Posts Tagged ‘pleasure’

It is in the nature of things all life forms seek to fulfill their inner most urges in the manner they are most suited for. Even unicellular organism like amoeba will shrink from pain and seek source of food. Pleasure and pain have different values on the Nature’s trading floor. When man with his higher capacity to think and hold back the currency of happiness for a higher gain it demonstrates Nature-plus. A scholar who foregoes easy living and roistering with fellow scholars late into the night in some stewpots, foresee certain advantages by his restraint. He is banking on the foreseeable future he shall be in command to please himself. A higher capacity to negotiate with future means he can also enter into the nature of things and modify changes. For example a dog cannot tell us it is under stress but by measuring changes in hormonal level we can find it out. Man with his higher ability to abstract thinking has entered into the suffering of fellow creatures. But what use is if he would know feelings of fellow beings but does not want to help?

Philosophy of man has helped man to explain the nature of pleasure and pain.In that case how do we explain happiness?

Consider a middling tree in a rainforest dwarfed by other trees. This would mean other trees have cut it out os its share of light. Its circumstance do not give much to be happy about. But in the nature of things wind works rubbing trees at the top sending them down in time. The tree could only hope the nature is in control. It means the one who is in control of natural laws is not nodding of. Meanwhile the old trees have sent their seeds far and wide or birds have done it for them. Trees that enjoyed uninterrupted sunshine shall one day hit the dust. Hope of the tree is justified. It is in line of the sun. Living and dying is part of making opportunities to others as a whole. Happiness for a tree is not thus not limited in one per se but being part of wind, weather sun and connected with the earth. Does it necessarily justify to be passive accepting happiness while we can change the terms of engagement?

The Stoics (from the word “stoa” = porch, where the founder Zeno sat to teach) taught a less extreme philosophy: not to withdraw from the world, but to be indifferent to it.

They were determinists, and believed everything that happened was pre-ordained by God according to a divine plan. Virtue therefore consists in learning to accept everything that happens, understanding it as part of a divine arrangement we are powerless to alter.

Indifference to events means that they have no power over a person; this is how one becomes truly free – virtue is a purely personal matter, residing only in the will of the individual. From modern history we realize indifference to events breed much worse discontent that shall drown everyone in it. Brutal regimes have used terror as its instrument to browbeat opposition to complicity. We have seen in the emergence of Hitler exploiting the apathy of the Allies to impose his will on Europe. A similar situation we see in the Middle East. Brutality of groups feeding on indifference shall create an atmosphere that can imperil peace of the whole. Happiness is not guaranteed by indifference but from active involvement of all parties for the general good.

(To be Concluded)



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What is pleasure ? In Wordsworth’s poem we read that it is a series of sensations affecting the heart to create a certain state of being.

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude,

And then my heart with pleasure fills,…

Happiness we may gather from above can fill the heart. The heart here mentioned is not in literal sense. Nevertheless the meaning is clear.

Happiness takes care of the whole life form. We are not affected in part just around our heart or even part of the body but as a whole. Happiness fills our body making certain changes that it can make use of.

King Solomon was one of the wisest kings and the book of Proverbs is credited to him. It was his saying, ‘Merry heart makes a cheerful countenance’.Pro 15.13 On the other hand by sorrow of the heart spirit can be broken. ‘He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.'(15:15) The significance is clear. Happiness triggers certain changes in your body that adds to the quality of eating. When your appetite is restored a simple meal is heightened to the level of a feast. 

Biology of life forms are not set down in isolation. For example look at the way nature has taken a hand in ensuring propagation of species. Love of two human beings may well begin with a kiss. A kiss at any rate sets off a cascade of neural impulses that bounce between the brain and the tongue, lips, facial muscles, and skin. Billions of little nerve connections distribute information around the body, producing chemical signals that change the way we feel.

A passionate kiss can spike the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked to feelings of craving and desire. Oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” fosters a sense of closeness and attachment. Adrenaline boosts our heart rate and can make us start sweating as our bodies begin to anticipate what might occur later. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, also dips to reduce uneasiness. Blood vessels dilate, breathing can deepen, cheeks flush and our pulse quickens. With so much going on in our bodies to think pleasure is located in any particular area is not correct.

Nature fixes guidelines for progress in biology by which happiness signifies the general state of a life form in terms of the whole. Safety of the group of bisons having grazing grounds and enough members to propagate their kind must mean a higher state in which to exist.

(To Be Continued.)

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Some personality traits appear to be linked with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a new study suggests.
The tendency to avoid taking risks appears to be a stable personality trait across a patient’s lifetime — as far back as 30 years before symptoms began, those with Parkinson’s disease said they did not often engage in risky or exhilarating activities, such as riding roller coasters or speeding, the study found.
The findings add to a growing body of research suggesting Parkinson’s is more likely to afflict people with rigid, cautious personalities.
It’s possible that what we consider to be aspects of someone’s personality may in fact be very early manifestations of Parkinson’s, said study researcher Kelly Sullivan, of the University of South Florida’s department of neurology. However, much more research is needed to confirm this hypothesis, Sullivan said.(May 1,2012-LiveScience)
One notable exception to the rule is Hitler. He never was cautious or stable.He had opinions, prejudices and his steps into the centre stage of German politics was a gambler’s approach. His bluff was not seriously challenged and never for once he stopped upping the stakes ever higher. History is clear that he was suffering from the disease.
There are those who have Parkinson’s personality and there are those who have not(for example-Hitler); and yet circumstances add up, genetic partly and extraneous conditions also play their part.
Allow me to indulge in my humor: If all the cautious, stable people suffered from Parkinson’s the entire world would have to be shut up. Day to day matters that keep the world run will stop. Do you think it can be left with unstable personalities the kind of fellows who were running Investment banking? The world would go in the way of Baring Bank( now defunct) if Goldman Sachs could get hold of it. Not as yet.

The primary fault in Parkinson’s Disease is the insufficient formation of dopamine. When dopamine fails to form properly the highly damaging superoxide anion is formed instead. This can cause further deterioration in Parkinson’s Disease. Although cell damage is widely claimed to cause Parkinson’s Disease when there is a certain lack of the Parkin gene and it can hasten or aggravate the rate of cell damage. (Journal of Cell Biology [2008] Nov 24.

15th November 2008 – History
The Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, was known to have Parkinson’s Disease from 1933 until his suicide in 1945 At the end of the Second World War he was largely confined to his bunker in Berlin. In his final days in the bunker, he shuffled around his room, mumbling to himself. His shaking was related to emotional upsets. Physically, he had quickly deteriorated and developed the appearance of an old man. The Nazi hierarchy had throughout tried to conceal his Parkinson’s Disease by all means.(ack: http://viartis.net/parkinsons.disease/news)

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Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
At a dinner party where Benjamin Franklin was one of the distinguished guests he was asked by Abbe Raynal thus,”What kind of man deserves the most pity?”
Franklin answered,”A lonesome man on a rainy day, who does not know how to read.”

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