When are we truly ourselves? When do we express our inner self? Philosophers tried to give eventual answers to these questions.
We are ourselves when we are alone and meditating said Descartes. Rousseau preferred walking alone in nature to think of his condition and therefore to be himself. Thoreau thought we are authentic when we disobey, while Heidegger believed we express our inner self when we look at death. To Nietzsche, we are ourselves when we deploy our will of power.
What if we are ourselves in pleasure and pain?
In pleasure, one forgets oneself and frees from all conscious and social boundaries. Even when one wants to control it, pleasure takes over. Pleasure as a way to be in touch with the true inner self, was evinced by philosophers for pleasure can often become an obstacle to rational thinking. This is honestly why I think that pleasure is more honest than any type of thinking: no more discipline, no more social values, no more taught logic! Therefore, pleasure (which can’t be felt intensely the same by two different people) is the pathway to our authentic self.
Also pain is a crucial experience of our true self. Put aside some happy few empaths out there, no one can feel the same pain like someone else. The tragedy of pain is it makes us lonely and alone, no matter how much we are surrounded by loved ones. Therefore again, pain makes us express our true inner self.
Be aware of laughing loud or crying out loud; these are the stairway to your divine soul.