Is it possible to be hedonistic in love?
Hedonism as defined by The Free Dictionary by Farlex:
Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure especially to the pleasure of the senses.
Philosophy: the doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good.
Psychology: the doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.
Indulgence in sensual pleasure.
Reading these definitions I think, ok, sounds good. Devotion to pleasure sounds a little excessive, but “devotion” to anything sounds a bit excessive to me in most cases and avoiding pain isn’t really possible, at least I’ve never been able to completely avoid pain, nor would I have wanted to because it’s helped me develop the greatest aspects of myself through the transcendence of it all. That being said, pursuing pleasure as a means to pleasant consequences and intrinsic goodness sounds wonderful. How could I ever have thought of hedonism in a negative way?
Pursuing a path of spiritual consciousness can often lead to a kind of divide, and I personally have struggled with my own contradictory natural instincts for the pursuit of pleasure and lavishness and sensuality paralleling the pursuit of a spiritual consciousness, a God force and compassion, receiving as much pleasure from taking as I do in giving, so long as my intention is genuine. My struggles and misinterpretations most likely stem from my Catholic upbringing, which follows the Epicurean version of hedonistic philosophy in that the pursuit of pleasure is a must to become one with God, but only through the negation of certain more sensual pleasures, such as, sexual, materialistic and the appreciation aesthetics for the sake of aesthetics, all believed in their excess to guide humans farther away from God.
The latter being a problem because my main career’s primary focus is on creating a picture that holds a certain aestheticism, my natural inclination from birth being to recognize and appreciate everything beautiful, even so far as to create beauty from the ugly. Aside from the fact that I truly believe that sensual pleasure is a gift from God, not a curse or a test on psyche, and that materialism can be directly linked to aestheticism in the most magically magnificent way, leading to a kind of sublimity, contrary to many religious philosophies.
What I have come to realize is that it is the intention that creates the divide not the desire in and of itself. I will always be hedonistic in many ways and take great pleasure in these aspects of myself, as I will also always be compassionate and take great pleasure in these aspects. I recently came across a term, Ethical Hedonism defined by Michel Onfray as, “…an introspective attitude to life based on taking pleasure yourself and pleasuring others, without harming yourself or anyone else… defining an ethical hedonism, a joyous utilitarianism, and a generalized aesthetic of sensual materialism that explores how to use the brain and the body’s capacities to their fullest extent — while restoring philosophy to a useful role in art, politics, and everyday life and decisions.” (Yes I am quoting from Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonism#cite_note-wpunj.edu-26
I have researched Onfray a little since this discovery and will be buying at least one book to read and dissect and although I don’t follow atheism as he does, given that my intentions are very spiritually inclined, I do generally agree with his philosophies in regard to religion and the corruption of the natural beauty of human nature through negation.
So the question remains, how can I incorporate my natural nature for pleasure with my natural nature in seeking enlightenment, Hedonism in Love. Intention as the source of desire in any given aspect, that my love for materialism is founded in the appreciation of the beauty projected by the creator, that a magical piece of music is no more lovely than a stunning Armani dress because of the love that I feel in its presence not through the ego driven admiration of others, through the magnificence in expressing your desire and love to someone who is willing and able to express his desire and love with you, and through compassion, in that the happiness and joy of all those around me is just as justified and equally important to my own, creating an existence in perfect balance as the objective.