Self-mutilation, or other means of self-inflicted pain, physically, mentally or emotionally, are common to everyone. Everyone finds some way to inflict one form of pain or another on themselves, and we all wonder why.
One young person told me that the reason she liked piercing was because it hurt. I found that strange at the time, but in fact, after enough years of self-observation, I must admit I too see a benefit in pain, although my pains are not physical.
We must always start with the cause and reason for anything before we ever stand a chance of understanding, which of course must come before being able to correct any problem and make permanent effective change.
The questions are; Why would anyone want to feel pain? And, even though we claim we do not like to feel pain, we repeatedly do the same things which cause us pain. This usually falls under emotional and mental pain through repeating the same mistakes again and again. Why do we not correct this repetition?
The answer is; Because we want to feel alive, and pain definitely brings you to the present moment and you feel. Yes, simply to feel is what we want and need so much, and this begs the question of why we are not feeling all the time?
The principle that is related in all religions and mystical traditions is that we are really asleep even when we think we are awake. We go through our entire life asleep and are awake for only very brief and rare moments. Our goal in life is to become awake. This is the meaning of the word buddha, it means, ‘awake’.
In order to feel, we must be awake. And so, our desire to feel is really a desire to be awake.
You can easily test the principle if you are awake or asleep throughout the day in which you think you are conscious by trying to remember what you did during the day. For example, if you drive to work, on the same route every day, have you noticed that when you arrive you have no idea what you saw on the drive and all of a sudden you realize you are there?
If our goal on a higher level is to wake up, and on a conscious level we want to be awake because that is when we can be alive and feel, and our normal everyday life in modern society has made life so simple and safe that there is no reason to be awake, because life is so easy and organized that we can sleep right through it and get the necessities of life done, then the only way to get the feeling of being alive is through pain.
Since most of us could not bring ourselves to self mutilation, we turn to emotional and mental suffering.
The point of this article is to suggest that if you find too many problems in your life which cause you a lot of pain and turmoil, consider how you feel, how present you are when you are in pain versus when you are happy. And more importantly, does pain make you turn inward or Godward for help and support?
I can only speak for myself, and I can say after years of self-observation I have found that my level of inward reflection and sense of presence of God or a spiritual conciseness, is definitely stronger when I am in some deep emotional pain rather than when things are just flowing smoothly.
I will leave you with one question which determines if you should consider or toss out this article; what is more important to you? To be happy here and there and alternate that with sadness or some form of pain, or, to find a deep inner connection with the Divine aspect of your soul?
If it is the first, then you are fine as you are. If it is the second, then consider what has been said here, observe yourself in times of pain and pleasure in respect to your level of awareness and presence, and once you have seen the truth behind your actions, you may find a way to have that sense of presence and be awake without the need of pain.
If you would like more guidance on how to achieve a stronger level of awakening, you may consider two of my books, All Is Mind and Mind Training Exercises for Success and of course, you are welcome to contact me any time.