Life is really an amazing mixture of pleasure and pain. This is a fundamental fact of life the serene acceptance of which contributes greatly to happiness and realistic expectations. Even the pleasures often come through pain. If one looks for pleasure only paradoxically he is likely to experience ultimately only pain. Pleasure can become pain.
Pain is an undeniable aspect of our present mode of existence. May be in the Garden of Eden before man committed sin he did not experience pain. Man’s very coming to existence is filled with pain for the mother who must undergo birth pangs and for the child who screams its arrival in the world with a sharp cry of pain as it is pushed out of the comfortable cozy life in the womb.
There are some things which are known as healthy pain. If for example, you put your finger in the fire it will burn. If you kick against a stone your leg will hurt. If you tease a dog it will snarl at you and if you persist in it you may get a bite. These pains are safeguards against loss of limb or life. One who does not have these sensations, for example, a leper is likely to hurt himself seriously unknowingly.
“No pain, no gain” is a wise, old proverb that arose out of human experience of a variety of pains and troubles. Any successful and disciplined sportsperson would attest to the truth of this saying. In any discipline hours of daily practice is the secret of success whether it is in sports, singing, dancing or painting. One who does not submit himself to the demands of regular practice would soon lose out to disciplined rivals and be left behind on the road of life’s failures.
Pain is necessary and healthy for our life. Trying to evade it altogether by seeking only pleasure will only bring about greater pain. If for example one is depressed because of a failure or problem one may try to get around it by surrendering to drugs. The drugs can take you on a high for some time and numb you to your pains. But when the drug effect wears off you are back in the pit of pain and you need another fix to forget your troubles. You need bigger and more frequent doses to cope with your frustration and soon you become an addict. You cannot do without the drug. This ruins your health and normal functioning. If you try now to stop the drug you have terrible withdrawal symptoms. Deaddiction is a very painful process. If only you could have built up a little tolerance to pain you would not have embarked on the tortuous path of drugs!
The temptation to immediate gratification would lead one to a highly dangerous lifestyle. We are living in an age of instant communication, instant results and instant satisfaction but not everything in life has an instant delivery nature.. Learning any skill takes time, perseverance and practice. To acquire a good friend takes much investment in time, communication, trust and caring. Unless one learns the art of self-control in many areas he will be a victim of his own passions.
Hence a mad pursuit of pleasure will only paradoxically end in unbearable pain. This is the pain of pleasure.