There is a way of living that supersedes the pleasure principle. But it’s not a way of living that comes naturally.
Mindfulness is the key to true self-mastery. It’s too easy to live life on autopilot, a slave to our appetites and aversions. Connecting to the source brings us inner healing and also helps us relate to others in helpful, healing ways.
It’s hard for me to think of a human dilemma I’ve encountered that didn’t have at its root a lack of positive regard for a person and the preciousness of their life.
To be of good character, we must become master of our appetites and aversions, our likes and dislikes. We must become master of instead of slave to what has been commonly called the “pleasure principle.”
People of good character have necessarily become the masters of their likes and dislikes and effective managers of their appetites. They know when to say “no” to themselves when there’s something titillating that they should probably stay away from and when to push themselves to do something even when it’s painful because it serves the greater cause of life and in the long run is helpful to their overall well-being.