HAPPINESS AND PLEASURE: ARE BOTH THE SAME ?
ISHOPANISHAD SAYS : NO
IN TERMS OF SCIENCE , ALSO NO. BECAUSE THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT NEUROTRANSMITTERS WORKING ON TWO DIFFERENT PATH WAYS IN THE BRAIN.
Ishopanishad says : ” TENA TYAKTENA BHUNJITHA “
Pleasure is “Freedom of the Senses”. Here the Upanishad says, Practise ” Freedom from the Senses and enjoy the world.”
The real HAPPINESS comes from the soul. Wheres as PLEASURE comes from the senses. So there is a great difference between PLEASURE and HAPPINESS .
Now talking about the Neuroscience : We should not under estimate the power of neurotransmitters.
PLEASURE = DOPAMINE
HAPPINESS = SEROTONIN
Dopamine is a pleasure giving neurotransmitter whereas Serotonin is happiness giving neurotransmitter.
Pleasure and Happiness are synonymous.But It should not be conflated.Because Pleasure is VISCERAL ; Happiness is ETHEREAL
Pleasure is Achievable with Substances or Behaviors ( such as Cocaine, heroin, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, shopping, social media, internet games,dating,pornography etc). In extreme ,they are aholic- Shopaholic, Sexaholic,Alcoholic, Chocoholic etc but there is no such thing as being addicted to too much happiness. Pleasure can be achieved alone, but Happiness is achieved as a group. Pleasure is take in. Happiness is give in.
Dopamine is mainly Excitatory neurotransmitter. They excite the neuron and cause it to fire off the message. And over excitation will lead to neuronal cell death, that is called ADDICTION. Excess of dopamine will downgrade the dopamine receptor. So even though you have lot of dopamine molecules ,you have fewer receptors. Which means there’s less chance that any dopamine molecule will find its receptor. And what means in human terms is you need more and more to get less and less.
Serotonin is inhibitory neurotransmitter( not excitatory neurotransmitter at all). So it doesn’t fire off neurons. That means Neurons are not going to die because it is not being over excited, so there is no such thing as over dosing on too much Happiness.
Only One thing that can down regulate Serotonin is Dopamine and Stress ( chronic stress). The more pleasure you seek, the more unhappy you are.
Chonic stress raises Cortisol which affects Dopamine and Serotonin ( Addiction +Depression ). If one has prefrontal cortical dysfunction, high cortisol will turn a human in to lizard brain. It activates lizard brain ( www.umeshkumar.net/astrology/lizard-brain ) Doesn’t matter what happens in the future, I need my reward now. And so there will be no ability to cognitively inhibit that feeling of reward and that then drives the dopamine even faster and that’s what leads to neuronal cell death.So you will have Addiction due to Dopamine increase and Depression due to lack of Serotonin. Chronic stress ,increases cortisol and dopamine. ( Serotonin receptors will be downgraded by cortisol)
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