On recovering fully from the pandemic craziness

by Bruce O’Hara


October 28, 2022

Today I am reminded of something I read more than 40 years ago. Bioenergetics therapist Alexander Lowen reported that, though his clients typically came to him with one or other identified ‘problem’, the underlying issue many of his clients faced was simply a lack of pleasure in their lives.

If the dearth of pleasurable experiences had persisted long enough, Dr. Lowen found that people were not just damaged in their willingness to seek out and value pleasure, but even in their ability to feel pleasure. Lowen called this state anhedonia.

Lowen used the term pleasure in its most general sense for pretty much anything that makes us feel good including social contact, play, games, hobbies, the enjoyment of creativity, and, of course, the sensual pleasures of food, music, dancing and sex.

Lowen maintained that pleasure does for the spirit what food does for the body; it is an essential source of energy. He believed that oftentimes the immobility and inaction associated with depression or anxiety was actually a result of a person’s life lacking in the psychic fuel source of pleasure.

To be clear: Lowen was not a hedonist in the traditional sense. He was in no way saying that pleasure is the highest goal of life – family, service to the community, or some work contribution all offer better ‘whys’ to continue living. Rather, his experience told him that pleasure is a fundamental human need, and that if we fail to meet that need, it damages not just our happiness but also our ability to move forward with our life goals.

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  1. Excuse me, but… recovering? Really? Society will ‘never’ be allowed to recover from this. There will be a new crisis for as often and as many times as it takes to keep everyone cowering under their beds full-time because that is how the corrupt fill-in-the-blanks make their money; creating false monsters and boogeymen for the sake of fattening their pocket books.

    Sorry, I cannot agree with the views, here. I can still manage to find some joy and comfort in my life, despite my pessimistic (and increasingly realistic) views of Canada and the world.