"Pleasure is the object, the duty, and the goal of all rational creatures." Voltaire
Voltaire's comment is valid but misleading. The pursuit of pleasure is an unconscious decision in most cases but we must first look at the topic of pleasure. Pleasure can mask our trauma which can lead to emotional unbalances such as not getting along with others. As I've mention in previous posts, our values are at the heart of our pleasure seeking. Are we trying to mask the pain we felt from our childhood? An amazing psychic I know named Cindy works with people's messages they received in the womb. Her theory is that as a fetus we took on our mothers emotional pain and situational angst that we absorbed.
Often seeking to nurture oneself is the result of feeling disconnected from their parents. When we look back into our childhood do we see a pattern of longing for affection and love that wasn't necessarily there? The Enneagramn talks about people who are Seven, they seek pleasure in their lives in order not to feel pain. Without pain there are no answers.
Assorted, my past is. I am not ashamed of it as society would like me to be. I know people with better positions in life (jobs, money etc..) who have used more drugs than I've ever thought about. The owner of a store I worked at, would snort coke at staff parties in the bathroom no one called him a drug addict because he owned the store and signed the cheques. I thought this to be such a double edge sword, drug use. Pleasure is acceptable in our society but just as long as we can function within it.
If you don't fit into society by buying the right clothing, talking to the right people and making enough money you could be outcast as being a drug addict or whatever society doesn't accept. The people with power and money are dangerous. We are taught to respect them because they can destroy lives and outcast people without a thought to their well being. I do not use drugs, I can barley handle caffeine. Nor do I enjoy the company of people who are using because it messes with my spiritual vibes but I associate with such people on a daily basis because it's pleasurable and addictive to do so. I accept them in my life though as it is my goal in life to love unconditionally. When we are forced to associate with people who have obvious drug and alcohol problems we look past these social stigmas and accept them. Lets extend a little kindness to those with problems, this kindness could be the reason they were looking for to kick their habit.
The interesting thing about drugs and alcohol is that they are often used as a way to mask feelings. I have met many people who would and can be healers but they are so sensitive to the universe that they can't handle it. This sensitivity often leads to drug use. I could barely talk to people let alone leave the house without drinking at one point in my life. I felt uptight. I would agonize about going to parties in highschool and sometimes hang out a block away from them, thinking about going but being so shy and uptight about socialization that I couldn't face a group of people. When I started drinking, it was as if my burden was lifted and I could finally talk to people.
Pema Chodron's book, No Time To Loose has been a source of inspiration in my daily life. If I would have read her book when I was 10 years old I would have said to myself, AH HA this is what I believe. I have search many religions and sources of inspiration for answer in what I believe. She summed it up in the Way of the Bodhisattva. Maybe I should buy the book in order to give it to others.
Sin has been abandoned, thus there is no pain.
Mind is skilled, and thus there is no sorrow.
For it is that mind and body both
Are injured by false views and sinfulness.