All sensations of the body and the mind can be included in that one word, pleasure. All our actions seem to be directed towards maximizing pleasure, and minimizing pain.
We accept short term pain in our life, but only in the pursuit of long-term pleasure. Why do we eat? Why do we work? Why do we love others? Why do we do anything, if not for a hidden desire for more pleasure in some form? Some of us even give, because it gives us pleasure. Almost nothing we do, is selfless. We are consumed by our selfish, narrow, petty desires for personal gratification. We can pretend and grandstand all we like, but deep down, all we want is one thing, pleasure, and we know it.
It is our one honest demand from life, to give us the maximum amount of pleasure it can afford, and if possible, ask nothing in return. It is the only thing that makes us feel alive, because everything else, seems so dull and boring. Therefore we seek pleasure, knowingly, or unknowingly. The present moment, as it were, is empty and lonely. The only escape from its dread is pleasure.
Sometimes, we even give it a different name, ‘happiness’. However, is happiness in our control? Can you be happy right now, instantly, if you want to be? You can’t. You cannot create something directly, when it is a side-effect of something else. Happiness is not a direct consequence of our actions, but their unexpected side effect. And not just any action, but correct action.
Happiness is always unexpected, and if you expect it, then how is it different from pleasure?
If we have to be brutally honest, about the one thing we care about most in life, it is pleasure. There is no desire to escape from this fact. There is only coming to terms with it, accepting it, being with it. All is a desire for pleasure, and nothing else.
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