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On hedonism and presence

Raw link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=invZDT6wHrA

In this ~40-minute-long video I walk and talk about the connection of living in the here-and-now while seeking pleasurable experiences. My points in brief:

  • An explanation of what “hedonism” means. It comes from the Greek word ηδονή (hedony, pronounced as “ee-thó-nee”).
  • Practical example of what “presence” is using my unscripted video presentation as a case in point.
  • Presence lets us break the cycle of overthinking by acting.
  • Action is actual: it always happens in the here-and-now.
  • Presence is about recognising our humanity’s limited resources. Our time is finite, we always face opportunity costs (we face trade-offs), and we also are not omniscient. We fathom all eventualities in all possible scenaria: we thus act under these constraints and cannot afford to reach perfection before doing so.
  • Extensive commentary on these questions
    1. If you are always present, doesn’t that make you always react to stimuli?
    2. If you are always reacting to whatever comes your way, won’t you be mindlessly engaging in the pursuit of pleasures (hedonism)?
  • Having presence does not mean that we lose our knowledge and sense of direction. We still carry out purposeful actions. We thus are not reacting mindlessly to phenomena.
  • “Pursuing pleasure” is framed as something inherently bad: basically, you just let your body dictate all aspects of your experience. This is a misconception.
  • Why is the pursuit of pleasures equated with mindlessness?
  • Examples of pleasure, such as enjoying the awesomeness of the great outdoors, and blotting out all the noise and irrelevant emotions induced by social media.
  • Introduction to the concepts of “Apollonian” and “Dionysian”.
  • Explanation how those set up a false binary.
  • Long discussion on the multifacetedness of the human condition. We are body and mind, we have emotions and spiritual needs.
  • We cannot deny our reality, such as to pretend that we are purely spiritual while being embodied.
  • Connecting the threads between hedonism, presence, multifacetedness, and a moderate disposition.
  • Closing thoughts with a real story about an introvert who wanted to be a sportsperson in their late twenties. I published that on my website’s “commentary” section: https://protesilaos.com/commentary/2023-01-02-re-play-football-introvert/.