What’s your pleasure? Wine? Chocolate? A flutter? Shopping? Recreational drugs?
Each of these can be undeniably pleasurable but many religions take a dim view of pleasures such as these with a special mention to the pleasures of the flesh!
Clearly some people have huge and life destroying problems with addictions to these pleasures. In fact they stop becoming pleasures and start becoming a functional necessity.
So are these pleasures evil temptations or harmless fun?
Well perhaps we have confused to different concepts here! Pleasure and happiness.
Pleasure is clearly sensory based. Excitement to avoid the dull. A roller-coaster of escapism. There is nothing wrong with a bit of escapism and as long as it’s legal and contained it can be fun.
Escapism can be very dangerous however when you have no reason to return!
People who don’t live their lives with a clear sense of having a greater purpose can start to ‘live for pleasure’.
By identifying something that gives meaning to your life, such as bringing up children, writing poetry, playing music, running a business, gardening, sport, the environment or anything that you are trying to perfect will give your life a purpose and happiness is being on that purpose.
So when granddad disappears into his shed to do some woodwork that is not escapism, that’s happiness and when he disappears into his whisky that’s fun! As long as he comes back!!
As a life strategy, think of happiness as a bit of toast. It is all very nice but it is nice to have some jam on it occasionally. Jam on the other hand is a pleasure which if eaten on its own will make you sick but it’s great on toast!