Pleasure addiction is rampant because our society operates on an Economic Mindset.
Pleasure gives us the chemical high of the sensation of happiness. It is easy to produce, unfortunately a necessary downside is that after the high comes the low.
Pleasure is unsustainable as it is based on a neuro-chemical reaction, which must then stabilize. This creates an addictive cycle and a need for continual excitement.
Drug addicts or alcoholics, are treated as sick, because of the outcomes of their addiction, yet look around and you will see…
Take someone who deals with her stress by ‘retail therapy’. It doesn’t matter what she buys, she has a wardrobe full of clothes that she hardly ever wears. When the pressure of work hits her, when she rows with her partner the best way she knows of picking herself up is through retail therapy.
Because this addiction is not obviously harmful, nobody notices the damage it is doing. If she was shooting up heroin or drinking daily her friends wouldn’t go get her a fix or a bottle. Yet because it seems harmless her friends will tell her you’ve had a hard time, you deserve a treat.
An addiction is an addiction, whether it is drugs, work, drink, a television program or a pleasure addiction. The only difference is in intensity. The more intense the addiction… the more the more it affects the addict… the quicker the person cottons on.
A junkie learns quickly that he must overcome the drugs or it will overcome him. The television addict spends her life in front of the television, then on her deathbed regrets the opportunities she has missed. Everyone knows drugs and alcohol can damage your body. Yet we do not recognize the damage less toxic addictions do to us.
Physically they cause the same up and down chemical effect. This leaves waste chemicals and uses up nutrients, likely to create deficiencies and imbalances. The difference between an intense addiction and a extreme mild one is that the drug addict can go through the same cycle in a couple of years, where the mild socially acceptable addict may never even recognize it.
Mild addictions trap us in the myth of hedonic happiness. This prevents us from finding and knowing who we really are. They distract us from the emptiness inside. And so we may never overcome the emptiness of not knowing who we are.
As a direct result we cannot truly connect with others, so our relationships suffer. The shopping addict has to keep her financial predicament a secret from her partner. This creates a balloon between them and starts to build a distance between them.
There are hundreds of things which people are addicted to that are admired because they support society. Yet the underlying dynamic is the same as the drug addict. The workaholic is held up as a model to ‘slackers’ who want a life outside work, yet his children at home pine for a Dad who cares about them.
We love pleasure because it supports our illusion of the economic mindset. It makes us rich, provides short fixes of pleasure and most importantly distracts us from our problems. But it is a trap. Read on to find out why the truth will set you free.
Next: Perspective On Life