I posted a bit about this in the Fireplace. I posted a passage from a book called "Fuck It- The Ultimate Spiritual Way" It's pretty close to how I see that pain/pleasure dichotomy- namely that there isn't really one. Here's what I quoted:
So, thus far; we have two paradigms, two ways of seeing life and our journey through it:
- to focus on the pleasure, and ignore the pain, at whatever cost
- to focus on the pain, and forget about all the pleasure.
There is, of course, another way. A way where we accept that life is just a dance between pleasure and pain. If you ignore pain, it doesn't go away. If you try to heal pain, there's still more there. Because pain is part of life.
Life is pain and pleasure in equal measure.
And a funny thing can happen. When you finally accept this, you can stop naming these things, too. When you give up your obsession with clinging to pleasure (paradigm 1), or chucking out the pain (paradigm 2), you can just live and experience. You can stop moving towards something and moving away from something else.
You can just be.
And recognize that life is just, well, life.
I will add that I've noticed that for myself, when I'm experiencing gut-wrenching pain in my life, it's pretty much because I'm hanging really tightly onto something I should just let go of. Sometimes I'm just hanging onto an idea of how things should
be (or should have been). Other times I would hang onto the idea that the bad things that have happened to me in the past are now causing things for me in the present. I would go back and dissect my past, dissect my tragedies- and then I would prove their effect in my current life. All that would do is just feed the monster I was clinging so tightly to and just keep that pain going. It's a great relief and joy to let that shit go. It's one thing to work through and understand the causes of pain, but I find that ultimately regardless of cause, or past, or tragedy that forms our outlook...letting go and just allowing it to be what it is without judgement or offense is the most effective way to let that pain just flow through so that joy can flow through as well. It doesn't mean I don't cry or feel pain, it just means that pain no longer holds me prisoner.