This is about the feeling of “falling in love” and other thrills. Let’s start with an ingenious quotation from Mr. C. S. Lewis:

“People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on ‘being in love’ for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to change – not realizing that, when they have changed, the glamor will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. The sort of thrill a boy has at the first idea of flying will not go on when he has joined the R.A.F. and is really learning to fly. The thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away when you really go to live there. Does this mean it would be better not to learn to fly and not to live in a beautiful place? By no means. In both cases, if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for a quieter and more lasting kind of interest. What is more (and I can hardly find words to tell you how important I think this is), it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction. The man who has learned to fly and become a good pilot will suddenly discover music; the man who has settled down to live in a beauty spot will discover gardening.

This is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live until it first dies. It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go – let it die away – go on through a period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow – and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life. It is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors open all around them. It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.”

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, pp. 110-111

What does that mean? It’s like in a video game: after you mastered one level, you are thrown into a new, a bit similar but harder level, to master that one too. For example, once the thrill of having falling in love went out, still there is the thrill of deep mutual understanding to be discovered.

What is a total failure, however, is if people always seek for the thrill on the same level, as they will get more and more desperate during that search. For example, people who experienced the thrill of seeing a special landscape may go on and on in that, travelling the whole world to seek the craziest landscapes, and still will not find the thrill again that they had with the first few landscapes. And all the while, they miss the thrills of the next level in travelling, which is, for example, to bond with the locals, to learn their language, to learn to understand how they think, to develop relationships with them.

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