The pleasure principle is the psychoanalytic concept describing people seeking pleasure and avoiding suffering (pain) in order to satisfy their biological and psychological needs. The counterpart concept, the reality principle, describes people choosing to defer gratification of a desire when circumstantial reality disallows its immediate gratification. Maturity is learning to endure the pain of deferred gratification, when reality requires it; an ego thus educated has become ‘reasonable’; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished. ~ Sigmund Freud
Where is the true fulfillment in seeking constant pleasure? What is discovered over time is that it is fleeting, and in the end, leaves one with a feeling of emptiness, depression and boredom. For the constant pleasure seeker, addictive behaviors emerge as they attempt to top their last fix. Predatory and manipulative actions take precedence as the seeker avoids the inevitable…a look in the mirror.
Any time we think we can hide from our feelings, fears and deep dark secrets, we are mistaken. We may run to avoid feeling the pain but we are only fooling ourselves. The pain is still there, it is just manifesting as a pressure cooker ready to blow. When we confront our feelings, including our painful past, we are allowing the wounds to scab over and heal. Can it be an arduous process? Yes. Is it worth every tearful, angry, frustrating discovery? Yes. The only way to move through the mountain is to climb to its highest peak and back down. No short cuts. It takes work to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but remaining in the tunnel with tiny glimpses of light will only send you home with a load of inner loneliness at the end of the day.
Seek balance in your life. Pleasure is a beautiful thing, combined with self-reflection, humanity and creativity. When we live a life of consistent seeking we lose all values and decency as we search for the self-serving egotistical high. Not only are we hurting ourselves but we end up abusing others on our path to destruction. Dig deep, connect with Spirit, ask for guidance, bring meaning into your life and it will be a life worth living.