A quick summary on Paneudaimonia

What is “Paneudaimonia”[1]?

  • Paneudaimonia is the idea that the whole universe is absolute pleasure, except in the domain of what we know as sentient beings, in which all experiences imply different types of suffering.
  • Paneudaimonia is the idea that identity, and / or the “I” and / or consciousness are generated and / or are linked to suffering or pain. That is to say, that the conscious experience is always painful. But the non-conscious experience is always pleasurable.
  • According to the idea “Paneudaimonia”, every time we experience something positive or pleasant, it is because we are losing self or identity; and when we experience the self or the identity, we experience it in a painful way.

Is it compatible with emergentism?

Yes. Paneudaimonia is an idea compatible with materialism, spiritualism, emergentism and immersionism [2].

What does the word “Paneudaimonia” mean?

Pan-Eudaimonia means All-Happiness. The name makes reference to that according to this hypothesis, all the reality is absolute pleasure although with one exception: the subjective conscious reality

What clues or symptoms are from Paneudaimonia?

Pleasure and consciousness seem incompatible: Consciousness can impair pleasure, while pleasures seem to be linked to the loss of consciousness and / or individuality.

Could you give examples?

On the one hand, by increasing consciousness, pleasure diminishes:

  • Certain “physical” pleasures may diminish or even disappear by making them more conscious, such as the pleasure of smoking.
  • The same seems to happen with other more “psychological” pleasures. For example, if someone asks us at a party, “How are you doing?” Immediately the act of valuing one’s enjoyment will have the effect of diminishing the enjoyment. The only reasonable use of the question happens in the undoubtful boring parties (replace “party” by “congress”, “meeting”, “class”, etc.) in a conversation in which “What about the party” means “What a boring party!!! Isn’t it? “And “Very well ” should be translated as “Soporific the less”.

On the other hand, by decreasing consciousness, pleasure increases:

  • Loss of consciousness produces pleasure. People who faint say that the experience was pleasant. I have also experienced it personally.
  • Drugs that reduce consciousness produce pleasure.
  • The “state of flux” that occurs in activities in which the difficulty progressively adjusts to the skill, as occurs in video games or in a professional career, seems to produce a pleasant absence of consciousness.
  • The effect of orgasm is known as “La petite mort” , little death.
  • The “tantric sexual energy” relates the annulment of the ego with carnal desire and pleasurable states generated.
  • Meditation, the loss of the “I”, and the dissolution of the “I” in the “oneness” are related to pleasant experiences.

Which are the implications of this hypothesis in relation to the prevention of suffering?

According to this hypothesis, before birth we lived in a paradise of happiness and that’s where we will return after death. The passage through this world of suffering (which we could literally call Hell , should be as short as possible. If this hypothesis seems possible, this might help us to think twice before dismissing such “extreme” positions as the pro-mortalism [3] defended by Jiwoon Hwang.


  • The dysphoria produced by depersonalization.


  • Brian P. Ellis for the identification of counter-arguments


[1] http://manuherran.com/paneudaimonia-making-plausible-the-idea-of-a-happy-universe-plus-a-technique-to-quit-smoking/

[2] http://manuherran.com/symmetry-between-emergentism-and-immersionism/

[3] http://jiwoonhwang.org/pro-mortalism/



Posted by Manu Herrán

Research associate at the Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering (OPIS).

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