Monday, August 01, 2011


Pain is needed

To experience pain is a human need

We learn through pain

We avoid danger through pain

We are warned by pain

And yet there are those who declare that pain can be avoided

That pain need not be felt

This thinking then generates a resistance to pain that exacerbates the suffering all the more.

The idea that pain need not or should not be felt is a lie

Pain is unavoidable.

To be human is often to be born into pain.

Loved ones die, we feel pain.

Good things come to an end, and we feel pain.

Our bodies get old we feel pain

We get sick and we feel pain

When we are injured we feel pain

So the pretence that technology will someday eliminate such occurrences

Or pretend that such occurrences are not painful is a lie

From pain we can move to suffering and suffering only comes when we do let ourselves feel the pain

Suffering can be reduced or even removed when we go through the pain

But when we buy into the lie that pain can be avoided

That pain need not be felt.

Should not be felt

Then we become angry and resentful when we feel pain

When we operate under this delusion, we inevitably become resentful of our pain, and therefore prone to all the abuses of victim mentality and entitlement.

Our deluded conflation of pain and suffering means that the medical program to reduce and eventually eliminate suffering is doomed.

What's more, because suffering comes from resistance to pain and not from pain itself, the focus of medicine should not even be on the elimination of pain

Yet this is what reductionistic, symptom-oriented medicine naturally tends toward.

Painkillers such as morphine are valuable and have their place in medicine,

The role of a true healer is not to make life more tolerable

Which is essentially what the suppression of symptoms does.

No, the true role of the healer is to help the patient feel more alive in pleasure and in pain.

We go to the doctor because it hurts, and our expectation is that he will give us something to make it stop hurting.

That is an error.

Pain is our friend, never to be sought out, of course, but neither to be resisted.

Let it hurt.

When we feel what there is to feel, we cease maintaining separation between ourselves and our sensations and therefore come into greater wholeness, greater health.

The full experience of pain opens the door to health:

Whether we are on the sickbed

Or facing the psychological pain of life's transitions,

Or the subdued agony of life in a world gone wrong.

Anyway we look at it pain is a part of human experience

Pain is in our lives as naturally as the sun or the wind

From pain we learn more than through happiness

Think about that we need pain

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