Live a Life of Pleasure
We do not know the true nature of reality. There is no “objective reality” for us to fasten on and use as an absolute guide for our lives. This can be frightening or freeing, for if there is no absolute certainty then your reality is up to you. You create your reality through your conception (your belief system) of it.
Live a Life of Pleasure? Live a Life of Pain?
If you conceive of life as hard, people as self-serving, and yourself as a lone struggler amidst chaos that is most likely the reality you will experience. If you conceive of life as an adventure, people as fellow travelers and yourself as an explorer of the great unknown that is most likely the reality you will experience, and so on through infinite possibilities and permutations. The powerful point is that your perception and experience will follow your conception and belief no matter what the actual circumstances of your life situation.
If you want a happy, balanced reality allow yourself to cultivate a pleasure perspective. The enlightened master Osho taught that the clearest path to enlightenment is through pleasure, not hardship—partake of pleasure, realize bliss.
Our culture has a dichotomy toward pleasure; on the one hand we crave it, while on the other hand we deny it. Our body is designed for pleasure. In the female body, the only purpose of the clitoris is for pleasure. In the absence of pleasure human beings become crabby and mean, physically or mentally ill. When regularly experiencing pleasure most people are happier, nicer to be with, and more productive in their work.
Pleasure isn’t Hedonism
Some people confuse real pleasure with instant gratification. They become hedonists, acting only for immediate physical enjoyment and temporary emotional highs. Always seeking pleasure, always avoiding pain, a hedonist’s life is shallow and ultimately unsatisfactory.
Because our culture repeatedly warns us of the dangers of hedonism it is a challenge for men and women to learn to accept pleasure. They fear doing so will make them bad, selfish, and greedy. However, adopting a pleasure orientation does not mean you become a hedonist. It does mean that you are grateful to be a spirit in a body, you feel all the joys and the sorrows of love and loss, you give thanks for each new day, you celebrate living, you play and work hard, and you do your inner work to become fit for relationship and to awaken spiritually.
You understand that no one is always happy, but you also understand that your happiness is not dependent upon the circumstances of your life. You make happiness a choice, a way of living intentionally and consciously, and you can be content even in the face of adversity. You understand that pain is not optional—it’s part of the human experience, but that suffering is unnecessary and avoidable. Adversity and pain become your teachers not your masters.
When you adopt the pleasure orientation you don’t have to seek pleasure, it simply comes to you. When you enter into a committed relationship, when you open your heart to give and receive love, when you surrender and let go of all need to control everything, when you stay mindful—fully present from moment to moment, when you own your attention and intention, you will regularly experience great pleasure and you will know deep happiness.