It is a myth that they do not experience pleasure —
The only difference is the purity of the pleasure.
Ascetics give up, in essence, fleeting pleasure, for eternal pleasure. Pleasure born of matter, which in itself is temporary, bound by death, for pleasure born of light, bound by nothing and eternal. Life itself —
God is Joy — God is Eternal Bliss — God is eternal Love and Life —
The only thing that drives the hedonists as we know them to the endless pursuit of carnal pleasure is the lack of this, of God.
We are all born with a cup — the hedonists, who, for our intents and purposes, are all of mankind, fill their cup with an acidic solution that makes the cups porous —
But the healing happens when we allow the cup to empty without seeking to refill it.
Oh, how it aches! It’s nearly unbearable! Am I dying? It feels like it!
But if we hold — if I hold — on, if I can wait for my cup to regenerate and become a suiting container, if I can make it a worthy vessel for His living water,
I may never thirst again — I may free myself from this cycle that is life and death, of filling and emptying… if I may resist this compulsion, if I may allow the compulsion to be, if I may be the Self that is beyond the dualistic experience of cycles, and instead become One, become Whole, I will be free.
If I may die to this self , then I may live as the Self.
Nobody can know the One without some degree of asceticism, or at least true mastery and full, actual conscious control of the sensory self, as he who is a slave of the world of opposites is bound by the world of opposites, and thus does not know the Oneness, that consecration of the polarities of dualistic experience (specifically in this case pain and pleasure), which is synonymous with God.
How can anyone know the One if they have not transcended the world of Twos?