...the pleasures of literary fiction are the pleasures of orientation
The greatest joy is joy in God. This is plain from Psalm 16:11: "You [God] will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Fullness of joy and eternal joy cannot be improved. Nothing is fuller than full, and nothing is longer than eternal. And this joy is owing to the presence of God, not the accomplishments of man. Therefore, if God wants to love us infinitely and delight us fully and eternally, he must preserve for us the one thing that will satisfy us totally and eternally; namely, the presence and worth of his own glory. He alone is the source of full and lasting pleasure. Therefore, his commitment to uphold and display his glory is not vain, but virtuous. God is the one being for whom self-exaltation is an infinitely loving act. If he revealed himself to the proud and self-sufficient and not to the humble and dependent, he would belittle the very glory whose worth is the foundation of our joy. Therefore, God's pleasure in hiding this from "the wise and intelligent" and revealing it to "infants" is the pleasure of God in both his glory and our joy.
Parallel to tenderness and cruelty, the cataracts of pleasure and pain are interrelated. Painful and pleasurable sensations instruct us of our physical boundaries. The collective scorecard of physical pain and pleasurable sensations define the evolving self. Our internal clockworks comprised of remembrances of times past, both painful and pleasurable, provide each of us with a telling emotional autobiography. What we primarily recall – pain or pleasure – is revelatory. How we act with kindness and tenderheartedly, or hardheartedly and cruelly is equally telling.
She knew that pleasure, to be pleasure, must come to an end.
Conversation, to take another example, is one of the common pleasures of life, but not all conversation is pleasurable. The stutterer finds talking painful, and the listener is equally pained. Persons who are inhibited in expressing feeling are not good conversationalists. Nothing is more boring than to listen to a person talk in a monotone without feeling. We enjoy a conversation when there is a communication of feeling. We have pleasure in expressing our feelings, and we respond pleasurably to another person's expression of feeling. The voice, like the body, is a medium through which feeling flows, and when this flow occurs in an easy and rhythmic manner, it is a pleasure both to the speaker and listener.
Why not say that the meaning and purpose of the sexual powers is pleasure? Certainly sex is pleasurable, but there is nothing distinctive about that. In various ways and degrees, the exercise of every voluntary power is pleasurable. It is pleasurable to eat, pleasurable to breath, even pleasurable to flex the muscles of the leg. The problem is that eating is pleasurable even if I am eating too much, breathing is pleasurable even if I am sniffing glue, flexing the muscles of the leg is pleasurable even if I am kicking the dog. For a criterion of when it is good to enjoy each pleasure, one must look beyond the fact that it is a pleasure. Consider an analogy between sex and eating. The purpose of eating is to take in nutrition, but eating is pleasurable, so suppose that we were to say that the purpose of eating is pleasure, too. Then it would seem that any way of eating that gives pleasure is good, whether it is suitable for nutrition or not. Certain ancient Romans are said to have thought this way. To prolong the pleasure of their feasts, they purged between courses. I hope it is not difficult to recognize that such behavior is disordered. The more general point I am trying to make is that although we find pleasure in exercising our sexual powers, pleasure is not their purpose; it only provides a motive for using these powers, and a dangerous one, too, which may at times conflict with their true purposes and steer us wrong. Besides, to think of pleasure as the purpose of intercourse is to treat our bodies merely as tools for sending agreeable sensations to our minds. They are of inestimably greater dignity than that, for they are part of what we are.
Pleasure for an hour a bottle of wine pleasure for a year marriage pleasure for a lifetime a garden.
Follow pleasure and then will pleasure flee Flee pleasure and pleasure will follow thee.
Draw your pleasure, paint your pleasure, and express your pleasure strongly.
His pleasure is my pleasure.