What are you going to do?

elephant struggleThe purpose of life is personal. Some people think there is no purpose to life and some think there is. Whatever side you’re on, you can probably agree that there’s a you – a body – and a not-you (i.e. the world). There’s an individualized adjustment between yourself – as a lonely organic unit of consciousness – and the world outside.

The Philosophy of Enjoyment is rooted in the idea that after you’ve made efforts to stay alive (e.g. attend to health and security), you may as well enjoy being alive. Why not? The question then becomes: How do you enjoy life? What is enjoyment?

This is where a lot of people get into trouble. In the scramble to enjoy themselves, they inadvertently cause the opposite and then, when things go bad – as they surely will – they can’t handle it.

How do you deal with tragedy? When there’s the death of a child or a terrible disaster, a disease or whatever, can you still find enjoyment? How do you deal with things like a broken back, frustrations and pain? Do you fall apart and let life win the battle?

No. Of course not.

Force yourself to find enjoyment! Keep it simple. Embrace a feeling of victory when life does its worst and you can still enjoy yourself. Lost your job? too bad so sad. You can enjoy a cup of tea if you can get it. Lost your foot? too bad so sad. Suck it up and live footloose.

chipmunkLife is a battle between you and the world. Someone dies? Take courage! Endure. Will yourself to bear the pain as best you can for the sake of enjoyment however small. Enjoyment can rub off on others. There’s enjoyment in helping others to enjoy.

This philosophy is not technical. It’s not scientific. It’s not metaphysical. It’s a Grass Roots philosophy. It’s practical. It’s simple. It’s quiet. It’s gentle. It’s found in nature. Enjoy chipmunks chipmunking. Enjoy humans humaning. Enjoy elephants. Go comic not cosmic. Amuse yourself without malice. Practice kindness. Be the essence of humility. Focus on sensory awareness. Endure. Concentrate. Practice self control over anger. Make enjoyment a priority no matter what terrible things get thrown at you.

shake off preoccupationsThe opening premise is as follows:

a) You are alone. Everybody is alone together. A man is a man. A woman woman. A child is a child. Every person has an individualized perspective and all living organisms experience their surroundings from a single vantage point: they’re own. Everyone lives in a private universe. When you go to sleep, your universe goes with you.

b) This is it. Look around. Where are you? That’s where you are. What are you doing? That is you living. Look in a mirror. That’s you. The stuff around you, that’s where you are.

c) Enjoyment is important. Enjoyment may not be what people tell you it is. According to this philosophy, enjoyment is essentially calm. It’s cheerful without insincerity. This kind of enjoyment is not indifferent to pleasure and pain. Indifference to happiness and suffering is a blasphemy against life. Life is to be enjoyed but people get distracted by by other things: power, excitement, drama, the mob.

A person is essentially a mirror of the life that person is in. The trick to it is to notice the interaction. An abrasive “having a good time” can be as alien to real enjoyment as absorption in business. When play and work are laid aside a person can gain leisure and through leisure enjoyment is there like a baby blue sky. Get pleasure from eating, sleeping, bathing and walking (if you can). Enjoy using any of the five senses you have available to you. Spend time in nature. Morality is simple: Good is kind and evil is cruel. Enjoy rain like the grass does or a duck would. Don’t let scientific machinery put the squeeze on your personal life. Shake off sneering humour. It may not be a perfect life, but, whatever. Enjoy it anyway. Force yourself. Will yourself! Shake off vulgarity and be here. Inside yourself inside your surroundings. Feel the breeze. Enjoy the sunshine. Keep it simple.

Be kind.

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Published by

Darrel

A Philosopher of Enjoyment.

6 thoughts on “What are you going to do?”

  1. Love this: “The Philosophy of Enjoyment is perfect for weaklings. People who are idle, eccentric, lazy and neurotic love it. They can live a personal life that defies the modern command to turn humans into metal-jacketed electronic ants.”

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  2. “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
    ― Audrey Hepburn

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  3. So true! Thanks for that! Not only was Audrey beautiful, she was kind and said other beautiful things like: “I love being myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.” She’s a perfect example of someone with a philosophy.

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  4. There is always something that can be enjoyed as long as we are willing to look for it and I completely agree that it is worth finding those things and putting our energy there rather than on what is wrong or unfair.

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    1. Yes. I read it. As a prisoner in a concentration camp Victor Frankl noticed how young men would give up on life, smoke their last cigarette and die and the old guys, who had something to live for – wife, child, friend, unfinished book or whatever – would hang on and not die. The will to live and having a purpose kept them going. Within that mindset of surviving for the purpose a person has determined for himself, there was this use of humour to mock the guards and laugh in the face of hardship and this sense of finding what pleasure they could, no matter how small. A purpose to live, the importance of having a sense of humour, humility and the ability to enjoy even the smallest of things is what the philosophy of enjoyment is all about.

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