Why do so many of us derive pleasure from things that may harm us?

Discussion in 'Mind' started by Harry, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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    We live in a world where good behaviour and reward is so innantely attached in our psyche that even we grow up with that script installed by our parents that keeps on running in our life and we keep on encoding or upgrading that version of software. At the end of the day, the society potrays a shiny picture of the achievments in the form of money, degress, power etc. But people fail to look at the other side of the story of so called champs after winning or achieving the feat , the society puts so much pressure or they consider it absolutely necessary to maintain their position or move up at the ladder of success that they start indulging in the very thing what was their passion. It's like a medicine which if taken in optimum amounts work wonder and if taken in excessive is a poison.
    All these indulgences leads to low self esteem, fear , depression, all sorts of negative things in life. We constantly chase some imaginary goal being presented by the society.
    But the most paradoxical thing is that these people do not know that all these things are taking a toll on their life .
    In depression, people are manifesting behaviour which is a form of self abuse . But these people are caught in this whirlpool and they seem not to go out of this. Again, we are being taught that we shud fight with our problems . Sam thing we do with our thoughts and the end result is that we just get exhausted. the best way to escape a whirlpool is to flow in it's direction and not to go against it. But our society always teaches -control. control, control.
    What are ur thoughts on this?
     
  2. Em1

    Em1 Active Member

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    Addiction... It's easier to continue in an existing cycle than it is to break it. Success can be an addiction or avoiding emotion (like fear) is an addiction, also. I think most people are too scared to be introspective - for some, it's just too much vulnerability. Others its about the shame they would feel being honest... Or that the effort it would take to get past their addiction is too great. Like you suggested, low self-esteem keeps people from believing that they could get past any of their issues.

    But, everyone has their own path and their own challenges. Where it gets tough is when you see someone struggling and know what would help but it's not your place to say anything. That's also a type of parenting to let a child struggle and learn on their own but still give support (that helps self esteem). There's an American Indian saying... It's something like: There's a difference between placing leather in front of a child (for them to walk a short distance on) and teaching them how to make a leather shoe. A lot of people aren't given the tools to be able to grow on their own - they'll always need a piece of leather to throw on the ground to make a pathway. It's a lot more effort to travel a small distance.
     
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  3. S33ker

    S33ker New Member

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    I personally think that everything we create on the outside is to replace what we are missing on the inside :)
     
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  4. Saraswati

    Saraswati Active Member

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    @Harry: The question in your title is an interesting one. I think in order to answer the question for yourself you need to examine what the words pleasure and harm mean to you. It seems to me that your "idea" of pleasure is just that, an idea, rather than an actual experience of pleasure. People do gain a sort of pleasure from ideas and they also gain a great deal of discomfort from ideas. But if all that's giving you pleasure is the "idea" of success then when that idea becomes a reality and you no longer feel pleasure because it's no longer an idea, its a reality, then what?

    When you say may harm this implies some belief in something harming you in the future that is now not harming you. This is not possible. If something is not harming you now then it cannot harm you in the future since the future is a product of now. But if it is harming you now how do you know? This I think is where your fear lies, you don't trust your own internal sense of harm vs pleasure. You think that perhaps what is pleasure now is really harm. This is a psychological distortion brought about by buying into someone else' ideas about harm and pleasure, not your own. If you think something is harming you then why do you do it? Perhaps you do not really believe it's harming you but you allow others ideas to cause you to doubt your own thus the "harm" is not in doing what gives you pleasure but in doubting your own self.
     
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  5. ajourneyunbound

    ajourneyunbound Member

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    "If you think something is harming you then why do you do it?"

    Many things can be simultaneously harmful and pleasurable. Hard drugs, for example, can harm your body and mind but also provide a pleasurable experience. I think its the mixture of pleasure that can cause people to continue doing activities that are ultimately harmful.
     
  6. Saraswati

    Saraswati Active Member

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    @ajourneyunbound: If you take a drug addict, what is actually doing the harm? People become addicted to drugs because they are already being harmed. The pleasure of drugs is to alleviate the suffering. But since the drugs cannot really take way the harm the harm continues and they need more of the drug. It's not drugs that create harm, it's what's going on inside. The drugs are just a reflection of a need to alleviate harm that is already there. Drug addiction is about what is going on mentally/emotionally with that person and that is where the harm is. Many people use drugs and derive pleasure from them without harm. But they weren't already in a state of harm when they use them.

    If I broke my leg, a doctor would give me morphine. Does that harm me? No. Not unless I am already in a state of psychological harm and need it to alleviate my suffering. The addiction is all psychological and not due to the drug. It's due to an inability to integrate the harm that has already been done to one's psyche.
     
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  7. ajourneyunbound

    ajourneyunbound Member

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    I think drugs do have some degree of inherent harmfulness. Certain drugs can harm you whether you become addicted or not. Someone can take those drugs out of ignorance or boldness, and end up harmed regardless of their state of psychological harm. Bodily harm is just as valid as purely psychological harm, and often can fuel psychological harm.

    I can agree with what your saying concerning addiction but I don't see how this counters the idea that a mixture of pleasure and harm can cause people to continue activities that they themselves consider harmful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
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  8. Saraswati

    Saraswati Active Member

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    @ajourneyunbound: From a relative perspective anything can be harmful. But just the other day I watched a show about a man who puts a handful of live scorpions in his mouth and holds them there. The poison does nothing to him. He's become adapted to it over time and it's not harmful to him. Harm is a relative thing.

    My point is that the "pleasure" is just that, a pleasure. Pleasure does not "harm" so harm must be from some other source than the pleasure. Harm can be from judging your "pleasure" as bad or wrong or believing that the donut you just ate might make you fat etc. It's a psychological confusion between pleasure and harm.

    This is just my perspective @ajourneybound but I think there is massive confusion within individuals who buy into things they are taught but their subconscious knows something is not harmful. There is a split between what they are taught I.e. "saturated fat will give you heart disease and may kill you" and what they experience when they eat it, pleasure. The harm is in the guilt and anguish they feel over consuming something their body likes because they were told by an "authority" that it's bad.
     
  9. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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    @Saraswati
    Why do people eat harmful things or do things like drugs that wud give them for time being pleasure?
    I feel if u are not in awareness, u will do all sort of stupid things like indulgence in junk food, Netflix, loud metal songs etc only to ward off the emotional inconvenience associated with it. So, u are right that calling food is junk only because some studies found it associated with increased risk of mortality . But my question in the first place -why are u eating such things, why ur mind is being attracted towards such things . It is becos of the 'happy' experinece associated with it.
    Now, I must ask u one question -What is the diet of a person who is aware? He is vegetarian or vegan. Even he does not spicy food. He eats maximum vegetables. Look at his physique . He is not overweight or thin , in perfect shape.
    But Again, some thougts of mine only counter these arguments stated by me like-- Zen monks had a pot belly [do they really have or it's just a depiction that is indicating something?] . Albert Einstein -the greatest scientist smoked pipe. Even Allan Watts drunk a lot that took a toll on his life. Nisargadatta Maharaj smoked beedi [ Indian version of cigarette] . Inspite of all these, they did some thing which is only possible only if they have awareness . So, why did they smoked or drank , for the pleasure which was not arising out of emotional distress inspite of the fact that we know these things harm our body. Now, u might argue that's the documentary evidence of science but individual experience is different. I don't have experience regarding alcohol and cigarrette but I have take psychiatric medications for years . The havoc it wreaths on someone's physical and mental body is really outstanding. Now, imagine someone doing it for pleasure, can the person now know that these things are harming their body? Inspite of knowing if they are indulging in such pleasure, then I feel the doubt abt their claims. Although, it might be said that they are using this [alcohol etc] not all the time but during few occasions of their day orlife. Rest of the time , they are aware. But again questions arises, if somebody is enlightened , then he cannot recede back from this experinece [ I don't have experinece of this, I had read this ] . So, it's like they are enlightened during maximum hours of the day, only few hours of the day -they engage in pleasure and it is this period that they are not aware. Is this possible?
     
  10. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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    @Saraswati @Shiv

    I used to be non vegetarian . But due to health situations that I encountered in my life and also what I read on the internet, I decided to give a shot to vegetarian and particularly plant based diet and definitely, it has worked wonders in my life . definitely, I feel energetic and I had experienced the difference in my life. Personally, I feel plant based diet is the best diet that humans can consume which will lead to overall health which includes the physical and mental .


    Here are some documentraies which puts some valid points regarding plant based diets.

    Forks Over Knives

    There are 2 videos in this link , both related to the above title
    http://cosmosdocumentaries.blogspot.in/2013/07/forks-over-knives-documentary-film.html

    If u don't have time to watch such a big documentary, then here is the trailer to get a rough idea



    COWSPIRACY---Greenhouse emissions




    Food, Inc



    Even relishing on junk food or food which is not plant based , processed can be a pleasure inspite of knowing that in the long run this is gonna ruin our life with plethora of diseases like cancer , Diabetes etc. So, why the majority of population is eating non-veg etc ? Is it not a pleasure to ward off the emotional distress?
     
  11. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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  12. Saraswati

    Saraswati Active Member

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    @Harry: There's a lot of propaganda about drugs and with low awareness of self you can easily get into trouble with them. But with low awareness you can easily get into trouble with many things.

    Alcohol is a pleasurable experience for many people and frankly I can't go a week without seeing some study about how excellent wine is for you. Yet I've also taken care of people dying at very young ages from drinking massive amounts of it. It's not the wine, it's the use of the wine and someone who is already psychologically in a harmed state will over indulge to escape in whatever they can, food, shopping, sex, drugs etc.

    Moralizing about what is good or bad for anyone is trying to control and or feel superior. People love to judge others who do things that are "bad" such as smoke, drink, eat junk food etc. because it makes them feel superior and if they don't engage in those things they will live forever. It's the saints telling the sinners they are going to hell.

    Are you asking why people will do certain things for pleasure? What I am hearing you say is that you don't get pleasure from Netflix, junk food and heavy metal but then why shouldn't someone else? Why moralize about how someone else enjoys their time? Just because I like to do certain things doesn't mean that others do. There is no "right" way to have pleasure @Harry.

    Guilt and pleasure are incredibly intertwined in the collective psyche. I say that it's not the pleasure that harms, it's the guilt. The guilt is always externally created through moralistic ideologies. I've seen enough in life that I think nearly all disease is caused by psychic disturbance rather than anything "out there". Dis-ease is lack of ease which comes about psychologically and creates stress or imbalance in the body and enough of that and the body begins to be unable to adapt. Various people have different levels of stress capability and abilities to adapt to stress. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger but chronic stress/anxiety caused by mental obsessions causes a very unnatural constant state w/in the body. A physical stress such as meeting a lion produces a stress response and you run away and then you are "safe" and your body calms down. Over time this repeated sort of thing causes a body to become very strong. But mental stress that never stops wears the body down and there is never a chance to recover.
     
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  13. Saraswati

    Saraswati Active Member

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    @Harry: Here is a different perspective on veganism if you are interested. I think the body does need certain nutrients to sustain itself and people are different in how the adapt or what is right for them. I remember hearing about a guy who ate nothing but bologna and white bread his whole life and was in his 70's at the time as well as another woman in her 30's who had eaten nothing but french fries since age two years and was in perfectly good health.

    I have seen those documentaries and am very much against factory farming. I try my best to avoid consuming animals that I think have been raised in abhorrent conditions.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/health-...n-mcdougall-explains-the-death-of-steve-jobs/
     
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  14. Harry

    Harry Active Member

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    Fruit juice are as good as sugar candies which is as good as cocaine which stimulates rewards centres of the nervous sytem. The deal with fruit juice is that fibre part is missing which causes the sugar spike slowly. If u remove out fibre from the juice , it is as good as taking sugar. Likewise, if u take spinach juice , fibre content is out and u are gonna bound to suffer. The most important part is the fibre one which causes decrease on spike of sugar post pranadial.
    Steve Jobs took juice and hence the question of him benefitting from the juice does not arise. Also, adding to that the berry fruits are the class of fruits which has good glycemic score I.e. they cause less decrease in glucose level post pranadial. The most common conception which is in the mind of people that fruits are natural candy. But such is not the case . All depends upon glycemic index.
    One more thing is that even if a person is following healthy diet, doing exercise, meditation, even then he is bound to suffer from array of diseases although chances are decreased as compared to the person who does not practice all these becos I think the role or may be compunding effect of all the above technique can be exponentially increased if the person manifests 'awareness ' in his life. "Awareness' is like a situation in which all the trillion of cells are acting in unison and hence the effecetiveness of this technique multiplies. I feel the effect of diet , excercise and all other things is not so much .
    Also, regarding Steve jobs. He was abandoned as child. He was put for adoption. And hence , this feeling of void made him superachiever at the cost of being narcisstic.He did not had good relations with his employees. He was rude to them. So, lack of awareness might have taken a toll on his health .Also, genetic cause as he was a Jew and due to limited population of Jews , there are greater chances of genetic errors showing up in the progency when they marry within their religion , even we can say within their tribe like Askenazi jews.
    So, I am not convince with that article. I have personally experienced the marvel of vegan diet. And also, the vested interests lobby which work behind the curtains to manipulate the studies or findings .
    What are ur thoughts on Allergy and suppressed emotions?
     
  15. Saraswati

    Saraswati Active Member

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    @Harry: I'm sure there is quite a connection between allergies and suppressed emotions. People who have been hypnotized and subliminally suggested ideas about things will react to those things as if it were the real thing. For instance being told that a poker is red hot, they will scream as if it really is AND their skin has been known to turn red and blister. The mind is very powerful indeed. The body acts out/manifests what is in the mind and this can be passed down through many generations until awareness increases the same diseases will keep popping up. Genes are just the expression of the greater likelihood of a manifestation but genes are not the end all be all they were once thought. Epigenetics, I think, will turn out to be far more important, that is, understanding what factors cause genes to express or not express.

    I myself suffered for many years from allergies, at times severe, and with increased awareness it seems my allergies have disappeared for several years now.
     
  16. Em1

    Em1 Active Member

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    Story from a recent Freakonomics podcast... "The Cheeseburger Diet." A woman in Kentucky ate burgers and fries twice a week for a year. At the end, her weight didn't change and her cholesterol didn't change much (her triglycerides actually went down). Here's some of what she said about it:

    DUBNER: So Morgan Spurlock gains a ton of weight and gets really sickly. Why not you?

    O’MARA: There a lot of differences between what I did and what Morgan Spurlock did. He was eating at McDonald’s three meals every day for a month. I was eating twice per week. So out of 21 meals a week, two of them were burgers and fries. He also made an effort to wear a pedometer. And he made sure never got more than three or four thousand steps a day. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not.

    I had pedometer, too. I made sure I got at least 10,000 steps or in that range everyday. I also increased my exercise a lot more than I normally did. Even on burger days, when I would go to these places to have burgers, if I could, I would walk to them, or sometimes even ride my bike. I definitely stepped up the exercise — stepped up my walking everyday. And because I was so afraid of gaining weight from these burgers and fries I ate much healthier than I normally did. I didn’t go to fast-food restaurants that I so loved. I didn’t go to bakeries. I didn’t eat fried food. Didn’t eat pizza or pasta. Didn’t eat ice cream. We had one of the hottest summers on record. I didn’t eat ice cream once that summer. So, I think I well compensated for the fact that I was eating these burgers and fries twice a week. My consciousness went up about my health on all those days when I wasn’t eating burgers and fries. I ate much healthier.

    DUBNER: So wait a minute, Emily. You’re saying that a year of eating cheeseburgers and fries twice a week turned you into a healthier eater overall?

    O’MARA: It did. And I didn’t even realize it, because I was so focused on these burgers and fries. . . If you want to get on a diet, or you want to be more healthy and you talk to dietician or personal trainer, the first thing they’re going to say to you is you need to have a goal. Like, I want to lose 20 pounds in 6 months, or I want to be able to run a marathon in the fall. Well, I had a goal and it was to find the best cheeseburger and fries in Louisville, Ky. And if I had any health-related goals, it was like, “yeah, and try not to gain weight and have your cholesterol go through the roof in the process.” So, my goal really was, was burgers and fries. And then they also tell you things like, “OK, so you need to write down all the foods you eat. You need to count calories. You need to weigh your food. You need to have eight to 11 servings of whole grains. You need to have two to three servings of fruit everyday. Blah, blah, blah.” And instead of being obsessed with all that, I was obsessed with the burgers and the fries. . . I didn’t even worry about like, “Oh, today I’ve gotta have fruits and vegetables. I just ate ’em.” Didn’t even think about it.

    http://freakonomics.com/podcast/the-cheeseburger-diet-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/
     
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  17. Saraswati

    Saraswati Active Member

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    @Em1: Hahahaha! Love it! That right there shows you what focus can do!!
     
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