top of page
Search

Happiness vs Pleasure



Lately, I’ve been thinking about these two very important emotions, and it seems to me, that we have confused, and in fact, equated, their meaning. We seek pleasure under the false notion that happiness will come with it, or in fact that one is the same as the other, but is this the case?

In a reality where money, apparently, ‘makes the world go round’, this confusion certainly benefits the system, after all, pleasure can be bought, and seeing as it is inevitably short lived, it can be sold to you many, many times. It is a lucrative business that of selling pleasure, and very much the basis of the consumerist society we live in.

Happiness, on the other hand, is freely available and can be long lasting. Pleasure is about having, taking, owning. Happiness is about giving, sharing, offering. Pleasure can be achieved with substances, happiness cannot. The extremes of pleasure lead to addiction, whether it’s to do with substances or behaviours, but there’s no such thing as being addicted to too much happiness.

So how did we come to confuse such antagonistic concepts? I would think it’s precisely because one can be packaged, marketed and sold at a profit, whilst the other one is an attitude, an understanding, an insight into the essence of who we truly are and what life is all about. One concept requires money, the other one requires selflessness, so guess which of these two concepts has been promoted, advertised and encouraged? The materialistic pursuit of pleasure that drives our consumerist society? Or the introspective quest for inner balance, peace and lasting happiness, which inevitably leads to strong, free thinking and less manipulable people? I think the answer is clear even to the least cynical of minds!

When we pursue happiness through the quest for pleasure we become the donkey that runs after the carrot that’s being dangled in front of it, we are simply never going to reach it, but in the process we are greasing and feeding the system that deceived and misled us in the first place. The seemingly unachievable ‘carrot’ ie. the happiness we wrongly seek through pleasure, turns out, is not only eluding us because we are effectively looking in the wrong place, but because biochemically one blocks out the other.

Pleasure produces dopamine and happiness produces serotonin. Both dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters; chemicals that the brain produces in order to communicate between one nerve cell and another. Dopamine excites neurons, but when neurons are excited too much too often, they tend to die. The neurons’ defence mechanism against death by over-stimulation, is to reduce the number of receptors that are available to be stimulated. This process is called ‘downregulation’ and it explains why, whether it be substances or behaviours generating the rush, one will eventually have to increase the dose or the behaviour in order to get the same degree of a rush. Each time requiring a bigger hit and a bigger hit until eventually one requires a huge hit for hardly any effect. This is called ‘tolerance’ and when the neurons start to die, it is called ‘addiction’.

Serotonin, on the other hand, is an inhibitor. It inhibits its receptors, in other words, it slows down the neurons instead of causing them to fire up and in doing so one experiences a feeling of contentment, serenity, fulfilment or in fact, that elusive thing we call ‘happiness’. But here comes the most interesting fact: there’s one thing that downregulates serotonin, guess what that is? it's dopamine. In effect, the more pleasure you seek, the more unhappy you get. This sure explains why addicts tend to be very unhappy people but it also casts a light onto why society may be suffering from epidemic levels of unhappiness.

It seems we are effectively reducing our chances at happiness with every meaningless pursuit of materialistic or hedonistic pleasure. As the ‘carrot’ continues to be out of our reach, we fall into an inflationary behaviour of seeking the next, and the next, and the next ‘thrill’ or ‘hit’, in a vicious circle of needing and wanting, like a hamster in a wheel thinking if it runs faster it might reach a destination. Let's face it, we have been fooled, led astray, conned into thinking we can buy what can’t be bought. Pleasure is not happiness, they are two very different things, so make sure not to look for one in the other for you may be killing your chances at finding and keeping what I believe we are ultimately looking for. You want to know where to find it? look no further; happiness is within and it's free, isn’t that good news?!

6,831 views16 comments

16件のコメント


Since I am not an expert as far as computers are concerned I did not find another way to thank you very much for your work. You definitely deserve a few days off and getting into some sort of holiday mood.


Let me wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a few days of rest and relaxtion.


I very much look forward to reading your blog again in a few days.


Kind regards from Southern Styria, Austria

いいね!

Jacob Conterio
Jacob Conterio
2023年12月23日

Laura, I just saw your post from telegram earlier today linking to this profound, beautiful blog entry. You have such a wonderful divine gift. Everything you post that I have read touches deeply within indeed. Your words are inspired. We all love you. Keep up the outstanding work. I'm so excited to read and comment on the posts that I haven't been able to read yet. Thank you, Laura, for sharing the ponderings of your heart and mind and soul as you tap into more pure and holy realms, which you then share with the world. Each word and phrase is a packet, a burst of light that edifies all. With love and light as always,

Jacob

LivingTruthWithin.org

Ps. Stranges…

いいね!
Laura Aboli
Laura Aboli
2023年12月25日
返信先

Thank you Jacob!🙏🏻

いいね!

To begin with I want to tell that I am Austrian and have been following your telegram blog since you started it. I no longer remember how, but by chance I discovered your blog and immediately knew that this is the one from America I would enjoy following. If I wasn't already past 70 I would probably try to meet you in person, because I have the feeling that we are sort of soul mates. Nevertheless I am happy reading what you post, listening to your speeches and waiting for your short mornig and evening letters, which has become my daily routine. By the way, I often busy myself with trying to translate what you write into Russian, just for…

いいね!
Laura Aboli
Laura Aboli
2023年12月21日
返信先

Thank you Karl, what a lovely message… Bless you! 🙏🏻❤️

いいね!

KOL
KOL
2023年12月21日

Since i discovered your writtings, you keep inspiring me. You are a being that lives in the Mystery, thats what life's all about as it unfolds with purpose. Thank you so much, everyday, i look forward to reading your first insight.

In the Mystery schools, where one follows their inner Knowing (Knowledge), one knows that the purusit of happiness is a persuit in vain. Happiness is not a goal in life - as you say the carrot in front of the donkey. Happiness as defined by Marshall Vian Summers in his revelations (New Message from God), is the result of ones action. That is to say, a particular action that brings joy to oneself. I like the interplay between happiness…

いいね!

Everyone should read 'Mind Hacking Happiness' Great assessment.

いいね!
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page