Percakapan Oliver dan Bill

Minggu, Maret 29, 2020

picture by: Javier Salido (

Suddenly he said: “Can one ever experience pleasure that is not attached to an object? Pure pleasure?” 

I thought about this for a moment, marveling mostly that he had suddenly had this thought and voiced it. But I was not sure I understood. “What do you mean by ‘attached to an object?’” 

“Well, one can say, a piece of music gave you pleasure, or seeing a handsome face, or smelling something delicious. But can pleasure be independent of any influences?” 

I hesitated but thought of a feeling I get sometimes where I am conscious of nothing but a sense of well-being. “Yes, I think so. I am feeling it now. Do you?” 

“Yes, I do. And I think cannabis can bring this out.” 

I smiled. I am charmed that he always calls pot “cannabis”—I imagine Darwin would do the same.

“Oliver, are you experiencing this now?” 

His eyes were still closed: O watching his internal movies. “Yes, oh yes …” 

“Oliver, is this not happiness? Is this pure pleasure the same as happiness?”

“I don’t know. What do you think?” 

“I think not. Pleasure, even if it’s not dependent on an object, involves the senses—is sensuous. Pleasure can bring happiness, but happiness doesn’t necessarily give one pleasure. So which is of the higher order of the two?” 

“Happiness. Happiness is more complex.” 


(disadur dari buku Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me oleh Bill Hayes,  hal 114-115)

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