Our relationship with sense pleasure is complicated. Moving towards what is pleasant is instinctual,and we need to be able to experience what is pleasant without clinging, fear or attachment in order to be whole. Yet pleasant vedana (sensation) is not a reliable goal or guide on the spiritual path. Pleasure - like all conditioned things - has its limitations and does not work well as the orienting principle in our practice and lives. Like the Buddha, we need to be able to swim upstream, and not be limited by our conditioning towards ease.
As has been said, the self is a ghost that appears to exist only because it is not investigated. In this talk we explore some of the ways that we perceive experience inaccurately and create a view of lasting self. We also mention the advice of Achaan Buddhadasa to generate a contentment with emptiness.