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Pain…

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Most of us avoid and run from pain.  Our habit, as we were taught, is to run from pain and to seek pleasure.  Most of us accept this as the way to react and perform.  Commercials add to this tendency of ours, portraying pain as something horrible to avoid; additionally, they tempt us to go after exotic vacations, possessions, and fancy (though polluting) automobiles.  The relationship that a truly intelligent and wise mind has to pain may be quite different than the relationship that most people have (or do not have) with pain.  As long as it is not too unbearably intense, the intelligent mind may not merely detest it, avoid it, and flee from it.  The intelligent mind doesn’t come to pain with all of the prejudices, judgements, and ingrained reactions that so many face pain with.  Similarly, the intelligent mind doesn’t just approach certain races, ethnic groups, and certain classes of people with (and through) all kinds of preconditioned prejudices and judgements; they are seen simply as they are (without a mere separative viewpoint).  There is much beauty in that; even pain can — and often does — have elements of beauty to it if one looks without mere condemnation.   One can come to terms with pain in an intelligent, harmonious way.

We avoid pain so readily, so quickly, so mechanically.  Avoiding pain goes back eons into our evolutionary past and does have its place.  However, remaining in thought — and the limited (which is what thought is) — as so many of us inevitably do, is (in a big way) a real form of suffering and pain.  It is like a man clinging to shadows and wholeheartedly taking the shadows to be what reality truly is.  It is also like an organism taking a mere tool to be the essence of what it is.  Very many of us cling to concepts, mental images, beliefs, and to our authoritarian leaders (who themselves are as lost as we are).  So many of us have a central authoritarian leader whom we each call “me” or “I.”  Yet this so-called central figure (purporting to be some sort of central authority) is what was conditioned into us (from others with the same syndrome); we continue, day in and day out, to look at the world with separation (yet we think we are healthy).  Distortion isn’t healthy.  Even though it may claim to be fine, it causes suffering and causes havoc in the world (directly or indirectly).  You can’t intelligently come to terms with pain if there is not proper relationship to it and to other aspects of life, both psychologically and physically.  When one is separate from what is experienced or thought, then fear, distortion, and suffering take place.  (Very many think that they are separate from their thoughts, fears, and from others who are suffering.)  When the mind acts without mere dependency upon what others have taught, then physical pain (personally) isn’t always so bad; and then the mind isn’t merely immersed in the pool of psychological suffering that so many accept as normal.  Such a mind transcends (and helps to transcend) suffering.  Such a mind doesn’t mind undergoing a lot of pain and discomfort (and lack of pleasure) in order to help others.  Compassion negates pain (not necessarily in one’s so-called personal self).  If wholeness and integrity aren’t there — they’re not two separate things, by the way — neither is true joy, deep intelligence, and profound bliss.

Feeling Slowly.(1)  Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Feeling Slowly.(1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Feeling Slowly (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Feeling Slowly (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original mindfulness sayings and/or poetry that deals with mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: tom8pie.com (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

33 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Well said, Tom. I have suffered much in life over pain… injustice and my perceptions of how things should be. I suppose going through that long, dark journey was necessary in order for me to evolve to where I am today. It’s highly fascinating how marketing and tribal influence either helps to keep us in pain (victim) or encourages us to escape (pleasure, medication), instead of allowing it to work its magic.

    Reply

    • Yes… tribal influence! 🙂
      I know how very close to nature you are, Lori; that can tend to make one not only feel one’s own personal pain but also deeply feel the pain and struggle of the many animals and plants. That makes evolving a lot tougher… but that is really what true evolving entails. Keep doing it! (… as we know you will.)

      Reply

  2. Lovely snail, and interestingly I believe there is a sea snail that has been used to develop a really good pain killer, useful for those of us allergic to morphine! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Your words are wonderful and true and I feel the same like you about pain. Thanks for a little philosophy on Sunday, Thomas. Regards Mitza

    Reply

  4. during my public health career
    i should have had a campaign
    promoting
    run, don’t walk
    towards the pain 🙂

    Reply

    • My parents and relatives, from Polish ancestry, would “brag” about their pain. To them, you were a “saint” if you had to bear a lot of pain. In a strange way, it’s true; those with a lot of severe pain are carrying the burden for us all regarding the pain that exists (and must exist) in the universe. Pain is universal… not personal.

      Reply

  5. Well, I do declare, you are not just Buddha Tom, you are Vipassana Buddha Tom! …see, the thing that gave you away, was discussing: clinging and aversion (“run from pain to seek pleasure”), however, cloaking the concept of clinging and aversion with different words did not work, Vipassana Buddha Tom! I saw it right away! But then, maybe it was your fab pics, either way, you most certainly are the above *new* name!

    Reply

  6. very thoughtful post. as a runner, pain is very important to me, it’s how my body tells me when i’m risking or experiencing injury, it’s my warning to back off before i do major damage. what is difficult is not the pain, but the the extrapolation from the pain to what it means for my ability to achieve important goals, that is raising questions about the current run, future training schedule, and races. that’s not pain, that’s anxiety, and it’s why veteran runners like Huraki Murakami say, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”

    Reply

    • Your body, if one listens to it correctly, has an intrinsic, organic intelligence that tells you when enough is enough or when to slow down and take it easy. I like Huraki’s saying. Be sure to wear excellent running shoes and, personally, i feel that one is asking for knee surgery later in life if one runs a lot on concrete. Concrete is not natural and it will gradually cripple your body.

      Reply

      • i pick my running shoes carefully, but even more fun is running barefoot (depending on surface) – this weekend 30 miles barefoot (at the track), 16 on roads in shoes!

  7. Great shots Tom, and a fascinating insight into pain. Is that last shot the underneath of a snail?

    Reply

  8. Very true.We always try to escape from pain and that keeps our pain alive as long as we live. For that reason, we cannot enjoy the bliss. So nicely you explained this hard truth of life with the amazing photos.

    Reply

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