In Search of Pleasure

Distinction and responsibility

Pleasure from outward success

Pleasure at the animal level is a full belly, good health, freedom and the passing on of DNA. Pleasure also equates to success yet pleasure is transient, it cannot be held on to and only exists in the moment of experience although there may be an afterglow of success.

Although animals compete fiercely for sexual rights, they give few outward signs of pleasure, but when their lives are in balance they are obviously content.

To know about our distant past as this human form evolved from the primitive animal, we need only look at the animals of today to see that they experience rudimentary pleasure.

A secondary degree of pleasure is that of acceding to rank and a position of dominance within society be at animal or human. To climb in social rank implies an element of desire the application of strategy and the assertion of willpower.

The acquisition of rank or domination over others has its rewards, but also has societal expectations. In the primitive society, the brutal ape may be set upon and killed by the tribe. Within all the primate groups including ourselves the accession to power and domination is more about protection and leadership, and within these societies, good leadership is rewarded.

Within human relationships,
the pleasure of sex is toxic when love is absent.

Many people are thinking, "I can enjoy this material world very nicely. Everyone is having such a good time. There is no reason I can't enjoy myself as much as they." This idea is illusion because there is no real enjoyment in the material world. We may rise to a very high position like President Kennedy. We may be very good-looking, very famous, very intelligent, and well educated, very wealthy and very powerful, and we may have a very beautiful wife and children and hold the highest position in the country - but at any moment we are subject to be shot down. This is the nature of the material world: we have to face danger at every step. There is no question of having pleasure without impediments. Even when the pleasures are earned, they are earned after a great deal of struggle and sacrifice, and whatever pleasure may be acquired is temporary, for in the material world there is no pleasure that can give us constant and unending enjoyment. Only Kṛṣṇa can give us that." ~ From "The Science of Self-Realization", by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Reward equals pleasure

Over the aeons of our existence, humankind has struggled with physical existence alongside all the other species. Humankind however has evolved and some may argue that we have actually outsmarted ourselves to our own detriment.

In our hunter gatherer societies, our pleasures were similar to those of the animals, but as agricultural societies developed, the idea of pleasure became more refined along with the idea that might is right.

The first wrongs in search of pleasure was the subjugation of women, other forms of slavery and the idea of debt. Humankind has been struggling with these ideas for the past ten thousand years or more. Their struggles often ended in violent conflict, so much so that many civilisations have come and gone.

In our few remaining hunter gatherer societies, pleasure is found in the attainment of basic human needs, but in modern society the desire of pleasure has become a driving and even a corrupting force.

The corruption began a very long time ago when distorted egos began to rule societies and debts were accepted by the less strong. This created systems of usery and cronyism that despite all the warnings and frequent wars continue into this day.

In today’s world, authority pays lip service to what is the most noble and highest of human qualities while actioning the worst. We call this bigotry and creates such confusion causing so many to become lost.

This unscrupulous drive for domination, control over others is driven by the promise of reward when the total achievement has been made. It’s kind of ironic that those who succeed to power and impose their will on society so often fail to achieve their desire. At the end of their life which often comes sooner than anticipated, they may realise the been following a foolish dream and if they have any understanding of Karma, they may anticipate a rough time in the next round of existence.

Today’s youth

Growing up in today’s world can be a nightmare for so many children and the points made above make it so, and also the reason why so many choose to end their lives prematurely.

For most of us, education has been about the promise of pleasure. Learn some skills, learn a trade and be a good citizen and pleasure will be yours. The pleasure here comes from doing the right thing and being a good citizen, earning money, paying taxes and preparing your own children to take their place inside the machine where like you they will look at the carrot of pleasure dangling in front of them.

With today’s population and so many plotting along like the proverbial donkey, the dream is never realised because in so many instances, that character was only an empty promise, it never had any substance.

This is a modern tragedy that has played out countless times and to counter that drudgery pleasure is sought on the sidelines where it is labelled as deviance and the individuals often chastised. Yet deviance is a consequence of suffering and social injustice.

The promise of pleasure and happiness has become such a huge lie and yet strange we continue to swallow it. But it has dire consequences for humanity. One of the consequences lies with our children and how they must take on a huge burden of debt simply to get an education.

Our children are engaged in a struggle and they will turn anything into cash to try and salvage their lives from debt slavery. They are becoming more focused and they don’t have time for emotions like empathy which does not help them to make money.

With less empathy in the world, will be less compassion. With less compassion there will be less tolerance and understanding of each other. This will lead to ever more conflict and as we can see in today’s world is bringing the entire population of the planet to the brink of annihilation.

The desire for pleasure has consequences

There are alternative ways to pleasure. But for the masses of this earth to all find pleasure and happiness, we need to stop and completely reinvent civilisation and the rules by which we govern ourselves. But until such time as we do that, if we want to experience and celebrate our humanity, we must look outside of the square.

As I wrote previously, we can find pleasure in music, touch, sex and other mediums. It’s important to find gratification in the moment because if we follow the carrot for too long, that messes with our chemistry we lose our ability to express pleasure.

Actually, I have not written about sex as yet as it is one of the surest ways to find pleasure. But unfortunately it can also cause a lot of pain.

So today, the idea of pleasure is something in the future, something waiting for us and for many it’s so often in the next life. But that’s a foolish belief and belief is one of the inhibitors that prevents us from experiencing pleasure. The most valid pleasures are those in which you are entirely responsible and that don’t create victims

So what are you doing for pleasure and is working for you?


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