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July 1, 2019 / Congau

The Art of Pleasure

Art is the highest pleasure, for art is idea. All other pleasures are mixed with physical matter and animal functions; only art is pure mind.

Please don’t let this disturb you. You are certainly allowed to have your physical pleasures. Enjoy your good meal and erotic satisfaction but be aware that you are not an animal and that the truest pleasure of all activities is in the mind. If animals and humans sometimes seem to enjoy the same things, humans can enjoy them more because an unlimited range of refinement is available to the human mind and every experience is potentially unique.

Now art is what is most uniquely enjoyable for strictly speaking it can never be copied. A painting is not the canvas it is painted on and music needs no instruments. Books are not written on paper.

Pleasure is in the mind and everything that is truly pleasurable for a human being, has an artistic dimension. It is the creative uniqueness that makes things enjoyable for us in a deeper sense; it goes beyond the passing moment.

Of course the ultimate instant of artistic expression is art proper and that makes it the quintessential articulation of pleasure. All other human activities partly serve the mundane purpose of being useful for something else, to sustain animal life and keep the economy running, or it is an empty time killer and relief from boredom. Only art is valuable for its own sake making human life worth living.

Luckily there is some art in many things and that makes life worth living even if you are not an artist. There is some art in sports; there may be art in your stamp collection. There is art in a good joke; art in a good conversation. There is art in sex and art in love; there is art in a delicious meal. But above all: There is art in art. Enjoy!

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