of the human tendency to perpetuate old emotion, almost
everyone carries in his or her energy field an accumulation
of old emotional pain, which I call "the pain-body."
Any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen
for what it is in the moment it arises does not completely
dissolve. It leaves behind a remnant of pain.
in particular find strong negative emotions too overwhelming
to cope with and tend to try not to feel them. In
the absence of a fully conscious adult who guides
them with love and compassionate understanding into
facing the emotion directly, choosing not to feel
it is indeed the only option for the child at that
time. Unfortunately, that early defense mechanism
usually remains in place when the child becomes an
adult. The emotion still lives in him or her unrecognized
and manifests indirectly, for example, as anxiety,
anger, outbursts of violence, a mood, or even as physical
illness. In some cases, it interferes with or sabotages
every intimate relationship. Most psychotherapists
have met patients who claimed initially to have had
a totally happy childhood, and later the opposite
turned out to be the case. Those may be the more extreme
cases, but nobody can go through childhood without
suffering emotional pain. Even if both of your parents
were enlightened, you would still find yourself growing
up in a largely unconscious world.
remnants of pain left behind by every strong negative
emotion that is not fully faced, accepted, and then
let go of join together to form an energy field that
lives in the very cells of your body. It consists
not just of childhood pain, but also painful emotions
that were added to it later in adolescence and during
your adult life, most of it created by the voice of
the ego. It is the emotional pain that is your unavoidable
companion when a false sense of self is the basis
of your life.
energy field of old but still very-much-alive emotion
that lives in almost every human being is the pain-body.
pain-body, however, is not just individual in nature.
It also partakes of the pain suffered by countless
humans throughout the history of humanity, which is
a history of continuous tribal warfare, of enslavement,
pillage, rape, torture, and other forms of violence.
This pain still lives in the collective psyche of
humanity and is being added to on a daily basis, as
you can verify when you watch the news tonight or
look at the drama in people’s relationships.
The collective pain-body is probably encoded within
every human’s DNA, although we haven’t
discovered it there yet.
newborn who comes into this world already carries
an emotional pain-body. In some it is heavier, more
dense than in others. Some babies are quite happy
most of the time. Others seem to carry an enormous
amount of unhappiness within them. It is true that
some babies cry a great deal because they are not
given enough love and attention, but others cry for
no apparent reason, almost as if they were trying
to make everyone around them as unhappy as they are—and
often they succeed. They have come into this world
with a heavy share of human pain. Other babies may
cry frequently because they can sense the emanation
of their mother’s and father’s negative
emotion, and it causes them pain and also causes their
pain-body to grow already by absorbing energy from
the parents’ pain-bodies. Whatever the case
may be, as the baby’s physical body grows, so
does the pain-body.
infant with only a light pain-body is not necessarily
going to be a spiritually “more advanced”
man or woman than somebody with a dense one. In fact,
the opposite is often the case. People with heavy
pain-bodies usually have a better chance to awaken
spiritually than those with a relatively light one.
Whereas some of them do remain trapped in their heavy
pain-bodies, many others reach a point where they
cannot live with their unhappiness any longer, and
so their motivation to awaken becomes strong.
is the suffering body of Christ, his face distorted
in agony and his body bleeding from countless wounds,
such a significant image in the collective consciousness
of people, particularly in medieval times, would not
have related to it as deeply as they did if something
within themselves had not resonated with it, if they
had not unconsciously recognized it as an outer representation
of their own inner reality—the pain-body. They
were not yet conscious enough to recognize it directly
within themselves, but it was the beginning of their
becoming aware of it. Christ can be seen as the archetypal
human, embodying both the pain and the possibility
Pain Feeds on Itself
pain-body is a semiautonomous energy-form that lives
within most human beings, an entity made up of emotion.
It has its own primitive intelligence, not unlike
a cunning animal, and its intelligence is directed
primarily at survival. Like all life-forms, it periodically
needs to feed--to take in new energy--and the food
it requires to replenish itself consists of energy
that is compatible with its own, which is to say,
energy that vibrates at a similar frequency. Any emotionally
painful experience can be used as food by the pain-body.
why it thrives on negative thinking as well as drama
may be shocking when you realize for the first time
that there is something within you that periodically
seeks emotional negativity, seeks unhappiness. you
need even more awareness to see it in yourself than
to recognize it in another person. Once the unhappiness
has taken you over, not only do you not want an end
to it, but you want to make others just as miserable
as you are in order to feed on their negative reactions.
most people, the pain-body has a dormant and an active
stage. When it is dormant, you easily forget that
you carry a heavy dark cloud or a dormant volcano
inside you, depending on the energy field of your
particular pain-body. How long it remains dormant
varies from person to person: A few weeks is the most
common, but it can be a few days or months. In rare
cases the pain-body can lie in hibernation for years
before it gets triggered by some event.
Thoughts Feed Your Pain
pain-body awakens from its dormancy when it gets hungry,
when it is time to replenish itself. Alternatively,
it may get triggered by an event at any time. The
pain-body that is ready to feed can use the most insignificant
event as a trigger, something somebody says or does,
or even a thought. If you live alone or there is nobody
around at the time, the pain-body will feed on your
thoughts. Suddenly, your thinking becomes deeply negative.
You were most likely unaware that just prior to the
influx of negative thinking a wave of emotion invaded
your mind--as a dark and heavy mood, an anxiety or
fiery anger. All thought is energy and the pain-body
is now feeding on the energy of your thoughts. But
it cannot feed on any thought. You don't need to be
particularly sensitive to notice that a positive thought
has a totally different feeling-tone than a negative
one. It is the same energy, but it vibrates at a different
frequency. A happy, positive thought is indigestible
to the pain-body. It can only feed on negative thoughts
because only those thoughts are compatible with its
own energy field.
things are vibrating energy fields in ceaseless motion.
The chair you sit on, the book you are hold ling in
your hands appear solid and motionless only because
that is how your senses perceive their vibrational
frequency, that is to say, the incessant movement
of the molecules, atoms, electrons, and subatomic
particles that together create what you perceive as
a chair, a book, a tree, or a body. What we perceive
as physical matter is energy vibrating (moving) at
a particular range of frequencies. Thoughts consist
of the same energy vibrating at a higher frequency
than matter, which is why they cannot be seen or touched.
Thoughts have their own range of frequencies, with
negative thoughts at the lower end of the scale and
positive thoughts at the higher.
vibrational frequency of the pain-body resonates with
that of negative thoughts, which is why only those
thoughts can feed the pain-body.
usual pattern of thought creating emotion is reversed
in the case of the pain-body, at least initially.
Emotion from the pain-body quickly gains control of
your thinking, and once your mind has been taken over
by the pain-body, your thinking becomes negative.
The voice in your head will be telling sad, anxious,
or angry stories about yourself or your life, about
other people, about past, future, or imaginary events.
The voice will be blaming, accusing, complaining,
imagining. And you are totally identified with whatever
the voice says, believe all its distorted thoughts.
that point, the addiction to unhappiness has set in.
It is not so much that you cannot stop your train
of negative thoughts, but that you don't want to.
This is because the pain-body at that time is living
through you, pretending to be you. And to the pain-body,
pain is pleasure. It eagerly devours every negative
thought. In fact, the usual voice in your head has
now become the voice of the pain-body. It has taken
over the internal dialogue. A vicious circle becomes
established between the pain-body and your thinking.
Every thought feeds the pain-body and in turn the
pain-body generates more thoughts. At some point,
after a few hours or even a few days, it has replenished
itself and returns to its dormant stage, leaving behind
a depleted organism and a body that is much more susceptible
to illness. If that sounds to you like a psychic parasite,
you are right. That's exactly what it is.
there are other people around, preferably your partner
or a close family member, the pain-body will attempt
to provoke them--push their buttons, as the expression
goes--so it can feed on the ensuing drama. Pain-bodies
love intimate relationships and families because that
is where they get most of their food. It is hard to
resist another person's pain-body that is determined
to draw you into a reaction. Instinctively it knows
your weakest, most vulnerable points. If it doesn't
succeed the first time, it will try again and again.
It is raw emotion looking for more emotion. The other
person's pain-body wants to awaken yours so that both
pain-bodies can mutually energize each other.
relationships go through violent and destructive pain-body
episodes at regular intervals. It is almost unbearably
painful for a young child to have to witness the emotional
violence of their parents' pain-bodies, and yet that
is the fate of millions of children all over the world,
the nightmare of their daily existence. That is also
one of the main ways in which the human pain-body
is passed on from generation to generation. After
each episode, the partners make up, and there is an
interval of relative peace, to the limited extent
that the ego allows it.
consumption of alcohol will often activate the pain-body,
particularly in men, but also in some women. When
a person becomes drunk, he goes through a complete
personality change as the pain-body takes him over.
A deeply unconscious person whose pain-body habitually
replenishes itself through physical violence often
directs it toward his spouse or children. When he
becomes sober, he is truly sorry and may say he will
never do this again, and he means it. The person who
is talking and making promises, however, is not the
entity that commits the violence, and so you can be
sure that it will happen again and again unless he
becomes present, recognizes the pain-body within himself,
and thus disidentifies from it. In some cases, counseling
can help him do that.
pain-bodies want to both inflict and suffer pain,
but some are predominately either perpetrators or
victims. In either case, they feed on violence, whether
emotional or physical. Some couples who may think
they have "fallen in love" are actually
feeling drawn to each other because their respective
pain-bodies complement each other. Sometimes the roles
of perpetrator and victim are already clearly prescribed
the first time they meet.
marriages that are thought to be made in heaven are
actually made in hell.
you have ever lived with a cat, you will know that
even when the cat seems to be asleep, it still knows
what is going on, because at the slightest unusual
noise, its ears will move toward it, and its eyes
may open slightly. Dormant pain-bodies are the same.
On some level, they are still awake, ready to jump
into action when an appropriate trigger presents itself.
intimate relationships, pain-bodies are often clever
enough to lie low until you start living together
and preferably have signed a contract committing yourself
to be with this person for the rest of your life.
You don't just marry your wife or husband, you also
marry her or his pain-body--and your spouse marries
yours. It can be quite a shock when, perhaps not long
after moving in together or after the honeymoon, you
find suddenly one day there is a complete personality
change in your partner. Her voice becomes harsh and
shrill as she accuses you, blames you, or shouts at
you, most likely over a relatively trivial matter.
Or she becomes totally withdrawn.
wrong?" you ask.
is wrong," she says.
the intensely hostile energy she emanates is saying,
"Everything is wrong." When you look into
her eyes, there is no light in them anymore; it is
as if a heavy veil has descended, and the being you
know and love which before was able to shine through
her ego, is now totally obscured. A complete stranger
seems to be looking back at you, and in their eyes
there is hatred, hostility, bitterness, or anger.
When she speaks to you, it is not your spouse or partner
who is speaking but the pain-body speaking through
them. Whatever she is saying is the pain-body's version
of reality, a reality completely distorted by fear,
hostility, anger, and a desire to inflict and receive
this point you may wonder whether this is your partner's
real face that you had seen before and whether you
made a dreadful mistake in choosing this person. It
is, of course, not the real face, just the pain-body
that temporarily has taken possession. It would be
hard to find a partner who does not carry a pain-body,
but it would perhaps be wise to choose someone whose
pain-body is not excessively dense.
people carry dense pain-bodies that are never completely
dormant. They may be smiling and making polite conversation,
but you do not need to be psychic to sense that seething
ball of unhappy emotion in them just underneath the
surface, waiting for the next event to react to, the
next person to blame or confront, the next thing to
be unhappy about. Their pain-bodies can never get
enough, are always hungry.
magnify the ego's need for enemies.
their reactivity, relatively insignificant matters
are blown up out of all proportion as they try to
pull other people into their drama by getting them
to react. Some get involved in protracted and ultimately
pointless battles or court cases with organizations
or individuals. Others are consumed by obsessive hatred
toward an ex-spouse or partner. Unaware of the pain
they carry inside, by their reactions, they project
the pain into events and situations. Due to a complete
lack of self-awareness, they cannot tell the difference
between an event and their reaction to the event.
To them, the unhappiness and even the pain itself
is out there in the event or situation.
unconscious of their inner state, they don't even
know that they are deeply unhappy, that they are suffering.
people with such dense pain-bodies become activists
fighting for a cause. The cause may indeed be worthy,
and they are sometimes successful at first in getting
things done; however, the negative energy that flows
into what they say and do and their unconscious need
for enemies and conflict tend to generate increasing
opposition to their cause. Usually they also end up
creating enemies within their own organization, because
wherever they go, they find reasons for feeling bad,
and so their pain-body continues to find exactly what
it is looking for.
you were not familiar with our contemporary civilization,
if you had come here from another age or another planet,
one of the things that would amaze you is that millions
of people love and pay money to watch humans kill
and inflict pain on each other and call it "entertainment."
do violent films attract such large audiences?
is an entire industry, a large part of which fuels
the human addiction to unhappiness. People obviously
watch those films because they want to feel bad. What
is it in humans that loves to feel bad and calls it
good? The pain-body, of course. A large part of the
entertainment industry caters to it. So, in addition
to reactivity, negative thinking, and personal drama,
the pain-body also renews itself vicariously through
the cinema and television screen. Pain-bodies write
and produce these films, and pain-bodies pay to watch
it always "wrong" to show and watch violence
on television and the cinema screen?
all such violence cater to the pain-body? At the current
evolutionary stage of humanity, violence is still
not only all-pervasive but even on the increase, as
the old egoic consciousness, amplified by the collective
pain-body, intensifies prior to its inevitable demise.
If films show violence in its wider context, if they
show its origin and its consequences, show what it
does to the victim as well as the perpetrator, show
the collective unconsciousness that lies behind it
and is passed on from generation to generation (the
anger and hatred that lives in humans as the pain-body),
then those films can fulfill a vital function in the
awakening of humanity. They can act as a mirror in
which humanity sees its own insanity. That in you
which recognizes madness as madness (even if it is
your own) is sanity, is the arising awareness. is
the end of insanity.
films do exist and they do not fuel the pain-body.
Some of the best antiwar films are films that show
the reality of war rather than a glamorized version
of it. The pain-body can only feed on films in which
violence is portrayed as normal or even desirable
human behavior, or that glorify violence with the
sole purpose of generating negative emotion in the
viewer and so become a "fix" for the pain-addicted