you've heard it before, surely - 'no pain, no gain'. it's the truism/mantra of the athletic crowd, and FOR GOOD REASON! we have found it to be a critical 'truth' as deep as you care to go, and not just at the physical level.
if you're not feeling YOUR Pain, you are in a sh*t load of trouble! why is this so?
if you take a hard, objective 'look' at the fundamental underpinning of our so called 'education', you will find that one of it's basic tenants, in one form or another, is to generally conduct your life by 'seeking pleasure' and 'avoiding pain'.
now, on the surface this doesn't seem such a bad idea, does it. i mean, pleasure feels good so why not go for as much as possible, and who in their right mind wants more pain? so why not stay away from it if you can?
seems to make sense, so we go for it. what's the problem?
OK, this could take quite a bit of explaining, but we have found it's critically important to improving ones life in a substantial way, so please give this your best attention, and maybe keep coming back if you can't take it all in one go. we can guarantee it will be the best energy investment you will ever make!
first up - PLEASURE
what is Pleasure, first of all? isn't it some kind of experienced sensation which 'feels' good? it can come from the physical or psychological realm, and comes in various strengths and subtleties, doesn't it.
now, to our minds, there is nothing wrong with pleasure itself (or pain, for that matter, but more on that in a bit). that's right: we are saying that anything that is a 'reality' or actually part of 'Nature' or the 'Mystery' is good and not a problem in itself. problems arise only with MISUSE or in SEEKING/AVOIDING!
now, how do we misuse something which is in itself 'good'?
how about by taking Too Much at once or by taking it Too Often? one of the wisdom sayings on the pillar at the Oracle of Delphi was "Nothing In Excess".
when you take something 'In Excess' of the 'naturally right' amount, there are bound to be negative consequences, aren't there? why? because you are then going outside the 'bounds' of nature (in effect you are 'breaking the rules', so to speak.) so for example, if you overeat a 'good' meal (Raw, of course, lol), you can expect negative side effects like lethargy, bloating, gas and/or indigestion.
why do we Misuse naturally good things? it is our contention that we do it out of Reaction to it's apparent opposite, or another way to put it would be that we do it as a Means to something else, and not for Itself!
in the example of the good meal, we would eat too much if we were using the pleasure inherent in the meal to offset or dilute some 'pain' or discomfort we were feeling at the time. don't we do this often and with many things?
what about the Seeking/Avoidance issue.
what does it mean to Seek? isn't it action based on wanting/desiring More of something than we believe will occur 'naturally' in the course of events? and isn't to Avoid the opposite; wanting/desiring Less of something that we believe will occur 'naturally' in the course of events?
so to Seek or Avoid means we commit our energy towards DISTORTING/Changing the 'Natural' flow or order of things as they would otherwise occur, isn't it? whats wrong with that?
in the Bible there is a saying somewhere that "God is a Jealous God".
we think the real meaning of that is not that God/the Mystery is jealous in our meaning today of that word, but rather that there are good and necessary reasons for the flow of life as directed by 'God' through Nature's events, and God isn't about to modify/change that necessary flow just because it doesn't fit in with our petty ideas about what we think/want to have happen.
so when we seek/avoid, we are committing our energy against that Natural flow, and that must result in a 'Losing Battle', be a waste of our precious energy, and therefore cause us to have various difficulties/problems due to our consequent lack of energy.
what about trying to 'Avoid Pain'. why do we say that 'Pain' is our friend?
first off, we are sure you've heard the saying "be here now", right?
the idea is that it is good to be/experience where you in fact are located, and do it in the present (which is where life actually happens, by the way, right!). the problem with that positive thinking approach (besides the fact that it doesn't work, lol) is that it avoids the fact by attempting to pit ones will Against the fact, and in doing so prevents learning, which would occur if one would just face the fact that one isn't 'here now', and then explore that fact (WHY isn't one 'here now')
so WHY do we have so much trouble 'being here now'? if that is indeed where/when Life actually takes place, then to Not 'be here now' means we are somehow missing/avoiding Life Itself, correct?
is it because 'PAIN' exists/lives in the present, and we have been taught to avoid/numb out ourselves at the first sign of that dreaded monster? aren't we 'AFRAID' of pain? and if we keep running away from it, won't it build up more and more, like a backlog or a lake building up behind a dam. perhaps this is what really frightens us, that the dam will burst and swamp us, no?
now, how can 'pain' be our friend? well, if life happens 'here and now', and if we really want to Live, then anything which helps us get to that place/time is our friend, right? so our question to you is (and this may sound a bit 'weird') "WHEN and WHERE does 'pain' itself, whatever it is, exist? surely only here and in the present, no? otherwise it is only a memory from the past or a projection of the possible future, correct?
so actually FEELING pain automatically brings us into the 'present', and so even though it 'Hurts', pain is our friend because it helps us get to LIFE, and that can only be good, no matter how hurtful it 'feels'.
Why that is so will have to wait for another time!