What is the pain body's purpose?

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What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Lauris » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:16 pm

Hello everyone! :)

Recently Tolle's concept of "pain body" has made much sense to me. When he calls it a "semi-autonomous psychic entity" I feel I know exactly what he means. The bundle of emotional ego reactions seem to have a life of their own, and derive pleasure from inflicting pain. When I'm clear in my head, I don't want anyone to suffer, but when overwhelmed by the pain body's reactions, I feel a strong pull to hurt and belittle others.

Now, I think that this whole thing could be a kind of a defense mechanism, retaliating against the old, stored pain. But I'm curious to its inner workings - what is its real motivation? All psychic "entities" serve us in one way or another. Why was the pain body created, what is it a reaction against? I hope I make sense :).
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:34 pm

I would suggest that the pain body, to the extent that one may perceive our conditioning as such, exists as a reminder of our mis-perception of the greater truth of our being. All those components that create an internal negative demeanor are individually the result of perceiving some event or condition through a judgment that separates us from a natural inclusiveness of/in experience. Taken together they result in the creation of a kind of 'pain body' that is a formulation of yet unresolved issues/judgments/separations.

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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Lauris » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:31 pm

Thank you Webwanderer.

Could you give a practical example of this mechanism?
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby ashley72 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:57 pm

Pain-body is an analogy (target mapping) for an abstract concept that is attempting to describe a complex nervous system in nature. Pain-body is merely another name for the "unpleasant" complex system of nervous suffering. Unpleasant or undesirable nervous suffering seems like it is a separate entity within your physical body because of the way feedback loops work to regulate our nervous system.

Practical Example

Are you familiar with a panic cycle? Whereby, the output cycle feeds back into the input cycle??

Whenever we perceive a thing as dangerous, we have an output cycle of anxious thoughts, feelings & sensations. Sometimes nervous sufferers will also perceive these output signals (anxious thoughts, feelings & sensations) as also dangerous. Which creates a positive feedback loop away from the normal equilibrium point of regulatory action.

When positive feedback occurs, there is a growth cycle....This growth cycle if not understood by the nervous sufferer can feel like a complete loss of control, almost like there is some foreign entity taking you over... But that would be a mis-perception of what is occuring. The nervous sufferer is actually self-inflicting this positive feedback loop because of a anxiety trick.

The nervous sufferer takes step to avoid the so called dangerous thing and they mistakenly believe that their avoidance behaviour actually saves them from actual danger, even if there is no danger!

The nervous sufferer can also feel a loss of control, because of the anxiety trick. They feel like they need to run away from their pain body... Or nervous attacks.

There is no nervous entity or pain body inside you. Rather numerous control and communication processes are regulating your nervous system. Once you break down these nervous processes better...you can start to identify things like positive feedback which causes nervous suffering (a loss of feeling calm and in control).

Positive feedback can lead a nervous system away from an equilibrium state thus rendering it unstable, even potentially producing unexpected results. This is why a nervous sufferer feels so perplexed by positive feedback loops, they move away from a stable regulated nervous system to an unstable nervous system.

If you want to return back to equilibrium you need to stop feeding the anxiety trick... Perceiving the symptoms of danger as danger... Or using avoidance strategies in your life to regulate calmness.

Exposure to your irrational fears is the first step to recovery.
Last edited by ashley72 on Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:24 pm

Lauris wrote:Thank you Webwanderer.

Could you give a practical example of this mechanism?

Sure, they are endless.

You're six years old and at school. Some older/bigger person of another race begins to bully you. You get fearful every time you're around this person and avoid them. Later, another person of this other race calls you names and you don't like it. It also brings back memories of the bully. Then you hear your parents or friends say that this other race is awful and mean. You begin to see all others of this other race through this fearful and judgmental lens. You adopt this as a belief based on the perceived authority of others and your own experience. You now see this race in general as a kind of enemy and you believe yourself different and separate on a fundamental level.

Now as an adult, this perspective has become part of your belief and pain body. Contact with others of this race brings back the subtle sense of pain that came from early bullying and the influence from perceived authorities.

Much of what we learned as children is part of our belief structure. Those parts that are still painful, and that we resist, are elements of our pain body. Other elements of a pain body may be parental abuse or neglect. It may be feelings of being a victim. It may be the desertion of a lover or friend. It could even be perceived wrongs you committed upon others that is felt as guilt. The list is endless.

Personally I no longer think much about a pain body. It has served its purpose and generally speaking I don't wish to re-energize old issues. They still arise of course, but I see them more as messages of issues still held rather than truisms. Now I much prefer to focus on inclusiveness by perceiving myself and others in/as our true nature. No doubt it's a work in progress, but is one that is producing quality dividends.

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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby epiphany55 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:10 pm

The pain body is just another way of explaining what psychologists (such as Jung and Freud) have called the manifestations of the unconscious mind. Tolle is a great compiler, reiterator and reinterpreter of some of the greatest discoveries of past millennia.

Here's one theory...

We tend to repress a lot of our most negative thoughts and feelings into our unconscious, mainly because keeping such thoughts conscious in every waking moment would compromise our ability to act efficiently in favour of our survival. Naturally, there is only so much information our unconscious mind can store before it opens its "release valve" and releases the energy (because that's all it is). Because of how the information is stored in our unconscious mind, it often gets released in very disorganised and irrational ways. This typically manifests through potentially harmful impulses, e.g. a sudden build up of aggression.

The manifested action is not in itself the purpose, rather the symptom of the purpose of the unconscious mind to make room for more information/energy. The purpose is simply to "take out the trash", an excretion or spewing of psychological waste that is at least not essential and maybe even harmful to your survival.

That's why psychologists such as Jung emphasised the importance of being aware of your unconsciously delivered impulses and make efforts to release them safely.

I believe that cases of rape, murder and other harmful behaviours are in reality the poorly managed release of waste from the unconscious mind. Kind of like fly tipping instead of separating your waste and disposing of it correctly :lol: When we become fully aware of the impulses being delivered into our conscious mind, we are able to release the energy in safer ways.

For me, that means listening to heavy metal! For others, it's extreme sports, weight lifting, sexual exploration, impassioned debate and, if we can meditate on that energy, it can be released in very positive ways such as helping others.

The pain body has a purpose, but I think it's how we become aware of and release that energy that needs the most attention. Tolle's work is invaluable for that.
Last edited by epiphany55 on Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Manyana » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:21 am

In the talk Dissolving the Pain-Body, Eckhart says of the pain-body:

As you bring consciousness to it the trapped energy becomes freed.....I sometimes compare it to a piece of heavy wood that has been burned or coal, the coal is transmuted into fire - the flame of consciousness. First it was a heavy substance, dark and heavy substance and suddenly the dark and heavy substance burns and becomes a flame, becomes a transmutation into pure energy - beautiful.....Even the human pain body has a function and that is that it provides fuel for consciousness......Ultimately it becomes your spiritual teacher, one of your spiritual teachers and for some people their main spiritual teacher. I would say for me it was my main spiritual teacher because I couldn't live with him any longer..... a large part of who I felt myself to be consisted of emotion pain.....and that just became unbearable and that's why I am here now.
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Lauris » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:44 pm

epiphany55 wrote:
That's why psychologists such as Jung emphasised the importance of being aware of your unconsciously delivered impulses and make efforts to release them safely.

For me, that means listening to heavy metal! For others, it's extreme sports, weight lifting, paraphilia, impassioned debate and, if we can meditate on that energy, it can be released in very positive ways such as helping others.

The pain body has a purpose, but I think it's how we become aware of and release that energy that needs the most attention. Tolle's work is invaluable for that.


Thank you epipahany, your reply seemed to click most with what I had in mind. However, do you think the ways you mention are actually ways to release or fuel that energy? Have you heard of the "anger rooms" where people can go in and for a cost smash everything? If I'm not mistaken it actually made people more angry in the long run, not less.

I have noticed I unconsciously perceive other people as aggressors, and in that way act passively or actively aggressive myself. I usually play the victim role in my head, and want to take revenge on the perceived bullies. It very well might come from my childhood/school years.
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby epiphany55 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:18 pm

Lauris wrote:Thank you epipahany, your reply seemed to click most with what I had in mind. However, do you think the ways you mention are actually ways to release or fuel that energy? Have you heard of the "anger rooms" where people can go in and for a cost smash everything? If I'm not mistaken it actually made people more angry in the long run, not less.


It would have to be proven that these people were actually getting angrier because of the therapy and not simply because they have a lot to unload. I guess it won't be the best solution for some people, especially those who aren't fully aware of the energy they're releasing.

Lauris wrote:I have noticed I unconsciously perceive other people as aggressors, and in that way act passively or actively aggressive myself. I usually play the victim role in my head, and want to take revenge on the perceived bullies. It very well might come from my childhood/school years.


It most likely does come from past conditioning. At least you're aware of these unconsciously delivered impulses. You can now look at them as just another phenomenon arising in your conscious experience. By becoming aware of these impulses, you now see they are just energy, which you can release however you wish.

For example, I feel angry about something. I become aware that I am angry and put my attention on the raw feeling, without the story. I become aware of an energy build up inside me. I focus on the energy and it becomes neutral. I can then release it with love.

The reason I mentioned releases such as heavy metal, extreme sports, weight lifting, sexual exploration etc. is because I consider them "high burn rate". Anything that involves a certain degree of aggression and/or intensity seems to release energy in greater amounts. But it's releasing it with love and awareness that makes the difference.
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Zizitop » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:23 am

Lauris wrote:But I'm curious to its inner workings - what is its real motivation? All psychic "entities" serve us in one way or another. Why was the pain body created, what is it a reaction against?


I also had this question in my head lately. I suppose that the pain body has indeed a function. If we suppose that the concept of 'pain body' refers to a bunch of supressed emotions, manifesting theirselves from time to time, we can as well investigate the functions emotions have. What are these? I suggest that emotions are signals in order to change something or to prevent us from something. In this respect we could say that sadness serves to deal with the past and so live peacefull in the present, anxiety serves for exemple as a signal for behaving somewhat different or become more conscious in order to successfully adapt to a given situation, anger may lead you to forgiveness of the ones you love and so on... So in this respect 'the pain body' is nothing negative in itself, the additional negative thoughts which are pointless are. I would suggest to focus on those emotions and energy waves in the body in order to become aware of their true intent. Don't know what you guys think about this?

Webwanderer wrote:Taken together they result in the creation of a kind of 'pain body' that is a formulation of yet unresolved issues/judgments/separations.


Do you mean with this that we always have to strive for the best possible relationship with our close ones (for example our parents)?

Thanx
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:19 am

Zizitop wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:Taken together they result in the creation of a kind of 'pain body' that is a formulation of yet unresolved issues/judgments/separations.


Do you mean with this that we always have to strive for the best possible relationship with our close ones (for example our parents)?

Thanx
ZZ

While that's likely a good course of action, my comment is simply a clarification of what a pain body is. Our primary relationship is with ourselves. It's a relationship of our human ego perspective as it relates to our true nature as eternal conscious beings. Our emotions are indicators of the quality of that relationship in any given moment. What is referred to as a pain body (in my estimation) is lingering unresolved issues that effect/separate us from alignment with our true beingness. That's not to say that one cannot find alignment while the pain body exists, but to say that it can have an effect to a greater or lessor degree depending on the individual and where he or she focuses their attention.

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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Lauris » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:16 am

Actually I think I've found something like an answer in Ross Bisghop's amazing book "Healing The Shadow.

Here is how he describes the ego, specifically the "evil" entity within, which seemingly acts in opposition to you, contrary to your good intentions. A part of you is the Warrior. The Wolf. Its function is justice and protection. However, this wolf is loyal to the needs of your inner child, not the disconnected adult you. And your perspectives of life are quite different. So there is this huge wolf protecting a small child inside of you. And until this child is heard and healed, the wolf will continue to be an adversary, not an ally.
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Zizitop » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:36 am

Webwanderer wrote:Our primary relationship is with ourselves. It's a relationship of our human ego perspective as it relates to our true nature as eternal conscious beings. Our emotions are indicators of the quality of that relationship in any given moment.


To take a concrete example, in my case I have a very disturbed relationship with one of my parents. From the time that this was so, I also began experiencing symptoms of what Tolle describes as the pain body (seems very familiar). Now a few years later I feel that this pain body (or emotions) doesn't intend to let me go, and I also receive some vague signals a can better strive to and obtain the best possible relationship with my parents in this present moment and the future, letting the past for what it is. In this respect, I would suggest that the state of connectedness with close ones (especially the parents) is some of a condition to become yourself and be freed from the pain body, which is a reminder (I suppose) of yet unfulfilled human needs that can't be neglected (affection, appreciation, a friendly and healthy relationship,...).
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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:37 pm

While the term 'painbody' is a bit too physical in its implications for my taste, it is a term that does have some usefulness in that it points to a lingering limiting phenomena of consciousness. The pain reference is of course related to emotions that we do not like and may suffer from occasionally over long periods of time when triggered, or may even be chronic as in anxiety and depression. Its effects can be quite broad and pervasive. But those are its manifestations. What is its binding force that gives it the continuity of a 'body'?

That binding force seems to be certain beliefs that are fundamentally untrue about ourselves and life in general from/in the larger sense, and applied meanings that support those beliefs from the limitation of our human ego perspective. That beliefs are untrue is demonstrated through the painful emotions that result from those distorted beliefs.

Our true nature is one of love and joy, curiosity and exploration, adventure and growth. Emotions are a gift and are our guidance system to lead us out of the darkness and pain of the contracting beliefs that we create, and back toward the light and expandedness of our true nature. To effectively 'lead' however, one must be willing to honor their message and what it says about our beliefs and the meanings we choose.

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Re: What is the pain body's purpose?

Postby Zizitop » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:20 pm

Can I say that as a practical guideline one must become aware of the message of our emotions in order to do something in a given situation to fulfill its natural human needs? Thereby not taking egoic or negative thoughts all too seriously. I remember that in The Power of Now Tolle says that emotions are the most trustfull signs of our state of being, while additional thoughts are misleading (they are misconceptions of the signs of the emotions or they form a protection beld for seemingly something painfull). Becoming conscious of the true message of our emotions is then the best thing to do (?), while being aware that the additional thoughts are often absurd and nonsensical.
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