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The Importance of Pleasure

A temporary release from suffering

happinness

Sharing pleasure

When we consider the nature of our lives, a great many of us are trapped in some kind of suffering as a result of external politics and conditions as well as problems we create for ourselves. Pleasure involves our senses of perception be it physical, mental or emotional with spiritual pleasure or ecstasy the highest emotion.

Suffering and unhappiness is not what we are designed for, it's simply a consequence of a whole lot of stuff either real or unreal. The baseline for human well-being is peace from which happiness, joy, bliss and ecstasy can flower.

However when people are suffering, pleasure offers a temporary respite and yet it has also become a commodity. Drugs, alcohol, entertainments, food and so many other activities provide small pleasures and take minds off the larger issues affecting our lives.

One of the downsides of pleasure is that it can become addictive as we know with some drugs and alcohol. Yet when there is peace, activities that people consider pleasurable give rise to happiness, joy and even ecstasy. But for the person trapped in suffering, indulgence in pleasure may give rise to a temporary sense of joy and ecstasy as experienced during orgasm.

Within our civilisation, pleasure is the carrot at the end of the stick that makes us work so we can enjoy the pleasures our pay checks can buy. Philosophers going back to Plato have attempted to define and argued the merits of pleasure, yet pinning down anything more than a general meaning escapes our grasp.

Temporary pleasures are of body and mind,
eternal pleasures are divine unity.

happy4

Happy to be making someone else happy is a simple pleasure

For too many, pleasure is derived from from the games they play, by inflicting suffering on others either consciously or unconsciously for their own benefit. Worldly forces insist we lead a pious life where the simplest pleasures are a small reward for hard work and eternal pleasure in some afterlife.

The many day to day pleasures are the joy of waking in the morning, amicable interactions with our families, fellow human beings and nature. But every pleasure is a sensory experience of mind and body. It includes all those things that makes us smile and laugh, our kids, our successes and bodyscapes.

There are limits to pleasure and pleasure stolen or taken at another's expense will return to haunt the thief.  Pleasure comes in so many forms, but especially we feel pleasure when we are accepted without judgement, when we are loved and can love in return. I these three aspects of pleasure exist in our lives, we can usually endure all the suffering which comes our way.

Intellectual and emotional pleasure occurs more often when we are accepted without judgement, when we are loved and can love in return

Pleasure and suffering are based on sensory perception and inner satisfaction.
For us, inner satisfaction is the more important of these.  HHDL

Whatever your pleasure, take it and celebrate it for a help you to rise above the squalor of what the human race has become. It may help your body and mind to relax giving you a temporary peace of mind that you can utilise to align your life to greater truth

References:
Plato who you can read for free in the sacred text archive has laboriously gone into the philosophy of pleasure and a good reference is to be found in the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews as to what books to read.
Stanford University on Plato.

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3 comments to The Importance of Pleasure

  • Our culture offers pleasure at every turn with entertainment and access to experiences of all kinds, yet it seems to me that many of us are not that skilled at deeply experiencing it, and are instead, often guarded against it. Taking pleasure in life is directly linked to our happiness so the task of relearning what gives us pleasure and how to deeply experience it is imperative if we want to experience more happiness. The key to deeply experiencing pleasure is to be present with and consciously taking in what we are experiencing.

  • Bruce

    Pleasure is an important component in learning and without pleasure or reward, our kids wouldn’t learn and we’d be less motivated.

  • Lucile

    You’re soo right, after a week in the office my friends and I so look forward to the pleasure of getting wasted and obliterating our unpleasant experiences

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