Asceticism

First Proposition

Let us consider the universe and existence from a purely human perspective.
It may be true that the labels of ‘evil/negative’ and ‘good/positive’ have no real meaning other than as a subjective interpretation of events and phenomena from an individual or communal point of view. What is ‘good’ for you may be ‘evil’ for me, and vice versa, but there are certain general ideas that we agree, as living, conscious beings with shared interests, as to their nature.

For instance most human beings will concur that darkness, cold, and death are negative forces whereas light, heat, and life are positive ones.
{Let us ignore the fact that the labels can be reversed without losing any of the meaning so that we don’t get bogged down with semantics}
Taking this shared humanistic perspective as a given and leaving behind more objective philosophical interpretations, we notice that the universe, as it relates to us, is mostly a negative place.

Darkness, cold, and death predominate as the most common state of things but also need no effort to exist; they just are. In other words, they appear to be the ‘normal’ condition of the universe in general.

Keeping this in mind we must suppose that negativity is the rule of the universe while positive forces are the exception to this rule. This because light, heat and life, as well as all other forces associated with positive ideas, require a sacrifice, a consumption and an effort to come to be and to continue being. When this effort, sacrifice and consumption ceases the universe returns to its natural, previous condition.

The universe, in essence, is a place, as perceived by human minds, where positive forces push back the negative fabric in small temporary pockets and establish a momentary equilibrium in which consciousness is made possible.

Man perceives this momentary balance of forces as order and mistakenly assumes that it is the general condition of the entire universe itself. Most go even further and suppose a dominant positive essence as the creating force of the universe, whereas in fact the opposite is more likely to be true.

In the balance of positive and negative forces and in this constant battle of ‘the positive’ to gain a foothold in a ‘negative’ universe, change becomes a fundamental part of survival and makes evolution a necessary mechanism of continued existence in a universe striving to destroy life and to return to its normal condition of lifelessness as it strives to return to darkness and cold.

From this first proposition, it is easy to conclude that life is, in fact, a constant striving and suffering caused by this pushing back of forces that seek to return to pre-existing circumstances.
As Schopenhauer put it: “Life is need and need is suffering; therefore life is suffering”
It was Schopenhauer also that defined pleasure as a negative idea, since it is merely the absence of suffering and a momentary reprieve from the natural state of consciousness.

In other words death and pleasure are synonyms.
Indeed life rewards with survival all those that have paid their dues to her in misery and action and embellishes, those of her creations, with superiority that have exerted and struggled on her behalf.

It is in this continuous fight against death that life becomes creative, adaptive and ascends to higher and more complicated constructs.
Within this interpretation of the universe lies the true spirit of asceticism and its real worth to man.

Second Proposition

Most, due to dictionary definitions and religious extremism, associate asceticism with a complete rejection of pleasure and luxury and a total denial of life itself. But I will propose a new perspective on asceticism that may prove advantageous and attractive to all seeking personal empowerment.

It is true that Buddhism and Christianity have taught an extreme level of self-denial and many other religions and philosophies advocate abstinence as a form of escapism from life’s trappings and temptations, but for me one need not become so severe in order to benefit from asceticism’s merits.

Asceticism, as I see it, is more akin to athleticism, where both strengthen an individual through pain and suffering but need only be practiced consistently, not continuously, in order to profit from them.

Both athleticism and asceticism require self-control and an exposure to unwanted and mostly undeserved pain and suffering through which a body and a mind gain strength, discipline and stamina, necessary throughout life and under all circumstances.

It isn’t a mistake to believe that misery is the sources of all mental and physical beauty given that nature denounces stagnation as death itself and imposes a constant striving and changing through the promise of pleasure.

It may be disturbing for us to acknowledge that nature abhors conformity and lethargy and so rewards struggle and exertion with superiority, that is easily distinguishable in all those exposed to physical and mental suffering and becomes most beneficial to an individual who experiences and survives adversity, but it cannot be denied.

In contrast the effects of comfort and overindulgence can also be plainly noticeable in individuals lacking any contact with suffering and effort; their intellectual naiveté and insecure, over-optimism will bear witness to their limited experiences in a dangerous and indifferent universe, just as their softness of muscle tone and inability to endure physical hardship will reveal their limited experience with physical effort and exertion.

How appropriate that the Greek word ασκησης-askisis[exercise]- is used to denote athleticism but is also the root word for asceticism which denotes a mental exercise or an exertion of the mind.
For what athleticism is for the body, asceticism is for the mind; alike but different only in the focus of their disciplines; interdependent but mutually exclusive in their areas of influence.

To better clarify the relationship between asceticism and athleticism it may be profitable to juxtapose the two.
Athleticism is the training of the body. It hardens flabbiness and denies lethargy through which a body is weakened and becomes soft and vulnerable to external forces and phenomena.

Asceticism is the training of the mind. It invokes mental discipline, focuses energies, and denies apathy and pleasure through which a mind becomes complacent and susceptible to external temptations.
Athleticism does not require a continuous exertion, even if it was possible, but through temporary strain the body becomes more efficient even at rest.

Similarly asceticism does not require continuous self-denial, but through momentary or selective resistance the mind gains discipline and resolve that become helpful even when indulging in pleasure or giving in to need.

The effects of athleticism are hard to ignore since they appear in the empirical world accessible to all, through the senses, equally; acknowledging the benefits of exercise and physical effort and the aesthetically beautiful physical form it leads to cannot be argued away no matter how much we wish to do so.

Reversely, the effects of asceticism are hard to prove since they appear in the mental world accessibly only, through introspection, to the individual; so acknowledging the benefits of cerebral exercise and mental effort and the intellectual symmetry it leads to cannot be confidently argued for.

Despite this, I believe, all can recognize that denial of the will creates a mental framework by which an individual becomes a master of his own being and not merely an instrument of instinctual desire.
A man devoid of all self-restraint and discipline becomes a victim of his own emotions and cravings. Like a rudderless ship he is cast to-and-fro by any subtle wind and becomes a man with no direction and no purpose; a helpless victim of his own whims and a vulnerable prey to clever predators.

For the ship to be controlled a strong rudder is needed and an even stronger captain to direct it. This rudder is mans mind and the captain must be mans intellect.

Final Proposition

All men seek to minimize their exposure to pain and suffering and it is therefore a contradiction of goals that this very compulsion is detrimental to survival and the continued promise of pleasure.

This conundrum is what plagues human existence in its entirety.
We reach for happiness and comfort and yet it is this very striving that causes the opposite condition of suffering and discomfort; we dream of an absence of need and an existence devoid of all torment and yet its realization is the very definition of death; we dream of power and self-reliance and yet we must give up power and become dependant to achieve it.

The Greeks understood the irony of existence and they fully expressed it in their art, in their philosophy and in their total acceptance of it as a part of human existence.
Man is in a very precarious position; not fully intellectual, not completely instinctual.

The choice arises in every thinking mans life as to what path he will choose: will he give in to his instincts and live entirely within the dictations of his nature as an animal, where the mind is simply the facilitator of instinctual desire or will he deny both pain and pleasure and become pure intellect devoid of all need and in complete control of his being ?

But there is a third, more reasonable, choice. A choice embraced by the Greeks and now offered, through Nietzsche, by them to us: will we embrace both pain and pleasure as parts of our total being and focus our efforts in enjoying life’s pleasures and experiencing the rapture of consciousness and yet will we not forget that it is suffering that elevates and strengthens us and it is this payment, which we pay willingly, that makes us more than just animals and ennobles us before a universe wanting to degrade, embarrass and destroy us?

Whether we like it or not, suffering and pain are the natural participants in life’s experiment. We either recognize them as such and use them to our advantage or we spend a lifetime running from them into futility.

It is this aspect of life’s truth that most spend their entire lives escaping from and in the process become weak, gullible, naïve, soft and easily manipulated. How unfortunate for them that even the temporary escape from life’s truth cannot save them from its eventual inevitability.

The signs of human disorderly existence are everywhere plain to see; from the lack of self-discipline in nutritional consumption that leads to obesity and disease to the absence of sexual self-control that leads to promiscuity and immaturity.

The ‘easy way’ is searched for by all those lacking the discipline to go at it the ‘hard way’ and the realization comes to them too late, that there is no ‘easy way’ and those offering it are either con-artists or manipulators.
The controlled exposure to suffering, made possible through athleticism, creates a strong and durable body that will be ready, in a time of need, to meet life’s unforeseen challenges and come out of every battle, a survivor.

It will reveal itself to all in its harmony, symmetry and beauty; it will speak of its superiority in graceful movement and efficiency. It will be something to admire and inspire.

But more importantly, the controlled exposure to suffering and pain through asceticism creates a strong and durable mind that will be easily adaptable to a variation of environments and challenges and come out of every confrontation the dominator.

It will reveal itself, more subtly than the body but no less magnificently, in its harmony, order, and virtue; it will speak of its superiority with noble ideals and strength of will. It will be something to admire and inspire.

“we notice that the universe, as it relates to us, is mostly a negative place.”

By your definition of negative, yes, I would agree

“Darkness, cold, and death predominate as the most common state of things but also need no effort to exist; they just are. In other words, they appear to be the ‘normal’ condition of the universe in general.”

They may predominate as the common state, in that they occur more often than the “positive” things, but effort has nothing to do with it. Life is as natural and inevitable an effect of the laws of the universe as death. Its not like there is an entity that has to exert an effort to keep life going in the universe. So if by “normal condition” you mean that death is more common, yes. Any other meaning is inccorect.

“negativity is the rule of the universe while positive forces are the exception to this rule. This because light, heat and life, as well as all other forces associated with positive ideas, require a sacrifice, a consumption and an effort to come to be and to continue being. When this effort, sacrifice and consumption ceases the universe returns to its natural, previous condition.”

This is not true. Life is an inevitable conclusion based on the laws that govern our universe. No sacrifice occurs. There is no effort. It is merely forces of the universe acting upon substances causing them to react in a certain manner. One manner in which they react is life… Nothing special about life. Its part of the natural state of the universe. Everything that occurs because of the natural laws of the unverse is the “natural condition” The universe has no preferance, life or death. What happens happens and thats the way it has to happen.

"change becomes a fundamental part of survival and makes evolution a necessary mechanism of continued existence in a universe striving to destroy life and to return to its normal condition of lifelessness as it strives to return to darkness and cold. "

Evolution, the biological kind anyways is not neccissary. Its inevitable. Theres a diffirence. Life is not an entity that chose to evolve to propegate itself. Evolution happens because its the only possibility given the laws of the universe. Natural selection… A simple reaction to the structure of the universe. That which is best suited to persist, inevitably will. The universe doesn’t strive to do anything. The universe doesn’t care.

“it is easy to conclude that life is, in fact, a constant striving and suffering caused by this pushing back of forces that seek to return to pre-existing circumstances.
As Schopenhauer put it: “Life is need and need is suffering; therefore life is suffering”
It was Schopenhauer also that defined pleasure as a negative idea, since it is merely the absence of suffering and a momentary reprieve from the natural state of consciousness.”

Actually, pleasure is the most important aspect in our survival. Pleasure is an evolutionary measure, it helps in survival. Ide say its an incredibly effective measure too. We obtain pleasure, instinctivly, from moments that are beneficial to survival. And then our conciousness is built through ascociations with that pleasure. Our conciousness, I blieve, is simply an evolutionary tool designed to get us to persue moments that cause pleasure. Situations that are conducive to survival are those which cause pleasure, so in this way, we are designed to persue survival. Desire is a tool designed for survival. So I would conclude that Asceticism is not supported by science.

[quote=“Russiantank”
effort has nothing to do with it. Life is as natural and inevitable an effect of the laws of the universe as death. Its not like there is an entity that has to exert an effort to keep life going in the universe.
[/quote]

Incorrect. Every entity must infact exert effort in order to sustain life. on an individual level even amoeba must use endocytosis to absorb nutrients, every human must eat and breath to live. On a larger scale, life requires the effort of reproduction to sustain it. The one thing that will happen without the any effort is death. If we do not eat, we will die. If we do not reproduce, our species ends at our generation. Hence, i would agree that you can consider death the normal state, as all entities must strive against it to remail in the abnormal state or life, just as a bird must strive against gravity to remain anything other than pinned to the ground.

In this same way, you can say that particles exert an effort to move, to have velocity, and that the natural state is 0 degrees kalvin, no movement whatsoever. But whatever forces are present in the universe right now, I would assume are a dirrect result of whatever forces existed at the begining of the universe, possibly the big bang. Those original forces began a chain of causality that inevitably led to particles moving, single celled organisms being formed, those organisms evolving, so on till humans evolved. Now, if you want to say that particles are exerting effort to move, I would disagree. Particles are only reacting to forces. Its all reaction, including the origin of life. An ameoba exerts effort because it has to, because it was built that way. So exerting effort is its natural state. You can say that the universe designed it that way. And the same with all life. So you cannot, in my opinion call this the abnormal state. Life is as inevitable as death. No on CHOSE to create life in opposition of non-life. A bird does not choose to fly. Instinctive mechanisms and urgings from its mother force the bird to get up in the air.

You can say that life is not an “abnormal” state but you can say that it is rare and an exception to the rule. Once a unity of particles is accomplished and a state of relative stability achieved the unity attempts to defend itself against attrition and dismemberment.

A human being is such a unity of particles and cells. It struggles to maintain its cohesion and this fight deteriorates it and exhausts it until death and disunity.
The particles are returned or take by other unities and the process repeats.

Does not life feed on life?
Then one part of life sacrifices itself for the continuance of another.
Life demands constant effort.
A breath is such an act of effort against dying. Your body is constantly defending itself against invasions and infection and all kinds of threats.

There is nothing inevitable about life.
You are basing your assumptions on hindsight. You are alive, you therefore perceive life, and you assume it was inevitable when it already exists.

The universe is truly indifferent. Whatever preference I ascribed was used as an artistic tool and a metaphor to denote the exceptional nature of “positive” forces.
Darkness requires no energy or destruction of something else. It just is.
Light, demands, a burning, a consuming and it therefore is ephemeral and rare.

You really have little appreciation for artistic language.
Nobody meant that the universe was conscious.

Is gluttony, greed, morality, virtue supported by science?

You have a very mathematical mind.
Philosophy needs a bit of poetry.

“you can say that it is rare and an exception to the rule.”

Rare yes, exception to the rule, no. Thats my point. Whatever happens in the universe happens as a result of the rules of the universe. Absolutely everything is the rule. There are no exceptions.

“Once a unity of particles is accomplished and a state of relative stability achieved the unity attempts to defend itself against attrition and dismemberment.”

I do not see this as defending itself or fighting against or exerting effort. It is merely doing what it has to do… Not to survive, but thats just what particles do. Forces keep them together in the same way that forces rip them apart. Both forces exist as natural laws of the universe. You can say that one force is more common, in that particles form complex systems less often than they are apart, but you cannot say that one force is the exception while the other is the norm. The forces are opposites, and thus I understand how it could create the illusion of a conflict, but I don’t actually see it as a conflict. Its like if a heavy rock is weighing down on a smaller rock, and forces are keeping the smaller rock together, while the force, the weight of the bigger rock pushes down and is essentially crushing the smaller rock, this is no conflict. This is just interaction of forces.

“Is gluttony, greed, morality, virtue supported by science?”

I think so. All are contrivances of the human intellect.

“You have a very mathematical mind.
Philosophy needs a bit of poetry.”

Depends on what your philosophy is. I tend to lean towards the naturalistic aspects, rather than the abstract.

I think I remember reading somewhere in one of the science mags that if you put a cocktail of chemicals together, (mimicking those that have been theoretically proposed as existant during the early days of the Earth) - amino acid chains - the first building blocks of life - spontaneously occur.

Mind you - all these arguements run up against the anthropomorphic principle, we exist, so naturally the universe we inhabit is ‘pro- life’. Life was/is inevitable in a universe where life exists. A bit circular, but there you go.

Yes - if you believe man is an individual based species. In the pack-animal model, the detriment of the one may ensure the continuance of the many. If you minimize your pain and suffering at the expense of others, the ‘contradiction of goals’ can be maintained. You could say the selfish pleasure seekers are the ‘superior’ phenotype, exploiting the more self-sacrificing ascetics to their own ends.

Both negative nouns - but if they lend advantage or if/when they become the norm in society - do they not objectively become desirable traits…?

Very well - if an unforseen disaster ocurrs that levels the technological playing field in a limited area, along with all the buildings - then the athletic ascetics will be more likely to survive, but the rest of the manipulative world will soon be by with food packets and offers of reasonably interested credit to help them rebuild…

Russiantank

I don’t know if this is a matter of semantics or some nuance of language thing but it appears we are saying the same thing in different ways.
‘Exception to the rule’ can denote rarity, as in: As a rule the universe is dark so light seems to be an exception.
This doesn’t mean that light goes against physics or is against the logic of the universe but that it constitutes an exception, a rarity, an unusual occurrence.

And does not this “interaction of forces” lead to unities or alliances of forces that become beings or temporarily conscious? And do not these “interaction of forces” try to determine the interaction of forces and control them by replicating them or by controlling them through reason?

Then science is your domain.
But how do you go where your senses cannot?

Tabula Rasa

The masses are ascetic?
You could say denial of a group is ascetic.
Any denial of instinct is ascetic not only the denial of self.
Asceticism is about the denial of need in the self. Martyrdom is about the denial of self in the whole.
But the wonderful thing is that there is no real denial of self at all, in the way you mean it.
Your so called “ascetic” selfless phenotypes are exhibiting selfishness using a different strategy.
It’s all about maintaining self and achieving power.
Some do it alone, they see themselves as strong enough to dominate on their own or they posses the character and talents to stand alone. Others feel week and attempt to accomplish the exact same thing through unities and by proxy.
For example the body needs food.
The individual that is confident in his hunting abilities or his physical superiority will hunt and eat alone and use this talent to achieve dominance within a group in the areas where he cannot stand alone or he will attempt to keep for himself the larger portion of the kill if the hunt was made in unison.
He will be seen as selfish and arrogant.
A threat to the many that cannot relate.
We see this behavior in Lions, for instance, where the large male eats first even though he didn’t participate in the kill.

Another individual feels insecure about his hunting abilities and feels that if he attempts to keep the larger portion for himself, no matter how much he wants to, he will be confronted by too many whom he cannot defeat.
So he uses a more insidious tactic. He connects himself to the many, giving of what he harvests so that he will be given, in return, when another harvests. He grooms the others establishing relationships of mutuality.
His strategy sacrifices the possibility for a larger bounty for the certainty of the smaller one.
It’s well known to evolutionary psychology as a behavioral tactic.
There is no selflessness here only a different tactic of selfishness.
In time this strategy becomes ingrained in the psychology of the group that benefits as a group of individuals sharing energies. It becomes a moral code and sharing is raised as a virtue so that all share and where the good hunter isn’t inclined to keep his bounty for himself.
The physically strong are dissuaded from greedily keeping for themselves the larger portions through ethical rules and through peer pressures.

Here you are allowing your prejudices and emotional reaction determine your evaluations.
“Selfish pleasure seekers” as opposed to “selfless ascetics”?!
Are you still that naïve?
There is no selfless anything and there is no absolute solitary being either. There are only varying degrees of and different strategies for accomplishing similar objectives.

How old are you dude? Your ‘Tabula Rasa’ needs erasing and rewriting.

Are sheep ascetic then? Are ants the epitome of asceticism? Are wolves, by contrast, selfish pleasure seekers? Are Tigers selfish hedonists?
Are you for real?

If you like to preserve the purity and benevolence of your actions and beliefs then, perhaps, philosophy or the pursuit of ‘truth’ is not your thing.
If you think that you do not manipulate and use others, even if unconsciously, towards your own ends then you are suffering from much more delusion than I originally thought.

Nobody…NOBODY…does anything without a reward or without a possible personal benefit.
Grow up.
Even the so called saints are motivated by the possibility of an eternal life in paradise or from the emotional payback felt when helping another in accordance with your nature or a moral code.

Yes, and they remain hidden if they go against the moral code of the popular dogma.
If the individual is indoctrinated within this popular moral code, as you seem to be, then it constructs clever justifications and uses more positive nouns or it denies their presence altogether.

Here is what I said in ‘User’s Guide’:

For example capitalism constitutes the exploitation of others towards the achievement of personal wealth. This becomes the highest social value.
Christianity preaches that this is sinful.
So the mind, existing within both systems simultaneously and affected by both memes at once, has to justify his exploitation of others and his own selfish greed so as to preserve his spiritual purity in accordance with the other meme.
To himself, first, and then towards his peers upon which his worth and self-esteem is reliant. So he lives a kind of double life.
His mind compartmentalizes his actions so that they do not soil his general sense of well-being. They want to enjoy the pleasures of the here and now but not at the expense of a possible eternal life in Eden.
They want it all.

What you get is capitalists relishing the rewards of the system while at the same time believing they are also devout Christians.
Hey, isn’t that a good definition for a neo-con?

The war in Iraq is another good example.
Here we see the natural instincts of domination and control at work.
But the mind is burdened with a meme that opposes this unleashing of the instincts or of certain instincts.
Our instincts tell us it’s ok to become violent and greedy and dominant but our environment has taught us that this is unacceptable and evil behavior.
What happens is clever constructs and benevolent motives are twisted out of the selfish ones and the aggression becomes one of liberation of others or of bringing a ‘higher’ moral standard to the depraved or ‘weapons of mass destruction’ are miraculously presented as an excuse for basic instinctive actions based on realpolityk motives.

Then these warriors do what people like you do. They spin their actions into culturally virtuous ideals. Soldiers, after spending months killing and being killed for basic control over resources and for geopolitical strategies and on behalf of others whose tool they have become, come home as noble Paladins.
‘Holy Warriors’ fighting for righteousness and ‘goodness’ in the world.
They killed in order to save and they suffered as martyrs for the good of the many.

Orwell was right.

Allow me to turn and chuckle. :smiley:

:smiley: - I have missed you Satyr, and your miraculous powers of extrapolation, I must be a lot deeper than I thought if you are able to infer so much about me from a simple 4 sentence reply…

Did I say I was on the side of the manipulators, however effective their means…? Or did I say I was a modern day warrior…? Did I say these black and whites were the only phenotypes in play…?

Back to the animal models again…? How about the hyena pack who drive even lions from their kill… A lone powerful hunter is effective, but the pack is greater still.

[size=75][checks][/size] :wink:

Okay - a saint about to Matyr him/herself for their cause. They have no absolute proof of God’s existance and therefore equally cannot be absolutely sure of their reward… They only have faith. And yet they continue along their doomed path. Still pretty selfless/courageous in my book (my book is not the bible btw.).

Would you take a bullet for me if I only said: “Well if you die I only might take care of your entire family and ensure the success of your children…” …?

So I’m more sheep than man… Bahhh. You always seem to denigrate the sheeple, despite their obvious numerical advantage in the world, I know, I know - “Wolves like to have a lot of sheeple around blah blah” evil grin etc… But the fact remains that sheep can exist without wolves, but wolves cannot exist without sheep - so which species is more successful…? Which species is simply parasitic…?

Agreed. Though I don’t know why you’re using Christianity to beat me up with - I’m probably about as christian as you are. Or are you preaching again… Hmm, perhaps you are a better christian than I. :wink:

Anyway - wether or not we continue to split hairs on the above, I posted because of your original topic - your ides of neo-ascetism/athletism… You’ve completely toddled off the point. (Not that it isn’t fun)

I was with you up until this part. Surely such a Titan should have no need to blow his/her own trumpet - lead by example, or don’t lead at all…

PS:

You know - you may have something there. :smiley:

Tabula Rasa

Exactly.

You mean like in ‘The Tenth Man’?

Why are you repeating my points?

Quantity over quality, eh?
Which do you choose?

Both.

Who said I want to lead?

Ok, ive been thinking:

The negative forces you speak of are actually not forces at all… Cold, darkness and non-life are the result of the absence of forces, the abscence of energy. The positive forces are a result of the energy in the universe. Life is just one possible result of the interactions of this energy. Now, I think the universe is determined by energy. What I mean is that I think that if there was no energy, there would be nothing. With no energy, there wouldn’t be a universe. It would be infinite nothingness. The origin of the universe is considered to be the big bang. The big bang is just a giant release of energy. Matter, which is just another state of energy is created along with all the other forms of energy. So all matter is just another form of positive forces. The nothingness does not conflict with the energy at all. There isn’t even any interaction. The only interactions occur between energies. So I would say positive forces only struggle with other positive forces. Really, the biggest threat life on earth ever faced was meteors. Meteors are not negative forces. Its kinetic energy and gravity that cause the impact and destruction. Other than that, life has only progressed on Earth. Life is winning the battle so to say against all other forces at work. Your First Proposition for Ascetisicm is not valid I would think. But I do not completely oppose your views. The common phrase: “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” holds some water. I can see how enduring pain and suffering leads to strength and an increased survivability. But in the world today, suffering has no use. We already are incredibly efficient at survival. Disciplining oneself to handle suffering has no return. In general, one that incurs suffering upon himself does not survive more often than one that does not. I think you would agree that suffering is, well, unpleasent, and since it has no positive returns, I fail to see how Asceticism has any use. We all know that pleasure feels good, and is naturally something we are inclined to persue, so we are much more justified in being hedonists than ascetics.

I thought you needed some help in proving them (again) :smiley:

See you around Satyr. Keep up the good work. :wink:

Russiantank

Yes.
But I call them forces because we can never know what constitutes a force on a quantum level.
Electromagnetic Energy is one of the few we know and that we’ve categorized.

I don’t think this is completely true.
We could say that a universe with no energy would be a cold, dark, lifeless and static universe and nothing else besides that.
Some would say we are headed towards that direction.

This is why I call certain circumstances or call them environments the normal state of the universe.
They represent the environment that would exist when energy it taken out. They require no effort. They just are.

Doesn’t light stand in opposition to darkness before it deteriorates to that state again?
Doesn’t life battle death before it succumbs to it?
The absence of something does stand for something. Silence is also a musical note.

You are thinking too literally.
Life’s only opposite is death.
How this is brought about is another matter. It could be a physical object, it could be disease, it could be anything.

What?
Are you being serious?
Are you saying mankind has solved all its problems and faces no more threats?
Can you only see external threats?
What about interspecies competition?
What about internal threats such as the loss of self-control that can result in obesity, dependence, addiction, emotionalism, greed, decadence, delusion, stupidity and so on?

So we should all become gluttonous, greedy, super-consumers with no sense of measure, discipline or self-control?
Listen, if you cannot comprehend the benefits of asceticism or you resist the idea because of personal reasons, I can’t help you with that.
Bury yourself in decadence and the avoidance of all discomfort.
Begin by lying down right now. I wouldn’t even get out of bed, if I were you. The effort is too straining. Another form of suffering.

Remember: exercise is bad.
‘No pain…no pain.’
Let that be your motto.

You mean we are far more justified in being animals and instinctive beings than minds and thinking beings.
I agree.

If anyone, in the future, ever asks me what’s wrong with the world, I think I’ll point them to this thread. :blush:

Now go off and be yourself and…Good Luck.

“We could say that a universe with no energy would be a cold, dark, lifeless and static universe and nothing else besides that.
Some would say we are headed towards that direction.”

Well, if you consider the big bang the begining of the universe, than the universe must be defined by energy. If the big bang created the universe, since the big bang just created a whole lot of energy, than you realize the universe is just a whole lot of energy. Now to Entropy. Though we may be slowly heading towards a complete loss of energy because it difuses over a huge amount of space, this effect too is caused by “positive forces” Its caused by the initial energy released by the big bang. We are flying apart because of a giant explosion. Thats kinetic energy, and it may eventually be the doom of us, but its not a “negative force”, its energy.

“This is why I call certain circumstances or call them environments the normal state of the universe.
They represent the environment that would exist when energy it taken out. They require no effort. They just are.”

This is not a valid point. Energy Just Is too. Nothing exerts an effort to create energy. Unless you want to call the big bang a big exertion of effort. The energy in the universe is constant. Energy is not created, just redistributed. So its not like the energy can ever just cease to be. It just is.

“Doesn’t light stand in opposition to darkness before it deteriorates to that state again?
Doesn’t life battle death before it succumbs to it?”

I do not know what you mean about light standing in opposition to darkness… Life protects itself from all the other energies and forces in the universe, such as kinetic energy from a bullet, or heat energy from a bomb. Though I am not 100% sure about this, I have heard that life does not neccisarily have to succumb to death. It may be that death of old age is actually an evolutionary measure. We may have been designed by evolution to expire once our genes have been passed on, because this helps in the overall process of evolution. I have heard that Ameobas do not actually die of old age. As far as we can tell, they are imortal.

“Life’s only opposite is death.”

No. Life’s only opposite is a state of non-life. Death is a possible property of life. Only living things can die. Death is not everything that is not alive. Death is something that had once been alive, and is no longer. This is symantics, but it may be an important distinction.

“What about internal threats such as the loss of self-control that can result in obesity, dependence, addiction, emotionalism, greed, decadence, delusion, stupidity and so on?”

What are these threats to? Obesity, dependence, addiction, emotionalism, greed, decadence, delusion and stupidity are only a threat to those who do not want to be them. What makes these things threats? Because you dont like them?

“So we should all become gluttonous, greedy, super-consumers with no sense of measure, discipline or self-control?”

Haha, absolutist. I thought you were smarter than that… Explain to me please what is so wrong about gluttonouse, greeedy, super-consumers with no sense of measure, discipline or self control? And explain what is so good about a sense of measure, discipline, and self control. Do not tell me your mommy told you… I dont accept that as a reason.

“Listen, if you cannot comprehend the benefits of asceticism or you resist the idea because of personal reasons, I can’t help you with that”

Please, help me with that. What is so beneficial about having a sense of measure (who determines which measure is the right one?), being disciplined, having self control (whatever that means), and having a high pain tolerance?

“Bury yourself in decadence and the avoidance of all discomfort.”

This is indeed my life’s goal.

“You mean we are far more justified in being animals and instinctive beings than minds and thinking beings.
I agree.”

You made that distinction yourself. There is nothing instinctual in the peruit of pleasure. Remember you said that EVERYONE does ANYTHING only because of the personal gain to themselves. NOBODY does anything selfless. Well you are completely right about that. You just have to realise that that personal gain is pleasure. EVERYONE acts only in the persuit of pleasure. Even you. You have no choice, evolution designed you that way. You just have been influenced by whatever to believe that Asceticism is good, so now you obtain pleasure in practicing it, if you even practice what you preach. If you do not believe this, simply ask yourself why you are an Ascetic. Tell me, what is beneficial about the above mentioned consequences (discipline, self-control, pain tolerance) of Asceticism. What you will find is you will reach an absolute. You will not be able to explain to me why Asceticism is good other than just saying, Asceticism is just good. Or you may refer me to pleasure, you may end up saying discipline, self-control and all the rest are good because they help in the persuit of pleasure.

Try it out, explain to me why the consequences of Asceticism are beneficial, why we should persue them?

Russiantank

In this redistribution of energy in where the effort and the suffering come in.

Did you read this part:

Reread. :angry:

How so?
From a human perspective.
I would love to hear this.

I don’t know…guess.

This is becoming ridiculous.
The Socratic method only works when one knows where they are headed.

If you cannot discern the difference between the pleasure derived by sitting on your ass and that derived through athleticism or the side-effects of each course of action then I cannot help you.

An absolutist?
Huh? :astonished:

From a moral standpoint nothing is wrong with anything.
From a personal standpoint anything that controls you, rather than you it, becomes your master and you its victim.
Let’s take gluttony first.
From a moral standpoint there’s nothing wrong with eating yourself into a state of inertia. Enjoy.
But if you don’t get the other ramifications then, again, I can’t help you.
Eat away and enjoy the endorphins.

My mommy told me: Don’t overindulge imbeciles trying to pretend they are smart. They’ll tire you out and nothing will come of it except frustration.

You decide.
And like everything else your decision is measured against the decisions of others.

For example: If you choose your tolerance of suffering should not include any physical effort, whereas someone else chooses his tolerance effort to include hours of weightlifting, then in a physical confrontation he’ll beat you senseless and you’ll be left wondering why the universe is so cruel when all you ever wanted in to sit on your ass and eat chips while watching TV.
He’ll appear strong, aesthetically pleasing and superior while you’ll be a fat pig wondering why the world just doesn’t love you for who you are rather than what you look like.

Another example: If you decide that you’ll indulge your every whim and succumb to your every craving you’ll become a pampered moron who in a time where his desires are not met he’ll crumble into a state of self-deprecating misery and his suffering will be multiplied by his inexperience with any kind of unsatisfied need.

Another example: If you decide intellectual exploration only results in disillusionment and the effort required is much too much for you to handle, then you’ll remain an obtuse, imbecile forever lost in his instinctual reaction and unaware of anything that is going on around him. A victim of his own inability to control his desire and forever running after rewards that can never fulfill him but can only place him in the temporary state of satiation he has grown accustomed to calling happiness.

I believe you might be right and all those dumb ancient Greeks and eastern philosophers preaching measure and self discipline must have been suffering from some sort of mental disorder.
Eat away, my man.

Then the protection of others is all you need.
Forever dependant upon and a victim of the kindness or cruelty of strangers.

Thanks.

Empowerment that can be used for pleasure or for self-control or for anything.
Did you actually read the essay?

There’s a difference between uncontrolled and controlled pleasure.
There’s a difference between enjoying a nice meal and eating yourself into a stupor.
There’s a difference between enjoying a drink and drinking yourself senseless.
There’s a difference between enjoying sex and being obsessed and defined by it.

My mother was right, this is getting fatiguing.
Again: Did you read the essay?
The questions you posit are answered there.

Tabula Rasa

Here are some more things I’ve inferred, so far, about you:

-Uses humour to distance himself from people or topics that offend him or cause him discomfort, frustration, confusion, uncertainty, pain or force him into competition or comparisons.

-Falls back to ridicule and humouring so that no direct confrontation is established and he presents the laid back, cool, and aloof persona that makes him seem charismatic, confident and in control, to the outside world, when he is nothing of this inside.

Who is more confident about his positions than a man who takes no positions, expect when on the side of the majority or on the side of the victor?

-Utilizes sarcasm and imaginative storytelling to express personal opinions obliquely.

Makes indirect insulting commentary and expresses honesty in this way, thusly maintaining the right amount of aloof deniability that prevents him from being cornered or labelled easily and that prevents him from being forced to defend himself and his opinions directly.

-Is prone to subtle displays of superiority which can be misconstrued or easily defended, as being misunderstood by others.
If he senses vulnerability he pounces taking the opportunity to prove his self-worth to others and to himself. If he senses strength or feels uncertain he falls back to observation and patient deference.

Shall I tell you about your friend psyche?

He’s a work of art. He thinks it takes a diploma to become a reader of people.
He believes a piece of paper stating that you’ve passed some tests and you’ve absorbed material constitutes talent and sensitivity to detail.

It’s unfortunate that I had to intrude upon your little love-fest of supportive conformity where you all repeat the phrases of feel-good subjectivity and live in the Mickey Mouse universe of your own health and righteousness.
It’s unfortunate for you.

Now go back to counting your IQ points and polishing your university credentials.
Then maybe you can wonder why you can’t get me out of your system and you are still drawn to my every post and my every opinion fills you with emotion.
If only life was as simple as pieces of paper and cultural idealism.

“How so?
From a human perspective.
I would love to hear this.”

I dont know what you mean… Everything is the human perspective…

“If you cannot discern the difference between the pleasure derived by sitting on your ass and that derived through athleticism or the side-effects of each course of action then I cannot help you.”

Ive discerned this long ago. You seem to be unable to though. Athleticism causes pain. But it allows for more pleasure in the future. It is like an investment. Sitting on your ass is not an investment. Usually, if one obtains pleasure now, they are sacrificing future pleasure. Who are you to say which method is more pleasurable? You cannot know that sitting on ones ass is less pleasurable than being able to run a mile when you are 50…

“Let’s take gluttony first.
From a moral standpoint there’s nothing wrong with eating yourself into a state of inertia. Enjoy.
But if you don’t get the other ramifications then, again, I can’t help you.”

You cannot say that eating yourself to death is worse than moderate eating, because the pleasure derived from eating so much could be well worth it. You lose out on possible pleasure in the future, because you get obese, imobile, and you get heart disease, and you dont get laid, and a whole lot of other problems. But there is no objective way to determine that the taste of food is not worth all those sacrifices. Only the individual can decide that for himself.

“If you choose your tolerance of suffering should not include any physical effort, whereas someone else chooses his tolerance effort to include hours of weightlifting, then in a physical confrontation he’ll beat you senseless and you’ll be left wondering why the universe is so cruel when all you ever wanted in to sit on your ass and eat chips while watching TV.”

Agreed, but this doesn’t happen often. And to lift weights in anticipation of getting into a fight is, well, stupid. In this world, at least where I live, physical confrontations are very rare. I would be stupid to base any decisions on very improbable events.

“If you decide that you’ll indulge your every whim and succumb to your every craving you’ll become a pampered moron who in a time where his desires are not met he’ll crumble into a state of self-deprecating misery and his suffering will be multiplied by his inexperience with any kind of unsatisfied need.”

Haha. Your bias is tremendous. OR. I will indulge my every whim and enjoy the experience. I will not become a moron, nor pampered, and when my desires are not met I will redouble my effort to achieve them. I will never be miserable because I understand that misery is useless, suffering is bad, and I will be happy.

" If you decide intellectual exploration only results in disillusionment and the effort required is much too much for you to handle, then you’ll remain an obtuse, imbecile forever lost in his instinctual reaction and unaware of anything that is going on around him. A victim of his own inability to control his desire and forever running after rewards that can never fulfill him but can only place him in the temporary state of satiation he has grown accustomed to calling happiness."

The more you know, the better you are at obtaining pleasure. This is the only benefit of knowledge. You have a very contorted idea of instinct. A glutonous person is not succumbing to instinct… Instinct has nothing to do with it. Instinct is merely actions that occur on a subconcious level. Anything that you think about doing, thats concious action. When someone chooses to overeat, they are not sucumbing to instinct… They are deciding that the pleasure of good tasting food is worth the negative consequences.

“I believe you might be right and all those dumb ancient Greeks and eastern philosophers preaching measure and self discipline must have been suffering from some sort of mental disorder.”

HA! You suck… What are you doing? You are abandoning reason to be an asswhole… What kind of point is that? A lot of people preached it so it makes it more valid? Shit, millions more have preached that theres a God and we should all turn to Christianity or go to hell, should I now turn to Christianity because all those people said so? Argue like a man, you’re acting like the very thing you hate, your being a little girl…

“Forever dependant upon and a victim of the kindness or cruelty of strangers.”

Youre making stuff up… Avoiding pain and persuing pleasure does not force me to be dependent on others. If someone is cruel to me, I will find a way to punish them. Wheather through physical strength or intellectuall. Punishing them is in the best interest of my persuit for pleasure. I discourage any futher cruel action. If someone is kind to me, I am kind back. It encourages further kind action.

Look. Pleasure is good, pain is bad. Its that simple. It was designed that way. Pain exists in our body as chemicals, it is released whenever we encounter situations that our body determines are detrimental to survival. Pleasure exists as a chemical in our body that is released whenever we encounter situations that our body determines are conducive to survival. Conciousness is a mechanism designed to guid our bodies towards situations conducive to survival, thus its designed to get us to persue pleasure.

If one lives in a situation where the persuit of pleasure is significantly threatened by death, and one finds that training oneself to be tolerant of pain and suffering increases chance of survival, than asceticism is conducive to more pleasure. If you would like to argue that Asceticism has a return, that it pays off with more pleasure in certain situations, I would be glad to do so. In the US, some tolerance is indeed very usefull. Being in good physical shape increases social status, gets you laid more, lots of other benefits. Success in US economy usually requires significant sacrifice, time and effort. But monetary success leads to significant pleasure. Are the pain and suffering involved in being in shape and being succesfull worth the pleasure return? I CANNOT ANSWER THIS. NOR CAN YOU! It is up to the individual to decide.

I’ve been drinking ‘Southern Comfort’ so bear with me. :evilfun:
Russiantank

So post your perspective!!! Or is your only perspective in an eternal commentary on another’s?
Do you have the balls?

So by you “knowing” and still pretending opposition or posting transcending questions about ‘reality’ you are being a hypocrite.

I like you.

Did you read the original text? If so, then where have I failed to present the benefits of my position?

I can’t decide if gouging my eyes out and becoming blind is preferable to reaming sighted.
I can’t decide if death is preferable to life.
From a transcending perspective everything is meaningless. From a humanistic perspective meaning is created.
If you know then why do you ask stupid questions?
What is the benefit of seeming intelligent, when all you have to say is the same old, same old?

How about basing your decisions on your self-esteem and your ability to become master of yourself?

How can a fat man redouble his efforts at acquiring food, when he can barely move?
Are your thoughts restricted to the here and now, or do you have any ability to project into the future?
If you’re already a pathetic, naïve, pampered moron, that has never experienced anything but pleasure, how can you survive the period of austerity?
How can a dog, brought up in domestication, friendly people, and abundance, live in the wild like a wolf?

And what is this “succumbing to tasty food”, if not instinct?
Why do you even consider it tasty?
Why do you feel pleasure at all?
Why is sex pleasurable?

What is a gluttonous person succumbing to, then?
What makes pleasure pleasurable and why?

I like how you use my ideas to confront me.

I’ll play.
You seem to have something to say.
What? Nobody knows yet.

I’m asking you:
If asceticism is bad, then argue the opposite position of decadence.
Present your views about what constitutes a worth life.

The easy answer is that you are free to do as you like.
I find self-control and the power derived through the efficient expenditure of effort, to be a more successful means towards contentment and well-being.
You can do as you like.
Let reality decide.

How can you discourage others or defend yourself when you are a fat, decadent slob with no sense of self-control and no ability to resist immediate gratification?
How can a fart pig, like you, for instance, discourage an athlete from abusing him, other than by turning to social institutions and altruistic ideals?
You can’t even discourage yourself from eating, how can you hope to discourage others or control others when you can’t control yourself?

Read the original text again.
I really don’t think you read it.

Asceticism, you moron, isn’t a genetic prerequisite. No animals can practice asceticism.
This is why it is restricted to higher intellects, unlike you.
It’s the mind finding ways of increasing its survivability and its power, beyond the immediate gratifications and the short-term returns. It’s reason enhancing strategy.
It is reason usurping instinctual drives and forcing suffering upon a being that dislikes it, for the purposes of future gains.
No animals practices athleticism either. Are you arguing against athleticism?
Most animals, like you, would prefer to rest and sleep if they do not have to exert themselves physically.

Did you even read the original text?

If you cannot answer your last rhetorical question, then please, you pathetic imbecile, remain as you are.

“So post your perspective!!! Or is your only perspective in an eternal commentary on another’s?
Do you have the balls?”

Huh? Youve confused me… Should we even persue this line of… im reluctant to say argument.

“So by you “knowing” and still pretending opposition or posting transcending questions about ‘reality’ you are being a hypocrite.”

Right… Still confused… Whenever I say I know anything, I am only posting my beliefs. I dont pretend to actually know anything. But this is a given.

“Did you read the original text? If so, then where have I failed to present the benefits of my position?”

This is the main benefit I found: “all can recognize that denial of the will creates a mental framework by which an individual becomes a master of his own being and not merely an instrument of instinctual desire.
A man devoid of all self-restraint and discipline becomes a victim of his own emotions and cravings.”

I dont recognize that… You are no more a master of your being than I am, or than that obese guy down the street is, or that sex addict and drug addict two doors down is. We are all just biological machines… nothing more. Again, instincts dont play a role here. The obese guy chooses to eat. He happens to have a very strong desire for it, but its not like he blacks out and loses conciousness everytime he gets hungry. And having a very strong desire is not a bad thing. The stronger the desire, the more pleasure obtained from apeasing it. Emotion and desire are very diffirent things. Emotion is the response to certain situations. Desire is the very fabric of conciousness. Desire is what drives man to act. Your desire to be an Ascetic is what causes you to argue so vehemently for it. If you didnt want to be an Ascetic, you wouldn’t be acting this way.

“I can’t decide if gouging my eyes out and becoming blind is preferable to reaming sighted”

If gouging out my eyes was pleasurable, than no one could say that it isn’t worth it, because only the person that gouges out his eyes knows how much pleasure he obtained from it.

“How about basing your decisions on your self-esteem and your ability to become master of yourself?”

Because you cause yourself pain and limit yourself physical pleasure does not mean that you are any more a master of yourself than me. You are as much a slave to the bio-chemical interactions of the body and brain as me and everyone else. Self-esteem is a very relative thing. Some people are perfectly happy with themselves no matter what physical shape they are in. Its a state of mind.

“How can a fat man redouble his efforts at acquiring food, when he can barely move?
Are your thoughts restricted to the here and now, or do you have any ability to project into the future?”

If a man is so fat he can barely move, than this means he must have obtained immense amounts of pleasure from eating so much food that makes him so fat he can barely move. I would bet, I cannot know, that he obtained more pleasure than you in the time up till now, you who had been punching himself in the face in order to become disciplined and able to take a punch to the face. Now, the fat man is suffering, and you can go out and beat people up because you can take a punch, and you are happy. The fat man lived his first 30 years indulging, you spent it suffering. The rest of your life will be pleasurable, his will be painfull. But in the end, who obtains more pleasure in life? Heres food for thought, what if you get hit by a car tomorow, and all your suffering means nothing, it has no return. Just something to consider…

“If you’re already a pathetic, naïve, pampered moron, that has never experienced anything but pleasure, how can you survive the period of austerity?”

Ha… you seem to be suggesting any new experience will kill you… We wouldn’t learn much that way would we?

“And what is this “succumbing to tasty food”, if not instinct?”

And what is succumbing to Asceticism? Reason? Heres reason for you: Tasty food causes pleasure. Pleasure feels good (you cant argue that) Eat!

“Why do you even consider it tasty?”

Why do you consider the benefits of Asceticism good?

“Why do you feel pleasure at all?
Why is sex pleasurable?”

Evolutionary measure, designed to propogate survival.

This is all a part of conciousness. Not instinct. Sex is inherintly pleasurable. Pleasure chemicals are released in the act of sex. We have a subconcious drive to persue sex. Instinct. We also DESIRE sex. Me, wanting sex right now, thats not instinct. Thats conciousness.

“What is a gluttonous person succumbing to, then?”

Nothing…

“What makes pleasure pleasurable and why?”

Good question. Chemicals are released. The brain interprets these chemicals as a sensation. That sensation is experienced by our conciousness. Really, the only way pleasure can be described is that it is something to persue. Pain is something to avoid. Pleasure and pain are the measures of quality for conscious experiences. This is how conciousness works. It is a mechanism designed to persue the release of pleasure chemicals. Its evolutionary purpose is easily recognizable. Pleasure happens to be released in situations that encourage survival of the species. Thus, we evolved a counciounce.

“If asceticism is bad, then argue the opposite position of decadence.”

I do not argue for decadence. I merely argue that asceticism is not an end in an of itself. It could be used as a means to acomplish pleasure. Is Asceticism more effective at providing pleasure than decadence? No clue. I cannot know this because we have no objective measures of pleasure output in human beings.

“Present your views about what constitutes a worth life.”

Worth is too relative a term. It is my belief that all humans naturally strive to obtain as much pleasure as possible in life. Which lifestyle leads to greatest pleasure output is thus my main concern. What I am almost certain of is that physical pleasure should be encouraged. Sex, eating, any other inherintly pleasurable acts should be promoted. As should learning, because like I said, the more one is aware of the world, the more effective he will be at obtaining pleasure. How much sex and eating is a whole nother question. Orgasm really has no negative side-effects. So as much orgasm as desired seems the reasonable way. Over-eating on the other hand has significant negative side-effects. Eating has postive outcomes (pleasure) and negative outcomes (pain from obesity and the like) More pleasure than pain or vice versa? I do not know.

The thing about perspectivism is that it is sometimes used to create the illusion of an equality of perspectives.
Perspectivism simply means that because man participates in the whole, he can only perceive pieces of it and because reality is constantly changing and would require a spherical perception that this means man is condemned to exist only within perspectives.

Perspectivism does not mean that there’s not a totality or a common reality.
Faith does not result in transcending ‘truth’, except in the mind.

Mr. X and Mr. Y have differing perspectives.
Mr. X believes he cannot fly, unless he uses his perceptions and mind to understand the laws of physics and then invent a method to accomplish it.
Mr. Y believes he can fly and thinks of Mr. X as being a pessimistic cynic for believing otherwise.
He thinks it’s people like him that ground the human spirit and prevent flight.
So Mr. Y climbs the highest cliff and jumps off screaming:
“You denier of the power of faith. There is no single truth only perspectives. Watch me fly now!!!” and then he dutifully crumbles to his death.

The universe doesn’t care about our perspectives nor about what gives us pleasure.

:wink:
Russiantank

The act of asceticism does not give me pleasure but the sense of power derived by controlling my self does.
Desire is how instinct manifests itself.
Why do you desire and why?
Emotion is how instinct and intellect fuse into oneness.

So you are arguing the merits of immediate gratification with no long-term considerations?

I disagree completely and obviously.

If your argument stems from the fact that we are all slaves to our nature and determined by it, then I would agree. All human interests come from a core motivation, as I’ve argued elsewhere, of survival and a resistance to death.
Fear is the prime motivator and the release from it, our common nature.
Some resist it, some cope with it, some try to understand and surpass it, some deny it, some avoid it or escape it through delusion, fantasy and/or inebriation.

If your argument is that all courses of action are equal because they are motivated by similar drives, then I disagree.
There is a gradation of value, determined by affects and consequences.
I can unleash my anger and feel pleasure in pounding someone to death, and then pay the consequences for that action in years of suffering and incarceration or I can control my anger unleash it cleverly and sparingly and derive a feeling of pleasure through that, which will result in future anger management and much more.

I can unleash my desire to consume fats and sugars and derive the momentary pleasure of being satiated and do so repeatedly until I eat myself into a grave or I condemn my self to a state of fatty inertia, where certain things become unreachable by me because I could not control my desire to eat. I can diminish my full potential by accentuating a single potential.

Or I can control my self and enjoy the foods that I desire in small doses, thusly offering me the opportunity to indulge through more decades of consuming and also keep my potentials in other areas fully functional.

There’s a cost/benefit aspect to everything.

He who utilizes his full potential in the areas that interest him.

There are no guarantees in life.
Living it as if it were a race to indulge all of your instinctual drives is the definition of hedonism.
Are you a hedonist?

I’ll ask you one now.
In your drive to feed your every physical desire, becoming obsessed in instinctive behavior and focusing your mind only towards their fulfillment, when you die will you have perceived the entirety of life or will you have lived as an animal, lost in your instincts and desires?

No I suggest that if you are a pampered, naïve, lacking self-control, obtuse moron, any new experience will kill you or, at the very least, result in suffering of a much greater degree than the one you were avoiding.

:astonished:
MMMMMMM…Donuts…

Because it leads to control which leads to choice, which is a definition of freedom.

Consciousness is the awareness of desire and instinct it isn’t desire itself.
The instinct to have sex exists whether you or other animals are aware of it.

In other words you submit to your natural programming and call it unavoidable.

Pleasure and pain are ways nature enforces behaviors towards genetic goals. It is an adaptation to environment.

Did I say asceticism was an end in itself?

Did you actually read what I wrote?
Did I say practice extreme asceticism for the sake of asceticism?

Worth and value is a comparison of two different perspectives or beings or objects as they relate to each other or to an average or a standard.
:blush:
Shouldn’t you be off somewhere eating or having sex?
If you live like an animal, then you should not be offended when others treat you as such.

A person is defined by his beliefs and ideals. If your ideals entail rampant consuming and uncontrolled pleasure seeking, then that is what defines you as a mind and a person.
Typically western.