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The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning Audiobook, by Paul Bloom
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The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning Audiobook, by Paul Bloom
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Author: Paul Bloom Narrator: Sean Patrick Hopkins Publisher: HarperAudio Audio Length: Release Date: November 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780062910592

Publisher Description

From the author of Against Empathy comes a different kind of happiness book, one that shows us how suffering is an essential source of both pleasure and meaning in our lives.

Why do we so often seek out physical pain and emotional turmoil? We go to movies that make us cry, or scream, or gag. We poke at sores, eat spicy foods, immerse ourselves in hot baths, run marathons. Some of us even seek out pain and humiliation in sexual role-play. Where do these seemingly perverse appetites come from?

Drawing on groundbreaking findings from psychology and brain science, The Sweet Spot shows how the right kind of suffering sets the stage for enhanced pleasure. Pain can distract us from our anxieties and help us transcend the self. Choosing to suffer can serve social goals; it can display how tough we are or, conversely, can function as a cry for help. Feelings of fear and sadness are part of the pleasure of immersing ourselves in play and fantasy and can provide certain moral satisfactions. And effort, struggle, and difficulty can, in the right contexts, lead to the joys of mastery and flow.

But suffering plays a deeper role as well. We are not natural hedonists—a good life involves more than pleasure. People seek lives of meaning and significance; we aspire to rich relationships and satisfying pursuits, and this requires some amount of struggle, anxiety, and loss. Brilliantly argued, witty, and humane, Paul Bloom shows how a life without chosen suffering would be empty—and worse than that, boring.  

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

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About the Author

Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the acclaimed How Pleasure Works. He has won several awards for his research and teaching, and his scientific and popular articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Nature, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Science, Slate, and many other publications.

About the Narrator

Thérèse Plummer is an actor, award-winning voice-over artist, and counselor. She is a winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has appeared in a variety of television and film roles. As a counselor for adolescents, she spent five years using drama therapy techniques in individual and group settings.