Pleasure and Pain

 

If I’m lazy and I can’t come up with a costume,

I would just wear a slip

and write ‘Freudian’ on it.

Julia Stiles

Of all the holidays in the year, I can definitely live happily without Halloween. At a Halloween party I attended last year, it dawned on me that there is simply no good reason for ugly people to dress any scarier! But since I love fantasy,  pretty costumes, and aspire to be wholly human, I concede that it is necessary to embrace the  scary and dark parts of ourselves along with the beautiful, the fleeting moments with the enduring, death with life, pain with pleasure.

From one of the books on personal power I recommended in my previous blog post, Pema Chodron’s  When Things Fall Apart:

People have no respect for impermanence. We take no delight in it; in fact, we despair of it. We regard it as pain. We try to resist it by making things that will last–forever, we say–things that we don’t have to ssh, things that we don’t have to iron. Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things.

Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality. Many cultures celebrate this connectedness. There are ceremonies marking all the transitions of life from birth to death, as well as meetings and partings, going into battle, losing the battle, and winning the battle. We too could acknowledge, respect, and celebrate impermanence.

But what about suffering? Why would we celebrate suffering? Doesn’t that sound masochistic? Our suffering is based so much on our fear of impermanence. Our pain is so rooted in our one-sided, lopsided view of reality. Who ever got the idea that we could have pleasure without pain? It’s promoted rather widely in this world, and we buy it. But pain and pleasure go together; they are inseparable. They can be celebrated. They are ordinary. Birth is painful and delightful. Death  is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something. Pain is not a punishment, pleasure is not a reward.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite fantasy. Trick or treat!

xoxox

 

 

 

 

xoxox

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Oct 27, 2017 @ 23:03:40

    I couldn’t agree more about Halloween. Leave me out! But I will admit when I was a kid it was all about the candy, chocolate and maybe still is…Milky Way, yum!

    Pleasure and pain do go hand and hand as we have all experienced and will continue to experience life’s ups and downs. Impermanence is a concept that I pondered at a very young age. The things in life that change and at first it worried me but soon I began to accept and look forward to some things that would come to an end. But, there have also been things that I fought tooth and nail that I felt were wrong to have ended. To this day I still imagine a turning point in mine and others lives that I would have loved to have experienced different ending or not.

    My favorite photo this week is number three. Mirror, black and white and beauty!

    Here on the Halloween blog I get to sign off with the other of my two given monikers.

    Boo!

    Reply

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