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UK 2021.01.06

The pleasure of satisfying a wish is, undoubtedly, a happiness. Human wishes have an infinite form range: the wish to eat well, to dress according to fashion, the wish for a car or love. When one wish is satisfied, dissatisfaction and pain go away, and we find the pleasant feeling achieved in the process gratifying. 

For instance, whenever one is thirsty and takes a soft drink, experiments immediately «the pause that refreshes». This initial pleasure explosion is ephemeral, however, after one sip and then another one, the thirst is gradually relieved, and the pleasure declines in the same proportion. 

What one actually experiences is the process of decreasing the thirst. As thirst is totally absent, taking a soft drink would become a painful experience. It is exactly like itching a specific body spot: if we overdo it, we stop feeling pleasure and start feeling pain. 

In the book ‘Why do we live?’, by Professor Kentetsu Takamori, this phenomenon is explained as «decreasing marginal usefulness law», and it can be observed in every situation. 

The first excitement of a meeting, as well as a new hobby, is inevitably depleted due to repetition. The pleasant feeling achieve by a wish gratification can achieve a huge euphoria, but it is condemned to disappear. 

Thus, it is usually said that pain in the first stage is pleasure, and the pleasure that grows old is pain. That means that we feel happiness only as dissatisfaction (or suffering) decreasing process lasts. 

As dissatisfaction no longer exists at all, we reach happiness peak. If that moment could last forever, happiness would be eternal. Unfortunately, it is not like that. And we know that really well. It is very usual to live with this experience whenever an amazing weekend ends and we must return to our routine on Monday, for instance. 

Living the present moment is good, relevant and brings happiness, however, all that is ephemeral. Thus, it is not enough to satisfy the human being fully. 

Only with full happiness, that does not depend on wish pleasure and satisfaction, it can provide authentic happiness for being born as a human being and endless happiness.

Learn more on this and other life and human being topics taught by the Buddhist philosophy in the book ‘Why do we live?’.

Buddhist philosophy professor, author, content editor and president of ITIMAN. International director of Ichimannendo Publishing Co. Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan.

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