To be aware of our ‘pain body’
A Google search for the meaning of “pain body” produces this: “It is an accumulation of painful life experience that was not fully faced and accepted in the moment it arose. It leaves behind an energy form of emotional pain. It comes together with other energy forms from other instances, and so after some years you have a ‘pain body,’ an energy entity consisting of old emotion.”
That it is an energy entity that occupies and has been programmed within every cell of our body is evidenced by reports from many recipients of donated organs who acquire the character traits, preferences and fears of their donors.
Eckhart Tolle, author of “Power of Now” and “A New Earth,” has this to say: “The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, ‘become you’ and live through you. It needs to get its ‘food’ through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence and even illness. So the pain-body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back its own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.”
An American Cherokee is said to have taught his grandson about life thus: “A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside of you—and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson is said to have thought about the matter for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
And the old Cherokee simply replied: “The one you feed.”
Psychologists, starting with Carl Jung, also refer to the pain body as the “shadow.” Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson, in their book “The Shadow Effect,” explain that the shadow lives in all of us and yet we spend most of our life running from it. However, when we embrace our shadow, it is only then that we discover the gifts of our authentic nature.
They tell us further that as we fail to
embrace our dualistic nature, when we deny the existence of our shadow (pain body) from which we unconsciously operate, we will continue to hurt ourselves and those closest to us, and we fall short of our potential.
It certainly is not easy to wean ourselves from actions/reactions that are generated by a pain body that has unconsciously been programmed and nurtured since childhood. It is a good first step, though, to be aware of its existence and to accept its truth. For it is then that we will be able to observe negative feelings as arising from our pain body and not from our true self. This way, rather than fight it and be disgusted with ourselves, we can choose to release it as it arises, while thanking it for serving as a reminder.
This awareness should lead to an ability to be compassionate and to be forgiving, toward both ourselves and others. The good wolf can be fed by making a daily practice of choosing to appreciate and being grateful for even the seemingly smallest of things.
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Philip S. Ycasiano is director of the Philippine Columbian Association.
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