Pleasure, Pain and the Clarity of Love

The notion of pleasure. It’s what we search for, it’s what we crave. As humans, we’re on a perennial search for the pleasurable sensations that help us forget the pain of Life. It’s the tantalizing buzz after a wine in a darkened bar, the intoxicating thrill of a first kiss, the heady pride of a promotion.  

But what we forget is the other side of pleasure. Pain. 

It’s the crushed heart of love lost, the anxiety-inducing pressure of the new job, the emptiness after the rush from the bottle fades. 

Pain and pleasure; two ends of the same stick. Pleasure is the up; the excitement, the intensity. Often fear-based and proud, desire driven and always transient. Pain is the down; still intense, often addictive, the relentless fall from grace. Pain and pleasure, existing only as comparative notions, the up that lives in tenuous coexistence with the down. 

But then, there is something that travels beyond pleasure. A joyful and limitless non-pleasure. A way of being that exists beyond feeling and thinking and offers more than the placations of pleasure ever could. A deep, undulating and expansive sense of goodness. Love in its most pure form. The free, open sense of love as a living, breathing existence. It’s not to be loved, or get love, or love yourself, or even to act lovingly, but just to delight in existing effortlessly in the truth of what we really are.

Love.

And it’s inherently more fulfilling than pleasure, because it’s not conditional on anything or anyone and we don’t even need to do anything to get it because it’s already there behind the masks and stories and layers that the mind has created over lifetimes. 

All that needs to happen is the decision to become still. To wait. Through the discomfort, through the conditioned responses that we have learned, through the desire to flee towards escaping from ourselves.  

And there it is. All that we ever needed, tucked away and waiting patiently for us to stop trying so hard to strive for something that we already are.  

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