'Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth.'
 
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 Pleasure and suffering

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Thrasymachus
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PostSubject: Pleasure and suffering   Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:24 pm

An excerpt I wrote from a conversation between myself and Parodites:


I have been devoting more time to trying to discover what pleasure and pain "are", which for me means not only how we experience them and what extant function/s they serve, individually and socially, but rather also how these have developed, and why. It is easy to trace these to survival potential and natural selection, of course. But going a bit deeper here, it seems that pleasure and pain, indeed all basic tactile sensations (of which pleasure and pain represent ends of a spectrum) arise in order to communicate a difference, a change. This is immediate at the level of the organism's biochemsitry, a sudden shift in conditions affecting cellular structure/s, which generates some sort of tactile sensation falling somewhere on the spectrum from pleasure to pain. We then elevate this to an entirely new level of experience in the mind, since we make of this awareness of difference/change an emotional order, a sensation on the level of affects. This "inner tactile" quality that we call emotions serves the very same function, to communicate a change in conditions impressing upon certain organic structures - in the case of pleasure and pain these structures are cellular/chemical, in the case of joy and suffering these structures are psychological. And of course higher level experiences of these more mental sensations also at times include degrees of the lower-order sensations of pleasure and pain.

In this way I understand what you identify here, that "pleasure has no conscience about itself"; pleasure does not require self-recognition or further contemplation. Pleasure being the sensation which identifies changes in structure that have been, over time, found to be beneficial to the organism's survival potential. I.e. that organism which feels pleasure as opposed to pain when it eats tends better to survive. This goes for all manner of sensations, and each has been forged within such an evolutionary fire -- with the possible exception of many of the affective, mental "inner tactile" sensations, although many of these probably developed in rudimentary, "violent" forms based on an evolutionary imperative, but later were refined by socialization and development of self-consciousness potential, into what we now have today as the whole spectrum of feelings and emotions. Pleasure, therefore, and sublimated mental-affective forms of joy/happiness/contentment, represent benefits which spur only the need to impress this behavior further upon the organism, which is to say, pleasure is self-reinforcing, "addicting". Whereas suffering, on the other hand, inspires an entirely different need, the need to immediately seek alteration of circumstances so as to alleviate the condition/s causing suffering. So on the level of basic cellular chemistry/neurobiology as well as on the higher-order level of self-reflective consciousness and affective-mental inner tactile sensations, suffering/pain/discomfort naturally motivate, indeed must motivate, some process of recognition, understanding, and action.

Thus is suffering a "way into" the center of consciousness, if we aim to observe those reasons why we act as we do. Pleasure adopts the form of addiction, whereas suffering the form of contemplation and further action.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful
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PostSubject: Re: Pleasure and suffering   Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:05 am

Capable wrote:
An excerpt I wrote from a conversation between myself and Parodites:


I have been devoting more time to trying to discover what pleasure and pain "are", which for me means not only how we experience them and what extant function/s they serve, individually and socially, but rather also how these have developed, and why. It is easy to trace these to survival potential and natural selection, of course. But going a bit deeper here, it seems that pleasure and pain, indeed all basic tactile sensations (of which pleasure and pain represent ends of a spectrum) arise in order to communicate a difference, a change.

I herd somewhere that when you focus on what is paining you it can reduce the pain often, as that is what the pain is about in the first place, trying to bring attention to a problem. Of course when it comes to such as love loss or such it can be perhaps harder to fix because we tend to think the pain is from the relation ship loss and we focus on the person rather then the state of psychology that lead and was the cause of the pain...

Which is why when you stub your two bending down and rubbing it helps, you are taking a physical act of noticing the pain... it aid your pain-brain in recognizing your notice-ment.
Quote :

Thus is suffering a "way into" the center of consciousness, if we aim to observe those reasons why we act as we do. Pleasure adopts the form of addiction, whereas suffering the form of contemplation and further action.
So it is suffering that lead to Gautama Buddha's realizations... perhaps in his case sympathizing with others in pain... and as I have had many Buddhists tell me one does not and should not seek to be awakened or achieve enlightenment... it is simply something that happens; which amounts to saying don't seek suffering it will come on its own when it is your time.

 

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"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates
"Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God." -Cicero
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without necessarily believing it." -Aristotle
"I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law." -Aristotle
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PostSubject: Re: Pleasure and suffering   Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:59 pm

Quote :
Thus is suffering a "way into" the center of consciousness, if we aim to observe those reasons why we act as we do. Pleasure adopts the form of addiction, whereas suffering the form of contemplation and further action.

They both swim in the same waters. Both suffering and pleasure are sensations in response to sensory stimuli.
They are both capable of leading one into the center of consciousness if they are used as tools of experience in the moment or in hindsight to understand our selves through honesty and to question the direction in which we want to go - do we want to live in freedom or do we choose to live in bondage?

Pleasure need not adopt the form of addiction - but it may help one adapt to living a better life - not a hedonistic one, but one where one 'sees' the actual good of living which in turn causes one to see the value of life. If there was no pleasure but only suffering - where would the will to live come from?

Suffering may very easily also take on a form of masochistic pleasure, which in my book, leads to the degradation of self-valuing. But on the other hand, suffering may lead to greater self-awareness and a fuller consciousness if not forced but just allowed to flow through a will which values and loves itself and which wishes to continue to become more...

Pleasure is no more a negative than suffering is a positive. They must both be experienced within balance and felt and seen within what is real and not illusion if the individual is to thrive and grow. One must always question what is real and what is illusion within their life. How do we do this? Perhaps by stepping outside of ourselves, determined to take another look, with fresh eyes, and from a different angle, being willing to be wrong in our perceptions and changing them. The 'real' and the 'illusion' may change places at any time if we let in enough light to see by.


 

___________
Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself.


Philosophy is the childhood of the intellect, and a culture that tries to skip it will never grow up."


"If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped."

Thomas Nagel
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