In the last post about happiness, we said that Level 2 pleasure is creativity, creating something with meaning (building on the previous levels). So approaching Level 1 pleasure, I ask you: What is the ultimate creativity?
What is a Moment of Awe?
Take a moment to remember the times you’ve felt incredible pleasure, awe even. A view off a mountain, sunset over the Pacific, a newborn baby’s fingers curling around your own, watching a humpback whale turn over and squirt.
These awe-inducing experiences seem to be more than pleasurable Level 5 happiness. What exactly is that element of awe, the wonder we can’t quite touch or preserve to bring home?
The Ultimate Creativity
It is transcendence, a feeling of superhumanness, touching beyond. It is experiencing the ultimate creativity – that of God creating something from nothing.
If you don’t believe in the existence of a God, you would do well to read A Reasonable Argument for God’s Existence. If you understand that there is an omniscient Being running this world, or at least that there is no way to prove a negative so there is at least a 50% likelihood that there is a God before any proof, read on.
An Encounter with God
If I offered you the option to sit down for a talk with God, would you accept it? What if I said you had to pay a million bucks for it? Or give up your health? Or sacrifice the feeling of love? What if you would never be able to create another budget plan or music score?
Most people would give up anything of their own for a meeting with God. After all, if you can touch godliness, wouldn’t you be infinitely more powerful than before? Wouldn’t you be able to see through to the essence of every pleasurable thing and make it even more pleasurable?
Raising the Pleasure Level of Every Experience – Living on Level 1
How do we gain pleasure from touching God? How do we experience Level 1 happiness if we can’t sit next to God for a chat?
Think about the best way to cultivate any relationship (see our post on love). By focusing on the virtues of the other person, we feel love, and by expressing recognition and gratitude for those positive qualities, we build the connection between us.
If we can recognize God in the world around us, we can turn every sunset, every relationship, every mango and every ballet into an encounter with God – the ultimate Level 1 pleasure. If acknowledge the Creator of the experience by feeling and expressing gratitude, and then we will strengthen our connection with the Omniscient Creator of this world.