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Pleasure and pain

Most of us enjoy pleasure, and most of us have an aversion to pain.  But what happens when we place so much importance on gaining pleasure and avoiding pain that our pursuits become obsessive or addictive?  Or when the avoidance of pain takes on such great importance that we numb ourselves with intoxicants, the Internet, food or other addictions?  It's not surprising that for most of us, our attachment to pleasure (and avoidance of pain) and the expectation that it will make us happy, often leads to disappointment and consequently, leads us to pursue even more fervently whatever it was that didn't make us happy in the first place.  We have a crappy day at work and think that a few beers will make us feel better.  When it doesn't happen, we drink more!  A good question to ask ourselves when we are faced with such a situation is this:  Where is the happiness in that beer?  Is it in the ice cold glass?  Is it in the hoppy finish?  Is it in the buzz?  What is the possibility that there is no inherent happiness in that beer?  What would it be like to realize that the only real prospect of happiness lies within us? 

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