This is a philosophical essay based on my own experiences and reasoning. If you want to study the subject more thoroughly and from a scientific perspective, I suggest you look into the neurotransmitor known as Dopamine.
It seems to me that there are two kinds of pleasure which are easily confused when our wants and needs have gone haywire.
- Short-term pleasure (stp), which often leads to unpleasure in the long run. This is the kind of pleasure that one often submits to by choice and which often lead to addictions. Some examples are: smoking, drugs, junk food, toxic relationships, negative thought patterns, etc.
- Long-term pleasure (ltp), is something that only a very few will experience because ltp demands a different mindset than the one most of us have been taught by our current society/culture. The pursuit of this pleasure might require some changes that may not seem so pleasurable to begin with e.g. starting an exercise regimen, overcoming addictive/destructive habits, quitting a dead-end job, ending meaningless relationships, letting go of material belongings, moving, etc.
The ultimate pleasure which eventually encompasses both stp and ltp (although again, perhaps not initially), starts with the process of becoming a healthy, fit and ethical citizen of planet earth. In this state, our minds and bodies are working optimally and we are free from emotional baggage. We become a powerful, loving light at one with our enivorenment. We can then receive the great gifts of inner peace and mental strength which I like to call weapons of mass creation = WMC. Life becomes a joy and we radiate that joy to others.
To me, there is a deep logic to this idea of what I call ultimate pleasure that rings true once enough clutter has been removed from our oft poisoned and dumbed-down minds. The pursuit of this pleasure may seem like a lonely, dark and rocky road, up a steep mountain slope to begin with. If we persist however, the rewards will be eventually reaped. We might even get to the top of the peak where the view will surely be no less than astounding, if just for the rarity of such a sight. This empowering thought can serve as as a light when all other lights go out. A few great humans have taken this path and have not been forgotten!
More importantly, even if one never gets to the top of that mountain, I have no doubt that the pleasures which the journey itself may bring e.g. meeting amazing people, emotional freedom, life mastery, compassionate living, meaningful work, etc will make everything worth the small price of committment we might initially have to pay to get going on the path.
To conclude, perhaps this could all be summed up in the following phrase: think of pleasure, not as a moment, but as life itself.
Good luck to all who are brave enough to take the journey. See you along the way or who knows, maybe even at the top!