Releasing Your Inner Hedonist

| January / February 2005

If five or more of the following are true of you, you may be in need of a hedonistic intervention. Immediately turn off all electronic devices and lie down.

  1. You no longer remember anyone's phone number because they're all programmed into your cell phone.
  2. You instant-message people at work who are seated within 20 feet of you.
  3. You make itineraries for your vacations.
  4. The idea of a full week without Internet access fills you with terror.
  5. You are bored at home if the television isn't on.
  6. You absolutely must watch the news every day to be sure the world isn't ending.
  7. You regularly watch sitcom reruns that you have seen countless times before.
  8. You are unable to sit still and think in silence.
  9. Your conversation regularly revolves around the lives of others instead of your own.
  10. You buy shoes because they match your iPod.

Simple and obvious, you say? Well, of course they are. But by experimenting with these painfully simple procedures, you will be embarking on a higher journey.

  1. Find a park bench; sit and observe life.
  2. Lie in a hammock and stare at the stars.
  3. Bob in the ocean.
  4. Go for a walk without direction.
  5. Read a book in complete silence.
  6. Take a nap in the sun.
  7. Take a bath by candlelight.
  8. Sleep until you can sleep no more.
  9. Extend foreplay.
  10. Watch Swedish cinema.

Reprinted from The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure and Pleasure (Da Capo Press, 2004), by Michael Flocker.

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