‘Good, Better, Best!’ and ‘Bad, worse, worst!’ From one to five (or ten) – with one being bad – people rate almost everything. From wine to pickles and designer gowns and governmental pickles, from pop songs to vacuums and the way the body jiggles (either positively or negatively so), we find fault or give praise.
It’s all about what we enjoy, how much and how little.
As human judging beings, we form opinions waffling between like and dislike based on past experience, knee-jerk reactions, current mood, time of day and wind direction.
What we enjoy says who we want to be. We say, “I like this!” and “I don’t like that!” to solidify our perpetuation. We filter reality through opinion to create the idea of ourselves as a personality with identifiers self-fulfilled.
This is the art of person creation. For example: One Sunday you may decide to be a waffle-liking person, “These waffles are fantastic!” or a non-waffle-liking person, “Do you have pancakes?”
Compounds of personality are formed by the chemical reaction of what we choose to enjoy. We become a habit to ourselves. We compare ourselves to other people. For example: Surrealist painter Salvador Dali one day decided to like Dr. Werner Heisenberg. Dali said. “I, who previously only admired Dalí, will now start to admire that Heisenberg who resembles me.”
And so it goes.
Some opinions become habitual. Example: As a child you decide that you don’t like onions. As an adult, you continue that notion. A dislike becomes ingrained through repeated action (onion avoidance) and memory (Mother hated onions and she hated cats too).
And so it’s true. We make it so. We tell ourselves who we are based on favour and aversion.
Like books judged by covers, we make snap judgments then confabulate reasons why. We fill gaps of information with fabrications that become facts we believe.
Example: “You don’t like Alan?” “No.” “Why?” “I knew an Alan once. I didn’t like him.” “You don’t like Alan because of an Alan you once knew?” “That’s right. I don’t like Alan because of Alan association.”
Gradually we become the person we say we are or we fool ourselves into believing the lies we tell.
We assess, ruminate, and constipate ourselves through an on-going series of judgments formed on whims of preference.
But when it comes to a philosophy of enjoyment, there are no levels. You enjoy it all and when you don’t, you wait it out. You enjoy in anticipation of a change in condition.
In the movie Amélie (2001) or as it’s known in French, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain, the hidden personality of characters is revealed in the little things they like and dislike.
Amélie, for example, as shown in this movie scene, cultivates a taste for small pleasures like “dipping her hand into sacks of grain, cracking créme brulée with a teaspoon, and skipping stones” in a canal.
Amélie’s father, Raphael, dislikes, “peeing next to someone else, catching scornful glances at his sandals, clingy wet swimming trunks” and he likes “peeling large strips of wallpaper, lining up and shining his shoes” and cleaning his toolbox.
This process of liking and disliking is all part of the art of self creating.
As a philosopher of enjoyment you can enjoy pleasing moments while wearing socks in sandals.
(1) Notice how people create personality, (2) cultivate small pleasures, (3) like Amélie or like Roberto Benigni’s character in this scene in Life is Beautiful, lose yourself in the enjoyment and love of creating a miracle for another person and, in so doing, create your own.
It’s like a big lost and found. Get lost in creating magic found by another.
One can be blown away by the beauty of birds, butterflies, people and trees but such things are meaningless (without meaning) without taking it all in with attention and a spirit of love for love and enjoyment are one and the same thing.
When you do something with love, no matter how small, you disappear into it all. You are gone in a moment of unprecedented yearning and attention.
There is nowhere you need to be. Nothing you have to have. Enjoyment is about becoming a verb. Become a vision of immortally conceived like the first bird to carry its seed. The spirit of love is like underwear beneath your clothes. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there.
It’s the same as skipping stones. Why do people skip stones? For fun. For the enjoyment of launching a stone and watching what happens.
Skipping stones leave multiple plop points. Like a skipping stone you are a plop point (in a good way!). You too ripple outward. Play the song “Pas si simple” and disappear in miracle making.