Introduction: rejected pleasure and asceticism
Happiness, the designer drug conferred upon the human condition by the Gods, has three mechanisms of action: future, present, and past. We have discussed in a previous essay how it is that happiness interacts with the future, how we yearn for specific outcomes that we stare at from a cliff ledge, waiting for the right moment to leap. But we have yet to concern ourselves with happiness within the now: the present. After this essay, we will then deal with happiness and the past, so prepare yourself accordingly (Jan, 07).
There is an infamous saying amongst westerners, a saying which is practiced far less than it is uttered: namely, short-term pain, long-term gain. This phrase is very much similar to notions that regard the future as possessing happiness; that is, one acquires reward in some near or distant future by enduring periods of pain: suffer…
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