Three pleasures that separate me from my better nature:

  • Pleasure at another’s fear
  • Pleasure at another’s anger
  • Pleasure at another’s pain

Is it presumptuous of me to say that ‘we’ can feel pleasure at another’s pain? Surely we’re past that. And yet, there’s a built-in mechanism that can lead to this dysfunction.  When others are suffering, we may feel sympathy for them, but we may also feel a quiet, private relief that we’re ‘past’ that particular painful moment, that we ‘know better now’. We’re rewarding ourselves for being better; we’re secretly pleased with ourselves. It’s a  natural pleasure, but it’s also a symptom of potential dysfunction.  When we feel that separation of ‘us’ versus ‘them’, we’re actually feeling our potential disconnection from our higher power.

When I feel relief that I am not making the mistakes others make, then it is a clear signal to me to reinforce my connection to the Divine. And if that means for me that I have to strip down naked, paint my ass blue, burn incense and chant Maori warcries, then it’s time buy some paint.

Everything is connected. The Divine is everywhere, but that connection is, for us, voluntary.