Satisfaction as used here is a bodily state not a mental conclusion. Satisfaction is an enjoyable feeling of 'enoughness,' and thereby, a state of harmony with the natural and human environment. It arises primarily from the capacity and opportunity to experience pleasure. Pleasure is necessary but not sufficient for satisfaction. Many people tend to identify satisfaction with doing the right thing (often determined by social norms and other's expectations.) There is no inherent conflict between these values. Sometimes doing the 'right thing' (following a social norm) is pleasureable and satisfying, but many times it is not. On the other hand, if pleasure is understood as the inner feeling of harmony and flow, then doing the pleasureable thing is always right for the individual. The common fear that others will be unnecessarily damaged is a mistake. Pleasure and satisfaction increase feeling and real concern for others. Some social norms may be violated, but the real rights of others will not be impinged.

As a single occurrence, pleasure requires no effort and no achievement. In the context of a life, having satisfying pleasure requires some achievement. It is a common experience that continuous vacationing leads to listlessness and a slow decline in the experience of pleasure. However, it is also common for a person to 'achieve' a lot without any satisfaction whatsoever, and this latter experience seems to be the dominant one in our culture today.

Perhaps that is because the experience of achievement has been hi-jacked in our culture. Achievement originally meant the accomplishment of any constructive goal. Tending a garden, discharging the duties of an honest job, raising children, fixing a roof--all were achievements. These were available to everyone, and communities were organized around providing 'achievable' roles for everyone. When pleasure is taken in the activity itself, which is possible without undue pressure or haste, then the activity is creative and possibly even joyful.

In our competitive culture, attainment took over as the main mode of constructive activity. Being constructive meant becoming special or superior. Quantity is one way to be superior, so haste and greediness entered the picture. Quality is another way to be superior so people struggle not to have, say, an excellent garden but the 'best' garden. Celebrity or fame came, strangely, to be considered an achievement and a goal.

Attainment produces a permanent state of competition in which the will drives roughshod over the body and the ego is ever vigilant for threats to its specialness. Through sympathetic shift, this ruins the capacity for pleasure. Pleasurelessness often feeds the drive for attainment.

True pleasure, on the other hand, naturally leads to an interest in constructive goals and creative activity. Pleasure is naturally balancing. It is this balance that leads to a satisfied life.

'Subjective Well Being'

Satisfaction is the closest one can probably come to the concept of happiness without leaving a pragmatic point of view and entering into philosophy or spirituality. 'Happiness' implies a durable quality that is hard to fit onto the changing emotions of an actual life. In social psychology, happiness is known as subjective well-being. Subjective well being has two parts: 1) the sufficient presence of good feelings and perhaps feelings of security and 2) the subjective recognition and conscious enjoyment of this sufficiency. The Reich and Lowen tradition clearly addresses the first part. But the second part is bound up in questions of prospects, good or bad fortune, expectations, rate of change, hope, etc...