Momentary Pleasure

Momentary pleasure is experienced when a need is satisfied, but when all needs are satisfied, we expe- rience boredom. With Schopenhauer’s characteristic pessimism, he said that we work six days a week to satisfy our needs and then we spend Sunday being bored.

Intelligent Beings Suffer the Most. Suffering varies with awareness. Plants suffer no pain because they lack awareness. The lowest species of animals and insects suffer some, and higher animals still more. Humans, of course, suffer the most, especially the most intelligent humans:

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Therefore, in proportion as knowledge attains to distinctness, consciousness is enhanced, pain also increases, and conse- quently reaches its highest degree in man; and all the more, the more distinctly he knows, and the more intelligent he is. The person in whom genius is to be found suf- fers most of all. (1818/1966)

Schopenhauer quoted from the book of Eccle- siastes in the Bible to support his contention that intelligent people suffer more than unintelligent people: “In much wisdom there is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow” (1851/1995a). Schopenhauer believed that the suffering caused by wisdom had a nobility associated with it but that the life of a fool was simply without higher meaning. There is little doubt which sort of life Schopenhauer believed was most desirable.

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