a conversation about the joys of life, some of those so called simple pleasures, got me thinking. i realized that i don't care about the afterlife anymore. heaven or hell seem irrelevant. but they weren't always irrelevant for me.
maybe karma, the afterlife, etc, are simply constructs designed to push us to look beyond hedonism. because, strangely enough, at some point, you realize this life is motivation enough... but you have to put yourself through a lot of wilful torture before you truly believe it.
it's hard to motivate someone to look beyond the hardships of life, the difficulties of doing "good", when pleasure is so accessible.
it's hard to see through what most people consider "pain" and "sorrow" without a light at the end of the tunnel, fake though it may be, to keep us going. but when you go through enough tunnels, you realize the light at the end is an unnecessary fixture. when you start looking around in the darkness, instead of focusing on the light, focusing on getting through, you start to savour the moment. savour the pain, if that's what you call it. because, to me, pain doesn't exist.
pleasure and pain are both just labels for feelings. just like various flavours complement each other to complete a meal, pleasure and pain exist only to produce some sort of contrast. they layer themselves upon our existence, but once we realize the role they play, they cease to feel like a burden.
like it or not, the pursuit of pleasure is as much of a burden as the evasion of pain. but we need neither, once we realize what we have built these mental constructs for.
life is beautiful.