In general, the way the "Pleasure Principle" works is simple: if it feels good, it is good.

This is of course, in keeping with the understandings of Full Permission Living, which rests upon the foundation of truth that all people are entitled to live pleasure-filled, spontaneous, lives without guilt, shame or oppressive inner rules and prohibitions. Indeed, we are meant to live with full inner permission to follow our natural inner guidance and our inborn pleasure instinct to seek out gratification in all of our actions and endeavors, and that such a way of living always benefits us, those around us and those that we love most optimally.

There was a nice, pre-Valentine's Day piece in 2010 on the Huffington Post by one Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D., about the health benefits of chocolate. It makes the point, from a medical perspective, of how pleasure is good for you.

Dr. Braunstein writes:

"Can a chocolate a day help keep the doctor away? A gift of chocolate is not only heart-warming, but in small amounts may be heart healthy, too. For maximum benefit, toss aside the heart-shaped assortment of nougats and caramels, and instead splurge on the highest quality dark chocolate you can find. Be sure it has at least 70 percent cocoa content. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, pigments found in many vegetables and fruits, especially ones dark in color like blueberries. They are also found in red wine, grapes, red apples and some teas. These act as antioxidants helping to neutralize artery-clogging free radicals. They fight heart disease by lowering blood pressure and lowering the levels of oxidized LDL - or "bad cholesterol," while minimally raising the levels of the "good cholesterol" HDL. There also is some evidence that dark chocolate can reduce blood clots much like the effect of aspirin."

Yes, Dr. B, eating good chocolate tastes good and is good for you - eaten, of course, in appropriate amounts (i.e. - not compulsively).

I wrote a piece a couple of years ago called "FULL PERMISSION EATING," in which I discussed the merits of following the Pleasure Principle when eating, and especially important in our compulsive culture, the importance of eating without guilt. It is a lengthy and worthy article, I think.

People sometimes misunderstand the principles of following pleasure and living with full inner permission. It is NOT a license to act out suppressed or repressed negative, destructive impulses. In order to pursue pleasure freely, one has to have done the self-work necessary to rid oneself of those distorted manifestations of the self to a great extent, and be living from one's adult and higher self mainly - our first nature.

That being said, I am coming down the home stretch, now on Day 7, of a 10-day "Schulze."

The Schulze is a full-body cleanse based on the programs of one Dr. Richard Schulze, whose cleanses I've been doing for 16 years, now. But why the need to cleanse if I've been living according to a freed-up pleasure principle?

Well, even though I am dedicated to only eating what I love to eat, without guilt, and I am also dedicated to eating food that is fresh, organic and/or at least hormone and antibiotic-free, I do not do so one hundred percent of the time. I go to restaurants, for example, where the well-prepared, delicious food isn't always organic, and as far as I know, they don't yet make an organic, alcohol-free Johnny Walker Black, which I enjoy on the rocks, by the way. And while I could dedicate myself to meditating more scrupulously on changing the molecules of whatever I ingest so I wouldn't need to cleanse my body occasionally, I do meditate on a lot of other things and have to pick and choose my priorities in linear time. Plus, unless I create my own biosphere to live in, I am subject to the pollutants in the air and water, and generally in the crazy environment we've collectively created like everyone is, so cleansing is necessary and practical in order to maintain myself in a state of being able to follow my pleasure principle fully.

So, eat drink and be merry, folks, and do the necessary self-work to create a reality where whatever you do enhances your pleasure and fulfillment and thereby enhances the state of the world!

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