Pleasure and pain; Two modes of life


This wise quote from Rumi encouraged me to write about the relation of pleasure and pain. Surprisingly these two opponents are both in a family.

Unpleasure comes with pain and pleasure comes with happiness. But those two are not separate things. Those are two sides of a coin. They are shifting to each other and it’s an important point to consider. Because of this I call them as ‘two modes of life’.

I think psycho analysis could prove this truth if we analyze unpleasure. With analyzing it we soon will reach to an state near and ready for pleasure and it is a big surprise. Two enemies are living in a same room.

Freud first claimed that our mind runs under the pleasure principle which means that it is looking for pleasure. In later writings he changed his attitude and argued that our mind runs with two different drives; Life and dead drives and he considered that the primer one is dead drive. Life drive is constructed on dead drive.

I think study of autism is the best way to show that Freud was right. As autism is mostly about unpleasure and analyzing it will lead us to the fact that for curing, Pleasure shall be constructed on unpleasre. It is actually what I found an effective way to remove some symptoms of autism(in high functioning ones)  such as trauma and enhancing social behaviors, although I’m not sure that this will cure everything about autism.

Actually the difficulty of autism is about the fact that the drive for unpleasure is the primer and more powerful one. Besides, repeating is the character of unpleasre while pleasure shall be constructed. If I want to define it simply it is like building a lighthouse in the middle of a wavy ocean.


Bell Rock Lighthouse, Scotland. One of the very difficult engineering works in the world. Building a lighthouse in the middle of ocean which most of the time is wavy. It has a fascinating history.

Consider waves as repeating unpleasure and the main ground which is under the ocean territory, if something could be built (which is I think in our power) will endure.

Unpleasure repeats

As we discussed earlier the demand of unpleasure is stronger in our mind system than pleasure. May be because of this strong attraction it becomes with another characteristic which is repetition.

There is a proverb in Persian which says that “once bitten by an snake, always fear from black and white strings.” I think the equal of this saying in English is “Once bitten, twice shy.” I think in other languages also the similar sayings could be found. It refers us to a simple fact that when in a situation we experience very bad feelings in future it will come again to our minds. Actually it is the repetition of unpleasure.

One severe condition of this repetition could be found in trauma. Especially for those people who experienced very bad situations in wars or those who were under torture or experienced bad accidents. But it is also normally happen to most of people about their routine and normal feelings. “Nobody respects me.” “Nobody understands me.” “I always ignored by others”. These simple sentences reveal in itself both unpleasure  + repetition.

Sometimes it comes with repeating certain behaviors. You may have encountered with people which they unintentionally repeat a bad behavior often. I remember once I used to visit a company in different occasions. They had hired a new employee to bring tea for guests. He always made mistakes. Breaking glasses, pouring hot tea on others and other shameful mistakes. Other colleagues and the boss always blamed him for his mistakes and he really became shameful for his mistakes. He didn’t want to do such mistakes and tried a lot to avoid but he couldn’t. I felt that he was very in need for this job but he couldn’t control his behavior. However I realized what was the problem but the company fired him.

One well-known example for these repeating behaviors is Luis Suarez and his famous bites. Could we say that he intentionally destroys his prestige in front of millions of viewers? Couldn’t he control his behavior to avoid punishments from his club or Fifa? Every reason told us that he shouldn’t do such an act and many may think that he normally can control his behaviors but it happened 3 times in very important games. To me it is absolutely the repetition of unpleasure.

Luis Suarez bitten opponents 3 times. Why he couldn’t control his behavior?

Now that we are speaking about sports I shall mention that it also happens to teams which achieve bad scores. We can observe good teams (or individuals) that even if they play good but they lose scores. They fall into a type of repetition of bad scores and destructive mistakes even if they prepare well and play better than others. They also experience the repetition of unpleasure especially if their bad results puts more pressure on them.

Some believe that Germany couldn’t win over Italy in crucial games.

To connect it with autism it could be said that autism is the world of repetition of unpleasure. The difference is that it is about very normal and routine feelings of mind which other people may not even realize to experience such unpleasures about. Those behaviors or feelings are small, tiny , ignored parts of our everyday life which if we are not autistic we couldn’t even realize those. I think to understand autism we shall have a microscopic observance on human behavior. What we perceive or understand about human is of macroscopic ones. It is what I don’t know how to explain it. Our behaviors are consisted of a set of plenty tiny , small,( or  microscopic) parts which we are not aware of most of them normally. Those are tiny parts but also basic parts of human general behaviors. If we talk, the act of speaking itself is consisted of many other behaviors and actions. Something as an example, which I emphasize on is the simply observation of saying hello or greetings among humans. Billions of people say hello to each other each day, while the word itself is similar in those scenes of greetings, each ‘Hello’ is different from another. Because this simple word itself is consisted of many other actions and behaviors.

UNpleasure attracts

I had decided to start writing about unpleasure and its key role on autism. Actually I think analysis of unpleasure will be an starting point for understanding about autism (psychologically) and to refine it through psycho therapy. I will try to start writing about it but I am not sure how to start.

But today a person sent a joke in a group (a social network of my friends) which I found it a good reason to write about unpleasure. The translation of the joke is this (with my poor english):

“If in this group I say that I madly love one of the members none of you will notice it;

… but If I say that I hate one the members all of you assume that I’m with you.”

I think if we test it on social networks, we will find that it is generally true. Bad feelings attract more. Those feelings have a more powerful gravity, while for acquiring of good, joyful feelings we should swim against the river. You should ask it from an unhappy person who tries to be happy.

Freud believes that human mind runs by two major drives. life and dead drives. As I remember Freud believes that the dead drive is the primer drive but the organism tries to overcome it by his life drive. ( I’m not sure that I wrote the exact meaning but it was in his book ‘beyond the pleasure principle’ if one wants to check it.).

I think the main characteristics of autism is unpleasure which shows itself in many forms such as anxiety, trauma, unhappiness, etc. And the answer is exactly lies in the these bad feelings.