I believe that every human being needs to be in service.
Being in service and having usefulness as a human is necessary for our survival.
It is no accident therefore that the biology of our bodies: the logic of the biome, is designed for optimum health when we are in service. We are evolutionarily designed with our biochemical makeup to be in service and for this to feel pleasurable.
Jaak Panksepp who discovered the emotional command systems which are the unconscious motivators that we share with all mammals and some birds, said, that we have a special responsibility for all the animals, birds, insects, plants, trees, fish and microorganisms of this planet.
Our belonging and our lives depend on being useful as part of the complex relationships we are engaged with.
Our survival depends on it and nature has made it pleasurable for us to fulfil our dependency needs for survival. And as I mentioned previously, we have a special responsibility as human beings on this planet with the choices that we have due to our unique upper cortical structure developments in our brain, to be the caretakers of this planet and all the other creatures and plants that live on it alongside us.
The dilemma that we human beings are faced with in our evolutionary development is a disconnection from care. Human beings like no other creatures can create a simulated life, a kind of hologram, projecting ourselves into the future and actually living in that projection which when disconnected from our bodies and from the primary routes to presence and reality through our senses has created this dilemma, this disconnection from care.
Care for another is not fully embodied when in a projected concept. Care for another and with each other requires physical neural connections with our hearts and our guts which are our other brains.
When we are in stress when we are likely to be living in projections, disconnected from our heart and gut felt intuition resonance and empathy with each other.
Being in service, even when our interoceptive and exteroceptive awareness is disabled by stress, from fears where belonging and secure attachment was interrupted, it is still necessary for us human beings. Being in service while in stress is likely to lead to acts of service including getting needs for soothing, belonging and relaxation finding their way into the relationship.
Our relationship with pleasure and receptivity through the direct route to pleasure is intrinsically necessary for us to develop to support us being in service from a place of resourcefulness and relaxation.
One of the problems of being in service without feeling a secure belonging with our bodies is that we can become dependent on the vicarious experience of others to light up the mirror neurons circuitry in our own bodies.
This “mirror neuron service” as I will call it is sometimes a first stage of finding our way back to our bodies and to our own belonging through being useful supporting another coming back to their body and with their belonging and service in life.
Being in service, helping others, literally can produce biochemical health in our bodies, with feel-good hormones like serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine.
This mirror neuron route is healthy and natural but when it is our only route to pleasure, it can become problematic if we are dependant on helping others for our pleasure.
Focus on other people’s pleasure as a dependency can sometimes lead to over adaption and exhaustion if we are disconnected from feeling ourselves through the direct route. This can also lead to us co-creating situations with people with self-pleasure motivations through the indirect routes to pleasure which may or may not be in anybody’s best interest.
Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that the pursuit of pleasure and intrinsic goods are the primary or most important goals of human life. A hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain). However, upon finally gaining said pleasure, happiness may remain stationary.
Sometimes it is necessary for us to be helping ourselves first, doing things that bring us pleasure for the dopamine and serotonin and oxytocin rewards that many strategies to pleasure bring us.
One of the problems with human beings, when in disconnection from the direct route, is that the strategies that we seek for pleasure may give a dopamine reward and feel pleasurable but they may not necessarily be activities that are good for our health and happiness.
They may also be activities that might feel good to us but result in suffering to somebody else or to some aspect of nature.
Hedonistic pleasure, when disconnected from care, often has some price somewhere down the line, either in our bodies or with an aspect of the planet or an animal or another human being – and nature knows this.
Scientists in these fields of study and research have discovered is that there are stress markers in our bloodstream that cause stress, illness, disease discomfort and potentially cancer in the biochemical alchemy when we are in disconnection from self-care or care for another. Without care we can do damage.
Without receptive attunement and care, we can be unaware of the damage we might be doing to ourselves or another. This is sometimes expressed in pleasure where there is a price to pay like eating foods that comfort and simultaneously cause biological stress. Another example might be hedonistic intense activities that lead to adrenal exhaustion.
The most severe damaging for health hedonistic routes to compensating emotional intensity are the use of pharmacological substances and alcohol. Humans will go to great lengths to calm the intensity of emotions and it is tragic that in this pursuit of alleviating painful feelings, there is potentially more profound suffering that threatens life. As if there is an all-seeing eye in nature that can see when harm is being done in the name of pleasure which might be possibly more accurately understood as compensation for pain rather than pleasure. A bit like happiness being a manic defence that can lead to exhaustion and deep splits in the self if it is a compensation for grief. Joy and happiness grows from compassionate attunement with ourselves and each other in humility with the sadness and grief we are all bearing together as humans.
Eudaimic pleasure – The pleasure of service
Eudaimonia (Greek: εὐδαιμονία [eu̯dai̯moníaː]), sometimes anglicized as eudaemonia or eudemonia /juːdɪˈmoʊniə/, is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing or prosperity” has been proposed as a more accurate translation. … As a result, there are many varieties of eudaimonism.
It has been discovered that our blood is flowing with hormones in tune with eros in a biochemical alchemy that serves our health, well-being and longevity when we are experiencing pleasure that is in service to others aligned with our PURPOSE, without any sacrifice or stress being involved. This is eudaimonic pleasure and it makes sense that nature in the self organising nature of life should reward us being poart of the solution for health, harmony and well being.
Step-by-step most of us as human beings are on the pathway towards health and well-being engaging in whatever strategy or strategies we have available to us for safety, nurture, well being and pleasure. Self care with self pleasuring strategies can sometimes be a preoccupation until a sense of harmony and gratitude is restored. We can’t give to others without embodied attunement with self love and self care.
Those of us that are engaged in the helping professions are very often engaged with vicarious mirror neuron pleasure as we discover the tools that help other people become healthy and well. We can then possibly learn from this and ask others to be in service to us to help us like we’ve helped others.
Opening the direct route to pleasure liberates us from association and mirror neurone dependency and actually increases mirror neurone empathy and attunement with each other as we feel more of ourselves.
The direct routes to pleasure are as it says on the tin. The routes to feeling more of ourselves through our senses
The different practices within the wheel of consent are all designed to support us human beings reconnecting to our direct routes to pleasure in harmony with our naturalness and attuned with nature.