This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!
RECAP: Yesterday we learned that pain is caused by a sudden decline in your experience of uniqueness. This can occur when a fat person steps on your toe, sending powerful signals to your brain, forcing it to focus on a narrow array of stimuli.
Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 4
Pain and Your Relatives
Really, pain is just a relative experience. When your mind knows that it can experience more life than it is currently experiencing, then it will be dissatisfied. For instance, would you want to lie on a bed of pebbles if an empty hammock connected to two shade trees was swinging in the breeze right next to you? If you’re like normal folks, your mind would gravitate toward the hammock, because it promises more life than the pebbles. Therefore, it would be dissatisfied with lying on rocky ground.
A small amount of dissatisfaction is felt as discomfort. But a large amount of dissatisfaction is felt as pain.
When you think about the relative nature of pain, you can understand why pain throbs. Pain cannot be felt constantly. Pay attention the next time something bad happens to you. Or if you’re impatient to learn quickly, go ahead and cause yourself some pain right now. Be like one of the Three Stooges. Maybe hit yourself on the ear with a rubber hammer. Not too hard. Just hard enough to regret following this suggestion.
Now watch the pain. See how it throbs. It always throbs. It throbs by weakening and strengthening over and over again. For a moment you will feel no pain. Then you will feel great pain. Then you will feel no pain again. Then the great pain returns. On and on.
It throbs because your mind needs continual reminders of how much enjoyment is available, in order to comprehend how little enjoyment it is getting from the pain-causing stimulus. When it comprehends how little enjoyment it is getting, its level of dissatisfaction will rise to the point of feeling pain. In other words, the amount of pain you feel is relative to the amount of enjoyment you know you can feel. And you need to throb to those levels of enjoyment in order to remember them.
You are never dissatisfied in a vacuum. You are only dissatisfied when you know there is something better out there that you can have, if only your situation were different.
Let’s get all technical for a moment. When pain throbs, the mechanical dynamic goes something like this:
First most of your awareness focuses on a small range of stimuli, due to strong signals coming from the nerve endings that have been affected by the stimuli. Since there is very little uniqueness coming from such a small range, your level of enjoyment declines precipitously. Then your awareness is released from the focus. For a moment it shifts freely and evenly amongst all the stimuli in your environment. This causes a momentary feeling of enjoyment, due to an increased perception of uniqueness. Then the strong signals capture your awareness again, and send it back to the narrow range of stimuli, causing enjoyment to decline again. And over and over the pattern repeats itself until the stimulus triggering the pain goes away, or maybe until your mommy kisses your boo-boo.
[I promise that tomorrow won’t be as painful as today. Unless you’re a virgin. Tomorrow we will learn more about pain and pleasure, while sacrificing a virgin. It’s gonna be fun, I guarantee it, or may the gods strike me dead.]