Coded green.

Monday 22 July 2002

Small pines and ferns

Pic of the day: Actually this picture has nothing to do with it, but it's kinda pretty!

Pleasure attack again

It feels so good, I just want to howl to the music. Or without it.

I had another pleasure attack last night. No, that's not panic attack, even though it might have developed into that. I forced myself to calm down, but it still disturbed my sleep somewhat.

I know I have written before about these pleasure attacks, or bouts of groundless euphoria. But this is the first in a long time; they were much more common a couple years ago. (Looking through my archives, it seems that the major season was late fall 1999, but I think it was more spread out than that.) I guess my underlying mood is lower now. There may be several reasons for this, external and internal reasons (and some who are a bit of both). But aside from mood, I think something else is at work, namely muscle tone.


A pleasure attack (I'm not even sure it has a scientific name) always seems to go along with a high muscle tension in much of my body but especially the chest and vocal tract. I feel like singing, and singing in a rather high-pitched voice at that. There is tension, lots of tension, but in a good way. To a child, I guess I would explain it as the feeling just before you get to open your Christmas gifts or birthday gifts. To an adult, another comparison comes to mind. Kinda like the frenzied but still conscious state you are in a little before the peak, where you probably want to stay for a while if you have the time. Except these pleasure attacks are mainly brain and upper body... there is no activation of the reproductive system at all. I guess it could be more like religious ecstasy; but there's no such context either.

Music seems to play a role in bringing about a pleasure attack. But it is not enough in itself. I believe perhaps there must already be a suitable tension in the body, an underlying state of readiness. The music must be simple, harmonic, melodic. And it must have a certain shape of energy. This part is kinda hard to explain, but there must be a wavelike change in the expressed energy of the music. The energy can be expressed as loudness or as pitch: The louder or the more high-pitched, the more energetic. I find that instrumental music is more likely to cause a pleasure attack, but some songs can do it too. In yesterday's attack my collection of music for Morrowind is heavily suspected, as I played the game quite a bit and it is beautiful. In addition to the theme song from the game itself, I have added MP3 files from two CDs that I own: Two tracks from an Andes pan flute CD I bought on the street and four tracks from Kitaro's CD "Towards the West". They all fit the bill.

Music is not necessary, even though it seems to be a frequent trigger. I have also incidentally discovered that certain words can increase the irrational sense of pleasure. Not through their content but the shape of the sound. The words need not make sense. I suspect these words may vary from brain to brain, so I won't write them here unless you specifically request it. ^_^


A pleasure attack may certainly sound like a good thing all around. Is not quite that easy though. As the evening turned into night proper, I felt that the tension was too close to the border between pleasure attack and panic attack. Anything that affects my breathing makes me a bit nervous, because of my childhood asthma. And the overall tension does nothing to help, either. For me, panic is mainly a night thing, pleasure a day thing. I managed to tone it down by playing a boring computer game until I was ready to fall asleep in my chair. I crawled off to bed and fell asleep at once. I kept waking up at least half way again and again, because of the tension in my legs. They wanted to move, and in my sleep I couldn't resist. So I didn't sleep much this night.

But I'm not complaining. Of the millions of problems that billions of humans have, infrequent pleasure attacks must be right there at the bottom. I just find it fascinating, in a scientific way. And you must admit that makes for unusual journal entries ...

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Sermon on Cain
Two years ago: Day, delayed
Three years ago: I'm a happy loser

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