatural, really super, with more power and more beauty and more grace and greater thrills and more marvelous exciting experiences and love than ever!-All the pleasures of this life and Heaven too, and their continuation on the other side!
The rich and luxurious may claim an exclusive right to those pleasures which are capable of being purchased by pelf, in which the mind has no enjoyment, and which only afford a temporary relief to languor by steeping the senses in forgetfulness; but in the precious pleasures of the intellect, so easily accessible by all mankind, the great have no exclusive privilege; for such enjoyments are only to be procured by our own industry.
Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann
Do you, like a skilful weigher, put into the balance the pleasures and the pains, near and distant, and weigh them, and then say which outweighs the other? If you weigh pleasures against pleasures, you of course take the more and greater; or if you weigh pains against pains, then you choose that course of action in which the painful is exceeded by the pleasant, whether the distant by the near or the near by the distant; and you avoid that course of action in which the pleasant is exceeded by the painful.
The complete life, the perfect pattern, includes old age as well as youth and maturity. The beauty of the morning and the radiance of noon are good, but it would be a very silly person who drew the curtains and turned on the light in order to shut out the tranquillity of the evening. Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth.
W. Somerset Maugham
The true lover of learning then must his earliest youth, as far as in him lies, desire all truth.... He whose desires are drawn toward knowledge in every form will be absorbed in the pleasures of the soul, and will hardly feel bodily pleasures I mean, if he be a true philosopher and not a sham one ... Then how can he who has the magnificence of mind and is the spectator of all times and all existence, think much of human life He cannot. Or can such a one account death fearful No indeed.
It is really most absurd to wish to turn this scene of misery into a pleasure spot and set ourselves the goal of achieving pleasures and joys instead of freedom from pain, as so many do. Those who, with too gloomy a gaze, regard this world as a kind of hell and, accordingly, are only concerned with procuring a fireproof room in it, are much less mistaken. The fool runs after the pleasures of life and sees himself cheated; the sage avoids evils.
As human beings we have the capacity to enjoy limitless, blissful happiness...there is nothing wrong with having pleasures and enjoyments. What is wrong is the confused way we grasp onto these pleasures, turning them from a source of happiness into a source of pain and dissatisfaction. It is grasping and attachment that is the problem, not the pleasure themselves...
Some of the most memorable, and least regrettable, nights of my own youth were spent in coon hunting with farmers. There is no denying that these activities contributed to the economy of farm households, but a further fact is that they were pleasures; they were wilderness pleasures, not greatly different from the pleasures pursued by conservationists and wilderness lovers. As I was always aware, my friends the coon hunters were not motivated just by the wish to tree coons and listen to hounds and listen to each other, all of which were sufficiently attractive; they were coon hunters also because they wanted to be afoot in the woods at night. Most of the farmers I have known, and certainly the most interesting ones, have had the capacity to ramble about outdoors for the mere happiness of it, alert to the doings of the creatures, amused by the sight of a fox catching grasshoppers, or by the puzzle of wild tracks in the snow.
Count your years and you'll be ashamed to be wanting and working for exactly the same things as you wanted when you were a boy. Of this one thing make sure against your dying day - that your faults die before you do. Have done with those unsettled pleasures, which cost one dear - they do one harm after they're past and gone, not merely when they're in prospect. Even when they're over, pleasures of a depraved nature are apt to carry feelings of dissatisfaction, in the same way as a criminal's anxiety doesn't end with the commission of the crime, even if it's undetected at the time. Such pleasures are insubstantial and unreliable; even if they don't do one any harm, they're fleeting in character. Look around for some enduring good instead. And nothing answers this description except what the spirit discovers for itself within itself. A good character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness. Even if some obstacle to this comes on the scene, its appearance is only to be compared to that of clouds which drift in front of the sun without ever defeating its light.
Without imagination, we merely see or hear, and even if we see or hear that the objects of the senses are beautiful, we cannot feel that they are so. The difference is this: in feeling the beauty of objects, we enjoy not only the common, shared pleasures of the senses, but also the private pleasures of the imagination, peculiar to ourselves, and such that we have to struggle to articulate them.
The pleasure of eating should be an extensive pleasure, not that of the mere gourmet. People who know the garden in which their vegetables have grown and know that the garden is healthy will remember the beauty of the growing plants, perhaps in the dewy first light of morning when gardens are at their best. Such a memory involves itself with the food and is one of the pleasures of eating. (pg. 326, The Pleasures of Eating)
Centres, or centre-pieces of wood, are put by builders under an arch of stone while it is in the process of construction till the keystone is put in. Just such is the use Satan makes of pleasures to construct evil habits upon; the pleasure lasts till the habit is fully formed; but that done the habit may stand eternal. The pleasures are sent for firewood, and the hell begins in this life.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Our sages of blessed memory have said that we must not enjoy any pleasure in this world without reciting a blessing. If we eat any food, or drink any beverage, we must recite a blessing over them before and after. If we breathe the scent of goodly grass, the fragrance of spices, the aroma of good fruits, we pronounce a blessing over the pleasure. The same applies to pleasures of the sight. And the same applies to pleasures of the ear.
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Men cannot labor on always. They must have intervals of relaxation. They cannot sleep through these intervals. What are they to do? Why, if they do not work or sleep, they must have recreation. And if they have not recreation from healthful sources, they will be very likely to take it from the poisoned fountains of intemperance. Or, if they have pleasures, which, though innocent, are forbidden by the maxims of public morality, their very pleasures are liable to become poisoned fountains.
In all places where there is a Summer and a Winter, and where your Gardens of pleasure are sometimes clothed with their verdant garments, and bespangled with variety of Flowers, and at other times wholly dismantled of all these; here to recompense the loss of past pleasures, and to buoy up their hopes of another Spring, many have placed in their Gardens, Statues, and Figures of several Animals, and great variety of other curious pieces of Workmanship, that their walks might be pleasant at any time in those places of never dying pleasures.
If human pleasure did not have both a lid and a time limit, we would not bestir ourselves to do things that were not pleasurable, such as toiling for our subsistence. And then we would not survive. By the same token, should our mass mind ever become discontented with the restricted pleasures doled out by nature, as well as disgruntled over the lack of restrictions on pain, we would omit the mandates of survival from our lives out of a stratospherically acerbic indignation. And then we would not reproduce. As a species, we do not shout into the sky, 'The pleasures of this world are not enough for us.' In fact, they are just enough to drive us on like oxen pulling a cart full of our calves, which in their turn will put on the yoke. As inordinately evolved beings, though, we can postulate that it will not always be this way. 'A time will come, ' we say to ourselves, 'when we will unmake this world in which we are battered between long burden and brief delight, and will live in pleasure for all our days.' The belief in the possibility of long-lasting, high-flown pleasures is a deceptive but adaptive flimflam. It seems that nature did not make us to feel too good for too long, which would be no good for the survival of the species, but only to feel good enough for long enough to keep us from complaining that we do not feel good all the time.
Lenten practices of giving up pleasures are good reminders that the purpose of life is not pleasure. The purpose of life is to attain to perfect life, all truth and undying ecstatic love - which is the definition of God. In pursuing that goal we find happiness. Pleasure is not the purpose of anything; pleasure is a by-product resulting from doing something that is good. One of the best ways to get happiness and pleasure out of life is to ask ourselves, 'How can I please God?' and, 'Why am I not better?' It is the pleasure-seeker who is bored, for all pleasures diminish with repetition.
Fulton J. Sheen
Abhinavagupta does not prescribe a hermit's life for that Shiva yogin, who is free to live without restrictions, to remain in the household, and to participate in pleasures of the senses and the mind within the limits of the currently acceptable social standards. In other words, one is free to live a normal life and at the same time to pursue some method of Trika yoga. As soon as the seeker's practice in yoga yields the experience of Self-bliss, worldly enjoyments automatically lose their power and fascination, and one's senses develop a spontaneous indifference, known as anadaravirakti, to former pleasures. Once seekers have become expert practitioners in the experience of Self-bliss, they are able to move freely through worldly enjoyments without any fear of spiritual pollution. Such enjoyments can actually serve to further illumine the extraordinary experience of Self-bliss. As Abhinavagupta explains: The mind (of a Shiva yogin) does not become wet (or stained) from within, just like the rind of a dried gourd which has no opening, even if it dives deep into the water of sensual pleasures (Malinivijayavarttika, I.108). - B. N. Pandit, Specific Principles of Kashmir Shaivism (3rd ed., 2008), p. 94.