Love and Enlightenment
The Truth is Love
Inquiring into the nature of desire, pain, and pleasure

Most people have lived their lives seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. To
some degree this is natural. If I see a hot stove I have no interest in putting
my hand on it and if something feels pleasurable I would prefer for it to
continue over stopping. The problem is not with the preference of pleasure
over pain, (as we would assume a healthy being would prefer joy over
sadness) the “stuckness” and suffering come from the desire to experience
pleasure and to not experience pain. We make decisions in the present
moment to avoid the feelings of pain in the future or to give us a greater
chance of pleasure in the future.

So we can notice two things. First, the desire for pain or pleasure is time
based. We want to feel a certain way in the future and what I am doing now
may affect my sensations and experiences in the future. My desires
themselves come from deeply rooted patterns from the past. What I avoid
and what I pursue is based on the programming and conditioning I have
already received. Therefore the desire for pain and pleasure (the striving
for pleasure and avoidance of pain actually encompass all desires) is rooted
in the past and is therefore time based. The second thing I can observe is
that desire itself is rooted in fear. It is the fear of past events or sensations
occurring again that drives my desires (fear is a bit more complicated than
this, but for this article this should suffice).

So knowing that desire is time based and rooted in fear (anything that is
time based is rooted in fear) we can begin to see how my actions in life are
decided based on what has already happened to me and the fear of similar
sensations or experiences occurring again.  In a sense I am a robot or
program from the past. So, to not be pulled into these programs I must see
what I am avoiding. In each situation I may be avoiding a specific sensation,
but we need to observe everything as a whole so what am I really avoiding?
Each time I desire, what am I not willing to see? It seems to me that in each
situation I am avoiding the present moment. I am avoiding experiencing
what is actually in front of me. Instead of feeling the fear, sadness, hurt, or
pain from the past I desire situations where there is little to no pain. The
mind works very hard to make sure the past is not experienced so we end up
going even further and we seek out extravagant pleasures that will
guarantee that we will not feel. Like everything, this first has to be perceived
before the pattern can change. Once I see that I am avoiding what is fully in
front of me in this moment because of something that has already
happened to me I can begin to experience this present moment. Now, my
actions are based in clear responses to the present moment not on the past.
Then when I avoid a situation because there is a sense that it is not safe it is
now coming from a brain that is fully operating and therefore the decision is
clear and aligned. My preferences relating to joy and pleasure in life are also
not chosen because I am avoiding something, but because this is my clear
choice in this moment.
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