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The Pleasure Principle

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The Pleasure Principle

The Oxford Dictionary defines pleasure. It is a feeling of satisfaction or joy. It

is enjoyment. It is a source of pleasure or gratification. It is formally a persons will or

desire. Finally they define it as sensual gratification. Now if we put these all together

in one sentence, pleasure is something that brings an overall feeling of satisfaction and

gratification while fulfilling desires. If that doesn't sound good, what does? We have

already determined that people naturally are drawn to altered states of consciousness.

Its a fact that we are drawn to that which feels altered. It starts at a young age and

hypothetically we realize the world of drugs and their ability to enhance normality by

young adulthood. When we add in the pleasure principle to that already sought out

feeling, you get something that feels so amazing, and is also potentially addictive.

It is important to acknowledge the overpowering seductiveness and appeal of

drugs. Because some drugs directly affect the way that the brain works and operates,

the ecstasy that results can be overwhelming. This is exactly where society comes into

play. If someone can only feel that sort of pleasure from the high of heroin or that

calmness from a cigarette, why would they want to stop? What would their alternative

be? It would be the pain of withdrawal and the numbness that they felt before they

discovered the high. I can only liken my drug theory to a circle, because in reality

there is no one who is really sober. There are things that make us all feel better. It can

range from chocolate to caffeine to crack, but whether it be hard or soft, legal or illicit,

a drug is something that makes us feel something other than "normal". (Not that there

is even a set normality.) The circle theory is that even if you are a heroin addict and

get sober, the likeliness of you finding something else that makes you feel better than

normal is high. It might not be heroin again, but chances are it will be something. It

all comes back to the inherent human nature to find a plane of reality other than this


We remember what feels good to us. It is something that our brain does for us.

Because sex feels good, there is a natural desire to participate. We remember which

foods we like best and how they make us feel when we eat them. It is a system in

which we selectively remember what we like, how it made us feel, and causes the

desire to do it again. Drugs go hand in hand with this theory. Things that are

pleasurable to people are held on to dearly. No one wants to miss something that feels

good, or makes them feel better than just normal. If I could drink a glass of water and

feel pleasurably numb and introspective, I would, instead of smoking pot. The only

thing about that is, I can't. So when I want to really relax, I do what I remember

relaxes me, and that is marijuana. Its the same anywhere you go. Introspective people

who want to be outgoing in social settings drink alcohol and call it "liquid courage".

They enjoy the feeling of being a little looser and able to talk to people that they might

not have otherwise. I could go on for days about this, but it all would come back to

the same thing. People naturally seek out that which makes them happy, and

happiness is often confused with pleasure.

There are those who still feel that drugs are causing the demise of our society

and that if we could just get everyone off drugs then the world would be peaceful and

happy. What they don't understand is that the drug problem is social. It is easy to

scapegoat drugs instead of looking at the internal workings of the actual problem. I

found some interesting things on the Internet. In this quote a Reverend talks about


"For some, drugs are simply easier to get than alcohol. (I (Rachel) and going to interject

with this, when did alcohol stop being a drug?) Some attempt to justify their actions by claiming

that marijuana, for example, is a non-addictive, natural herb. Sadly, the current college generation

is ignorant of the tragic lessons learned by their counterparts in the 60\\\'s and 70\\\'s. Sadly, a new

generation of addicted students are finding they can no longer think, study, stay in school."

I guess this Reverend has never visited UC Santa Cruz's campus. I think that I

can honestly say that over half of the people I know smoke pot everyday and they are

not what we will call the social description of "addicts". They also do very well in

school and have no problem thinking. I don't know if it is because of religious

reasons or because he is older, or just ignorant, but the Reverend that is quoted above

makes a gross overstatement



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