The misapplication of pain -
pain versus discipline


A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2005 by K. Ferlic,   All Rights Reserved

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Pain is a catalyst for action and a key to awareness. It gets our attention and focuses us in ways other techniques cannot do. There are realizations from pain or that can be obtained through pain. Pain has caused many individuals to come to realizations that they seemed unable to obtain in other ways. In some cases individuals have come to realizations directly from, and through, painful experiences. The ultimate of these pain experience is probably a painful death resulting in a near death experience. Many others have utilized some discipline or practice that contained elements of pains. Forms of yoga, martial arts and the like are some of the examples where pain and the requirement to face and deal with the pain are part of the discipline. Isolation and longing for another and/or a beloved/Beloved, is one of the more common pains many have faced.

Whether realized or not, longing is a form of isolation much more powerful that removing oneself from society. Longing is often more painful for one is the middle of a society yet alone and isolated. But it is longing and the pain of this longing, especially longing of the heart, that propels us into very deep awakening to what lies in the heart. On this point, sexuality is an extremely important issues. Most experience a longing in their heart for another. Most see it as an individual of the opposite sex so the mental answer is to go and find a sexual partner. In most societies this means finding a spouse and getting married. Spiritual practices have even been developed around the use of sexuality to assist in moving from seeking a beloved, that sexual and physical partner, and rasing it to a spiritual dimension to access the Beloved, that ultimate Love. In some ways sexuality seems to have been created to exasperate the pain of longing of the heart. Yet when most seek to alleviate the pain through sex they get stuck in the sexuality and what it creates. Hence the recommendation to become celibate in many traditions that seek to transcend the physical and/or obtain spiritual enlightenment.

Pain does awaken consciousness. So, because individuals have realized that pain can be enlightening, there have been practices that embrace pain. Many have sought to use pain to awaken to what people consider higher realms of consciousness and/or to transcend the physical condition and/or enter heaven. The fact that pain is a key to awareness and one can potentially feel pain when they enter a discipline to expand beyond themselves has greatly mislead to a gross misapplication of pain. There has been the application of pain through discipline in the form of causing pain or applying pain as prevalent in the middle ages. Or, there are disciplines in the from of controlling the body such as enduring pain and in many yogic and spiritual exercises to achieve awakening and/or what some have termed “salvation” Many seen the physical condition as the cause of pain and that we need to obtain freedom of the body and release of the conditions of the body and/or physical plane. Some even think that if one is in physical pain there is a greater incentive to transcend the body and embrace the spiritual. But nothing can be father from the truth The pain itself is not what awakens. To endure pain masks its value. The value of pain is that the pain tells us where to begin to look. It tells us to awake up and become that observer.

There is a warped logic which thinks,  "If pain can be enlightening, then, if I create pain, I can use that pain to become enlightened and I can use it as a catalyst to transcend the body." Disciplines  have been set up that are unnecessarily painful. Many have come to think the a discipline that is painful is what is necessary to learn that consciousness is not the body and become enlightened.

Yet few realize the ultimate pain we face will never really go away no matter what realm of existence we enter. There is a form of pain that will always be there. It is what fuels Creation. If we don’t face and understand how to use it, pain will rule our life. What needs to be understood is that the pain that needs to be addressed will arise of its own nature when it needs to be addressed. We need to understand the pain we experience and see how and why we are create an experience of pain.

Now you can accelerate the pain that needs to arise by developing a practice that allows one explore their attachments, but the practice itself need not be painful. One only has to look at the pain that arises naturally within our being as we experience creation, or the pain arises naturally to a situation or simulation such as a metatheater that you create to see what attachments you may have.

However our problem is that normally we numb the pain before we sufficient explore it. It is not about enduring pain and address the pain we feel. It is to To look into the source ane origins of the pain. To look at the source of the pain one only needs to be aware and mindful of the pain. Be mindful and aware of where it lies and exactly what type and kind of pain it is, before one numbs the pain in some way. One of course need to follow the pain and see how it response over time. There is no need to create it, unless you of course want to do so.

It is to be noted that to deal with pain, trust in oneself and the universe is an ability that we must be develop. Within our creative endeavors, pain may occur at a location different than it source. That is we may stumble across things to which we are attached have no conscious awareness that we are attached. But we must trust ourselves and the universe that we can use the pain to find the attachment. Pain be a vehicle for enlightenment and awareness and it can be used to find our attachments. But we must trust that the pain will not destroy us but can be effectively used as the gift that it is. Facing the fire of pain can be quite challenging. Yet it is in facing pain and learning how to use the gift of pain, we find the true freedom we seek. 

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