To the chagrin of Mother Grundy’s and cuckolded spouses, many of us seek Bliss in the strangest of places. For some, it’s in religion, whilst for others it’s in disproving it (if the fervent comments on News24 are anything to go by). For some, like Joost, it involves seedy, ‘out of character’ drug usage and/or sexual experiences and for others, killing defenseless animals (be it for sport or supposed sexual - there’s that word again - um, upliftment) is what does it for them. To take it to the extreme, self-flagellation (Nancy?) or serial killing has been known to be Blissful.
My personal experience has shown that bliss can indeed be achieved in a myriad of ways… sex (alweer!!), the good weed (I didn’t inhale, koff koff), making ‘easy’ money unexpectedly, holding your child in your arms, looking at the wonder of nature, creating something exceptionally beautiful, losing yourself in the music and atmosphere of your all time favourite band at a rock concert or opera, drowning in sublime art and, last but not least, yes, that dreaded word on News24… religion.
From what I can recall about my rabid born-again days, the high I got from Praise & Worship or fervent praying is very much the same as the kind of high I achieve through sex. There. I said it. *ducks lightning bolt and then remembers that she doesn’t have to do that anymore*. Isn’t being an atheist wonderful? One can have sex, any kind of consensual sex you like, without any form of guilt whatsoever. *sighs happily*
I wish I were clever enough to figure out if both religious and sexual fervor originate from the same part of the brain and, lazy b*tch that I am, I made a half-hearted attempt to ask Friend Google.
What I found is that the brain has a “pleasure centre” aka “reward circuit”, which “…includes all kinds of pleasure, from sex to laughter to certain types of drug use. Some of the brain areas impacted by pleasure include:
amygdala - regulates emotions, nucleus accumbens - controls the release of dopamine, ventral tegmental area (VTA) - actually releases the dopamine, cerebellum - controls muscle function, pituitary gland - releases beta-endorphins, which decrease pain; oxytocin, which increases feelings of trust; and vasopressin, which increases bonding…”
Sounds to me like religious fervor would impact on similar, if not the same, areas of the brain? If it is religion that ‘does it for you’. Yay you. But I reckon I’d rather go the sex route to attain Bliss as, having experienced both ‘highs’ I cannot help but conclude that sex is the ultimate state of bliss. At least there are two participants.
And before you start to judge, consider this: Sure, we can look at someone’s behaviour and say “I choose not to do that or behave in that manner”, no harm, no foul. But to assume that your way is the right or the only way is simply arrogant.
C‘mon folks… we have so many opportunities to achieve Bliss, but putting all of our Bliss in one basket, leads towards the kind of religious/sexual fanaticism we see in the world around us. Spread it out… be creative, find new and exciting ways to achieve Bliss. And better yet, it doesn’t even have to be a ‘sin’. Although…. Hmmm.
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