Pain and Pleasure, an Analogy Using My Car

first let me point out to those who might be interested that one of my cohorts on this site has returned; drunken cynic has a good article on Greenspan’s comments on the dollar and the euro. enjoy.

now, for my car. monday, I had to sink some $800 into my automobile and it is now driving very well again. while driving it home yesterday it dawned on me how much i was enjoying the new, smooth quiet ride. i thought to myself how nice it is to experience moments of pleasure like that. and then something else hit me, it comes from my readings on buddhist philosophy.

our lives always contain moments of pleasure and pain. most of us seek to avoid pain at all costs and indulge in pleasure whenever possible. often though we are either confused, ignorant or unsure of what actually gives us pleasure; for this reason we often find ourselves failing at this seemingly simple task. part of the reason for this is that we frequently mistake moments of pleasure and pain. sometimes the simple cessation or relief of pain is pleasurable.

that is what I was experiencing with my vehicle on monday–the repairs on my car were not actually giving me any pleasure, rather i was just feeling the relief of some worry or anxiety. this type of behavior is very common.

many of us seek “pleasurable” things in the face of pain and suffering. do you go shopping when you are depressed? do you smoke a cigarette when you are anxious? do you eat to feel better after your significant other hurts you? these are all examples of how we seek something “pleasurable” when we are in pain. and they are all false. they do not make you happy. they do not solve the problem; they only delay or hide the problem at hand. but we think that they help, that they make us happy. and they do, until next time.

this phenomenon is not limited to just people either; the behavior is very common. we as a society felt a distinct amount of pain and worry after we were attacked several years ago. and in an effort to salve our pain we lashed out at others. we enjoyed the victories and the celebrations. We thought we had found some way to be happy again.

but our problems have not been solved and will not be solved by this course of action. it is because we mistakenly thought that if we could only relieve our pain, that we would be happy again. like most individuals we as a country were confused and misguided. but, here we are, in the same boat as before–and just as ignorant.

if things do make an improvement in Iraq, they will only be temporary and they will not solve our security or energy issues. we have yet to face the real issues here and they will only keep coming at us until we stop and take an informed look at what the problem is.

in the next few months, the media and the Bush administration will tell you that less and less violence is happening in iraq and they will carry it on their shoulders like victory. please do not be fooled by this: fixing a spark plug on the bus does not mean the bus is in good working condition, only that we are less unhappy about its performance.

One Response to “Pain and Pleasure, an Analogy Using My Car”

  1. pj Says:

    This brings back memories . of the time i bought a ford…….
    Have’nt driven one since……….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.