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Pain is resistance to what is...

"Pain is resistance against what is..."

This is a deep one! I heard this on an audio and thought it was worth analysis.

To many people, pain is an objective assessment of what is going wrong in the body; poke someone in the arm and we call that painful. Makes sense. Yet we don't feel pain until we know we're in pain: we can sit on a leg for twenty minutes and then shift our position and then feel the pins and needles, which were there all along but now we're conscious of it.

Yet even when we're being prodded, the pain felt is a resistance against something prodding us - our body responds with a reaction to avoid the pain, to resist what is.

But there's also the pain of mental blocks - we can resist facts, learning, doing. That is, we can resist facts about ourselves and ours situation (poor results, weak skills in certain areas), or resist learning what needs to be done (usually to resolve the facts we're running from!), and doing ... we can resist doing what's required to achieve what we want. The pain is then the fear that results. Inaction will prolong the pain - because we knew it needs to be sorted.

In tuition, we're often dealing with incipient pain: we see it in the pupils - either they're already suffering (dodging revision or writing or maths because of the associated pain from not getting something) or they're building mental barriers that will hinder their development.

It's incredibly worthwhile helping them over the barriers they've erected or making sure they don't form in the first place. I'm sure there are loads of psychological techniques for those whose pain has become subliminal, but when it's liminal and we can reason through the issues, it's great to hear: "Oh, is that it?...What was I worried about?" A lovely expression that pops out of the mouths of teenagers who had been 'running away' from trigonometry or essay writing!

No doubt we'll all have some insights into 'pain is resistance to what is...' share it on our Facebook page under Classical Foundations!

Article by Dr Alexander Moseley
Added Mon, 2 Feb 2015 21:10

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