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Hedonism vs Addiction

October 18, 2015 , ,

The hedonist archetype is both admired and disrespected in our society. We receive mixed messages about fun, enjoyment, and merchandise.  “How much is too much?”, is a question we are in the process of answering.  During our holiday season excess is encouraged in all things.  We see images of over decorating, over eating, over indulging in sweets and alcohol as mandates to celebrate with certain products.  If we give in to the marketing engines we will let our health and finances go in order to buy holiday goods.  There is a fine line between genuine appreciation that brings joy and repetitive addictive habits that have flatlined.  The solution is not to give up pleasure or fine things in life.  To find balance we each need to find our own specific definitions of pleasure.  We also need to monitor exactly how much pleasure is still left in long standing habits.  We may be fooling ourselves sometimes.

Since I am a hedonist in the first house it is important for me to evaluate and stay aware of the ways in which I indulge myself.  I am attached to sensuality and leisure which could easily lead to lack of discernment.  In order to stay healthy I must stay clear about how much time, money and effort I spend to feel good.  A feeling of wellbeing and good energy is the reward for putting health first.  The shadow hedonist is like the cartoon red devil sitting on a shoulder acting as the conscience.  This little delusion devil is persuasive. The dark side of hedonism is ironically anhedonia.  The pursuit of pleasure to one’s detriment eventually results in a complete inability to experience pleasure.  Addictions that require treatment are common now in America.   What starts as a good time ends frequently in heartache.

When you think of the hedonist does someone you know come to mind?  Do you recognize a hedonist in yourself?  Calibrate the Fun-O-Meter to make sure you are still having some.


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Great post Pam! I don’t spoil myself so much as I enjoy spoiling others. The big problem with that is if I overdo it, they tend to not care and I wind up feeling bad (or worse.. feeling like I must return things to get something else which leaves me angry) . I know people who are hedonists. they don’t alway recognize that thought and consideration to give people a specific gift that they want is better than giving someone something that the purchaser feels like giving them. The best gift I did was help someone do their Xmas shopping as a personal shopping and then got the packages wrapped. What I used to house the gifts were little sparkly golden boxes with lots of embellishments that were on sale. The boxes were very inexpensive and while the gifts inside were 3-5x the cost of the each container, the recipients liked the box/container best.


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

October 22, 2015

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