All that which falls within the purview of the five senses is known as the empirical.
As these senses -- of smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing -- are the preceptors of pleasure and pain, it goes without saying that advancements in empirical science have been resulting in ever-increasing means to heighten both pleasure, as well as pain.
If we devote just a few moments to look at our own such sensations from a third party point of view, we would conclude that these sensations are in fact being referred to own ego, the sense of "i" ness. If this were not so, then the same objects would have produced the same sensation in everybody and in equal degree. Thus, the ego is the traceable birthplace of all desires and also reason for the relentless but futile struggle to satisfy them.
The question is: who in reality is struggling in such a futile manner? If this is my body and this is my mind, then who is the real I? The wise call it Atman. It is always the Atman that wants to experience reality in all creation. It is always ego or ahamkara, the ruler of body and mind, that always short-changes the Atman in the process. In other words, the ego domain forces an identification of the real self with body and mind