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Pain and Pleasure

Updated on October 8, 2015

Live Life

Pain and pleasure are intrinsic parts of life. People are so much afraid of pain that they repress pain, they avoid any situation that brings pain, they go on dodging pain. And finally they stumble upon the fact that if you really want to avoid pain you will have to avoid pleasure.

In fact they are simply avoiding all possibilities of pain.

They know that if you avoid pleasure then naturally great pain is not possible; it comes only as a shadow of pleasure. Then you walk on the plain ground - you never move on the peaks and you never fall into the valleys.

But then you are living dead, then you are not alive.

Life exists between this polarity. This tension between pain and pleasure makes you capable of creating great music; music exists only in this tension. Destroy the polarity and you will be dull, you will be stale, you will be dusty - you won't have any meaning and you will never know what splendor is. You will have missed life.

The man who wants to know life and live life has to accept and embrace death. They come together, they are two aspects of a single phenomenon.


That's why growth is painful. You have to go into all those pains that you have been avoiding. It hurts. You have to go through all those wounds that somehow you have managed not to look at. But the deeper you go into pain, the deeper is your capacity to go into pleasure. If you can go into pain to the uttermost limit, you will be able to touch heaven. To be free of pain the pain has to be accepted, inevitably and naturally.

Pain is pain - a simple painful fact. Suffering however is only and always the refusal of pain, the claim that life should not be painful. It is the rejection of a fact, the denial of life and of the nature of things. Death is the mind that minds dying. Where there is no fear of death, who is there to die? Man is unique among creatures in his knowledge of death and in his laughter. Wonderfully then, he can even make of death a new thing: he can die laughing.

It is only man who knows laughter; no other animal laughs. It is only man who knows death; no other animal knows death - animals simply die, they are not conscious of the phenomenon of death. Man is aware of two things which no animal is: one is laughter, another is death. Then a new synthesis is possible.

It is only man who can die laughing - he can join the consciousness of death and the capacity to laugh. And if you can die laughing, only then will you give a valid proof that you must have lived laughing.

Conclusion, the concluding remark. How you have lived will be shown by your death, how you die. Can you die laughing? Then you were a grown-up person. If you die crying, weeping, clinging, then you were a child. You were not grown-up, you were immature. If you die crying, weeping, clinging to life, that simply shows you have been avoiding death and you have been avoiding all pains, all kinds of pains.

Growth is facing the reality, encountering the fact, whatsoever it is. Pain is simply pain; there is no suffering in it. Suffering comes from your desire that the pain should not be there, that there is something wrong in pain. Watch, witness, and you will be surprised. You have a headache: the pain is there but suffering is not there. Suffering is a secondary phenomenon, pain is primary.

The headache is there, the pain is there; it is simply a fact. There is no judgment about it - you don't call it good or bad, you don't give it any value; it is just a fact. The rose is a fact, so is the thorn. The day is a fact, so is the night. The head is a fact, so is the headache. You simply take note of it. Buddha taught his disciples that when you have a headache simply say twice "Headache, headache." Take note. But don't evaluate, don't say, "Why? Why has this headache happened to me? It should not happen to me."

The moment you say, "It should not," you bring suffering in. Now suffering is created by you, not by the headache. Suffering is your antagonistic interpretation, suffering is your denial of the fact. And the moment you say, "It should not be," you have started avoiding it, you have started turning yourself away from it.

You would like to be occupied in something so that you can forget it. You turn the radio or the tv on or you go to the club or you start reading or you go and start working in the garden - you divert yourself, you distract yourself.

Now that pain has not been witnessed; you have simply distracted yourself. That pain will be absorbed by the system. Let this key be very deeply understood: If you can witness your headache without taking any antagonistic attitude, without avoiding it, without escaping from it; if you can just be there, meditatively there - "Headache, headache" - if you can just simply see it, the headache will go in its time.

Just by your seeing it will go. It will go in its time. But it will not be absorbed by your system, it will not poison your system. It will be there, you will take note of it, and it will be gone. It will be released. When you witness a certain thing in yourself it cannot enter into your system. It always enters when you avoid it, when you escape from it. When you become absent then it enters into your system.

Only when you are absent can a pain become part of your being - if you are present your very presence prevents it from becoming part of your being. And if you can go on seeing your pains you will not be accumulating them. You have not teen taught the right clue, so you go on avoiding. Then you accumulate so much pain, you are afraid to face it, you are afraid to accept it. Growth becomes painful - it is because of wrong conditioning. Otherwise growth is not painful, growth is utterly pleasant.

Welcome to the Inner World.............

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Really great lens. Thanks for sharing. Something that is part and parcel of people's lives

    • MikeRobbers LM profile image

      MikeRobbers LM 5 years ago

      What an interesting lens, the way you related pain & pleasure is really fascinating and true! thanks for sharing , shared abroad

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      You relate in interesting way pain and pleasure, yes I think they are related and we don't have to separate them

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Pain has a voice, if we will listen to it, it will teach us much wisdom.

      Pleasure has a voice, it will guide us if we can hear what its saying.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Fascinating concept! I must admit, I've never thought to experience pain in this way, but I can see the truth in it. We go to great lengths to avoid or deny pain when it can only be released by acknowledging its existence.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      What a great lens.

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 6 years ago

      Pain and pleasure are just opposite to each other but they cannot be separated.Nice lens.Thanks.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Perfect description of duality and how to 'ask for more' until the program runs out. We suffer in order to experience relief. All of this bodily existence is but programs running; beliefs unfolding. We have bodies in the first place to house the pain and hide the pleasure- pain nor pleasure can exist in the nonlinear; pure consciousness is absolute satiation to the obliteration of all programs and beliefs. Pain and pleasure cannot even get a foothold in the Light- they exist only where we can't see. Absolution from programming is the Presence of God. The karmic pattern unfolds of it's own, having no regard for it's experience- like an arm doesn't experience itself, we don't realize that we make our own karma by all the yes's and no's, prior agreement often buried deep in a subconscious simply being met. When we meditate beyond duality, samadhi comes, and meaning is forgotten- eventually, one just drifts away from the prison bars of belief. Lovely lens, I enjoyed the process.