In Wednesday’s post I stated that traditionally there has been two views on hedonism (pleasure). In today’s post I discuss short-term hedonism. Short-term hedonism is pleasure for pleasures sake, pleasure for the moment, and pleasure of immediate gratification. A hedonist is a pleasurist who is seeking titillation through exciting the senses —> sensual-bodily pleasure. Short-term hedonism is a mode of living seeking sensual-bodily pleasure, having as much as possible, and having it now. Short-term hedonism is basically amounts to an endless repetition of the pleasure principle. John Powell viewed hedonists as, “my pleasure before all type of people try to hide their emotional immaturity under various euphemism ‘just for kicks’ but the immaturity surfaces quickly in relationships. It is characteristic of the child and the neurotic (the emotional child) that they must have their pleasure and have it immediately. They will not inhibit for long any impulse to indulge themselves. Habits of hedonism are very often required as compensation for difficult aspects of life.” (1969)
I ask, “Don’t we all want enjoyment and pleasure that comes from the senses?” The answer is yes. There is nothing wrong with sensual and bodily enjoyment and pleasure. However, for the self-indulgent person the entire aim of life is an unending pursuit of sensual and bodily excitement. The pleasure centered person has their senses in a constant state of animation. There is a continuous search for the next thrill. Over time, the pleasure centered person will find that our brain can only tolerate so much sensual input because our brains are hedonistically conservative. Our brain only has the capacity to allow so much stimulation. At some point the brain readjusts to a more electrical and neurotransmitter balance. The brain will habituate to a bio-electric-chemical brain level that can be tolerated. The pleasure-centered person constantly pushes that level of tolerance with higher levels of drugs, alcohol, sex, and food. Camus felt, “you will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.” (20th Cent) When one episode of pleasure ends, another begins. Over time the body over extends itself and at some point starts to break down.