Questioning Pleasure: A Dialogue

Pleasure is the structure of society. From childhood until death we are secretly, cunningly or obviously pursuing pleasure. So whatever our form of pleasure is, I think we should be very clear about it because it is going to guide and shape our lives. It is therefore important for each one of us to investigate closely, hesitantly and delicately this question of pleasure. For to find pleasure, and then nourish and sustain it, is a basic demand of life, and without it existence becomes dull, stupid, lonely, and meaningless. You may ask why then should life not be guided by pleasure? For the very simple reason that pleasure must bring pain, frustration, sorrow, fear, and out of fear, violence. If you want to live that way, live that way. Most of the world does, anyway., but if you want to be free from sorrow you must understand the whole structure of pleasure.

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  • Pratap B.

    Yes, Richard, IT, whatever IT is, finds us here and there by sedating "me" temporarily, so to speak, through objects of the world "me" likes (indulging in money, power, fame, sex, etc etc) pleasuring itself! This is really a clue or invitation by IT, as I see it, to wake "me" up to its real home, IT itself which can be ours by seeing the futility of such indulgence! Then IT allows us to use these very objects as tools with which to celebrate the Life!

    May 6, 2013

  • Richard M.

    Bill; “what is there to do about it” that is exactly the question. “I” cannot do anything about it; in fact “I” gets in the way. The eastern religions have tried to quiet the mind with various meditation systems because they know it gets in the way. The experience that came to me (speculation: heart chakra??) came uninvited by the ego. It may have been the fact that I was so in the Now listening to K for the first time in my life that it found me, because the “I” cannot find it.

    1 · May 3, 2013

  • Richard M.

    Bill great quote. To me it indicates how likely the various major religions were born from someone with an insight (Abraham, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad) and how those that followed institutionalized their interpretation of that individual’s experience. In the same way we are born into innocence and gradually build a structure of likes and dislikes in our brain that we eventually call “I”. Could it be that this layered “I” (ego that we build) is what might be keeping us from ever experiencing that original insight?

    May 3, 2013

  • Jay F.

    The 11 people at this dialogue spent a good portion of the two + hours together actually questioning what love isn't and is, how the self operates in terms of love, pleasure and fear, and is it possible to question or look with ideas. There was a pleasant shortage of correct answers and positions staked out. People had a difficult time leaving.

    April 26, 2013

  • Pratap B.

    We need to find that place within us from where we feel pure unalloyed Presence, which is the Knowing Itself beyond mind. This comes as feeling of certainty with no words! Mind can only express it in words at best!
    This will gradually free up conditioning superimposed upon this Presence! Presence, the Knowingness as Intelligence, Love and Beauty will bring right perspective on Pleasure seeking and its place in life! I trust this!

    April 23, 2013

  • Jay F.

    Hi Pratap - Hope you'll come to the dialogue and join us in exploring "pleasure." Jay

    March 26, 2013

    • Pratap B.

      Love to be there one of these days, will see!

      March 26, 2013

    • Pratap B.

      Jay I missed you at Kathi's! Lively Richard and Carol also were missing had to cancell the day before as I understand! It was wonderful exchanges and felt peaceful! We will see you in MD...soon...

      April 23, 2013

  • Richard M.

    From this quote K doesn’t seem to be admonishing our pursuit of pleasure: “For to find pleasure, and then nourish and sustain it, is a basic demand of life, and without it existence becomes dull, stupid, lonely, and meaningless.” However he seems to be pointing out its complexity: “pleasure must bring pain, frustration, sorrow, fear, and out of fear, violence.” Pain, frustration, sorrow if our particular pleasure is not achieved or if achieved then lost. Fear it may go or be taken away. Possibly violence if someone comes between us and our pleasure.

    This interpretation of K is presented for your mental stimulation.

    April 23, 2013

  • Richard M.

    Hi all. Hope to make it down there from PA.

    April 20, 2013

  • Kimber

    Hi, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to come. This is a great topic.

    April 1, 2013

  • Pratap B.

    Seeking pleasure involves the sense organ and mind. Mind demands more and more while sense organs are limited in their ability to fulfill the demand of mind and hence pain is inevitable..
    As long as we understand this we can seek it naturally! Instead of seeking it, let it happen when it does organically as all senses are open to what is available around...Thus it will be wise to expose them to spiritual environment more and more by having dialogues like this, Satsangs, Kirtans/bhajans, reading such books and yet without restraining/suppressing them!
    Happiness is the answer as it doesn't depend on any "thing" and yet it welcomes them for celebration. It comes as deep understanding of our true nature being simply Being that Knows Itself, not as this or that!

    March 25, 2013

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