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HappYness & Pleasure

April 23, 2018


You've visited all the places you've wanted to visit, eaten all the foods you've wanted to, have taken part in all the activities you've ever wanted to, have all the possessions you've yearned for, and ticked off all the items on your "bucket list!" 


And then, are you truly happy? Or have you accumulated a lot of pleasure and pleasurable experiences over time? Is that what makes one happy? Or is there more to "happYness" than all this?


It seems appropriate to state that almost every being is interested in being "Happy!" That every beings' actions are aimed at giving them the greatest potential probability of being happy. This is what is referred to as the "positive intention" that underlies every action that is performed by any being, and especially by human beings. And in many cultures the term "pursuit of happiness" has been made the prime motive and aspiration for every human.

There is a very big difference between pleasure and happYness! Really? I am sure that this statement might sound outlandish and not very correct at a first glance.

What's the difference between pleasure and HappYness? Have you wondered about it? A question to you: Do you think they're the same and often use the terms interchangeably?

Pleasure is a subset of happYness. HappYness is the superset.

For pleasure, the neural circuits are primarily located in the "nucleus acumbens" and dopamine is the neurotransmitter involved. Dopamine is excitatory. An addiction is primarily caused by these excitatory biochemicals neurotransmitters.  Any addict gets addicted to the pleasure of the substance or the activity. Pleasure is about the 5 senses through which we experience our respective worlds and in that sense, is extremely limited - and hence are labelled "sensual." A person gets pleasure from what they see, hear, smell, taste or touch. The 6th sense might be the "feel" which relates to the emotions that one experiences.


Because it is related to the 5 base senses, and given the nature of the neurotransmitter, It Is possible to get addicted to pleasure and hence even overdose on it. Take a moment to evaluate any and all substance addiction - they are all related to one or more of the 5 senses. Behavioural addictions are probably also related to the 6th sense, the emotion.


OK! The WHAT is HappYness?