I think when sages said staying with pain opens doors to greater wisdom and consciousness and that we shouldn’t chase after pleasure. – what they meant is:
life is fundamentally joyous and we deserve to feel pleasure and we are worthy to feel pleasure. But without a strong foundation of understanding of the desires, the pleasures can easily open up additions and own us instead of us seeking pleasure to fulfill our inner desires.
Our bodies know what we need, it has insanely amazing intelligence. If we are tuned into this body and can listen to what our body needs, then when it needs pleasure we can allow it to enjoy pleasure but knowingly, comes from a place of understanding that I am seeking the pleasure, that my intelligent body is desiring this from life at this point.
The difference between seeking pleasure without this understanding I think is, then we feel the need to seek pleasure and deliver it to us, and we seek the joy it gives us and we get addicted to it, and before we know we are eating 10 cookies and now the pleasure owns us. I think if we don’t have that clarity into our inner body, of its desires and when the pleasures are fulfilled – which is very hard to do in the modern world filled with distractions and stimulations of all kinds – then we lose track of when our pleasures are satisfied and the knowing that we are in control and not the pleasure.
Maybe when a need for pleasure comes up, instead of reaching for it right away, just sitting with it and asking if this is really what is needed for my intelligence body or am I seeking this to cover a very deep underlying desire – might give more insight to what we truly desire. Which will give an everlasting fulfillment over the immediate pleasure we seek.
Most of the time we don’t even feel our bodies from within to see what our bodies need. We just automatically reach for pleasures because of the thought of the joy it can give. And then it creates a hook for that joy via this pleasure. Because the underlying desire is not met, now it is covered up with this pleasure quickly. Quick pleasures have something with it that makes them very easy to get addicted to. And the pleasure it gives runs out quickly too. Whereas if I were to listen deeply to my body’s intelligence and give it the deeply needed pleasure to feel fulfilled, that would keep me fulfilled for longer.
It is perfectly ok, actually more than ok, and it’s our right to feel various pleasures in life. Life is joyous with all the pleasures. We just need to listen carefully to the call for pleasure from within, and clearly know it is me seeking the pleasure and not the pleasure, seeking me. I think just being with ourselves and listening to the feedback from our 5 senses, the breath and pulse from the heart, we can train ourselves to listen very closely to what our inner works desire and lack and know when it’s fulfilled.
I think most of the time when we are addicted to pleasure, we lose track of when the desire for pleasure is filled. Again if we pay absolute attention to our inner works, we can see when we experience pleasure, and once the pleasure experience is done or during the pleasure experience, a sense of “urg I don’t really need this anymore” or feeling of left low and empty – that is a great sign that the need has already been met for the pleasure and we are owned by the pleasure now.
It’s like you eat the first cookie because a cookie is what your inner desires crave. But after eating 3, 4, or 5 cookies you start to feel gross, that is when you have crossed the line of fulfilling the inner desire but now the temptation of the pleasure of eating a cookie owns your guidance system. If we are always intuned with our inner guidance system and pay absolute attention to its subtle signals, I think we can know “hey I have had enough cookies and my craving for cookies is fulfilled time to get up and move away”.
Amazingly great insight is already within us working at the top level for us, we just need to be quiet enough to listen to the wisdom that is always presented to us.