It's a cliché that what you put
in your head affects how you feel. If
you're in idyllic surroundings whilst
your head replays an argument or worries
about the rent, you won't feel idyllic.
"Stress-reduction" is another
cliché: picture idyllic scenes
when you're stressed. Not bad advice,
except it doesn't go far enough. Rather
than using respectable "visualisation
techniques", why not try hedonistic
This may seem "infantile" to
some people, but the point is to generate
pleasure. Then again, it might increase
stress. No promises are made.
Treat yourself to your favourite food
(chocolate ice cream, doughnuts, coffee,
popcorn, etc). Then lie down. Start with
the usual "stress-reduction"
cliché-thing (imagining pleasant
scenes, etc) but don't strain yourself.
Try a run-of-the-mill wish-fulfilment
daydream (eg winning the lottery). Then
remove the respectable, ethical, puritanical
You've won the lottery unlimited
leisure, luxury and fun. But you can still
get ill, old, etc. And what about Third
World starvation and the environment?
This is wish-fulfilment, so none of that
responsibility-guilt applies all
problems have been solved. You can have,
and be, anything you want. Sex
censored by the Committee for Natural
which you can
do with anyone you like, even Cate Blanchett's
funnier identical twin.
Picture the most pleasurable deluxe dream-scenario
imaginable without effort. No doubt there's
a good "adult" rationale for
doing this, but it's too boring to think
about. Don't exert yourself this
is the opposite of "developing"
an "ability". The point is to
see how far realms of pleasure/happiness
exist away from the usual demands/burdens
of responsibility and obligations in the
Different kinds of happiness
If we were to believe the conventional
wisdom that true happiness comes only
from meeting challenges and productively
exerting ourselves towards responsible
goals (etc), then we should conclude that
young children are never truly happy,
and we should develop work-schedules for
infants to prevent the misery and
degenerate idleness that must result from
all that pointless play, infantile wishful
thinking, daydreaming and sucking on a
Your brain was designed
for pleasure it says so in
the operating manual. But the scaremongers,
guilt-merchants and responsibility-crazed
would like to convince you otherwise;
the social reality they've created will
infect your internal world, unless you
deny it access.
Swami Lego Ver is
a "Spiritual Adviser"
to the rich and famous.
He lives in Hollywood.