Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Pain Body (Part One)

Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

Mama used to say …I was especially sensitive to onions like my great-aunt, Tita. …when she [Tita] was still in great-grandmother’s belly her sobs were so loud that even Nacha, the cook, who was half deaf, could hear them easily. Once her wailing got so violent that it brought on an early labor… Tita made her entrance into this world…was literally washed into this world on a great tide of tears that spilled over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen floor…
Like Water for Chocolate, byLaura Esquirel.

I have been thinking about the pain body.
It is a term coined by Eckhart Tolle:

…every emotional pain that you experience leaves behind a residue of pain. It merges with past pain and lodges in your mind and body. This accumulated pain is a negative energy field, and if you look upon it as an invisible entity in its own right, you are getting quite close to the truth.

So, there is a personal pain body that we acquire as we struggle to grow up.
There is also a pain body we inherit, simply by being human.
Here, Tolle describes social pain bodies. I think it only reasonable that there is also a pain body associated with our family history.
I look as this as so physically ingrained (albeit very subtly) that it is actually reasonable to consider it our inheritance through Nature rather than from Nurture. Although we are also shaped by inherited behavioral patterns. I am concerned more with physical and energetic inheritance.

The pain body usually has a collective as well as a personal aspect… The collective one is the pain accumulated in the collective human psyche over thousands of years through disease, torture, war, murder, cruelty, madness… Everyone’s personal pain body also partakes of this collective pain-body. There are different strands in the collective pain body. For example certain races or countries in which extreme forms of strife and violence occur have a heavier collective pain-body than others…every woman has her share in what could be described as the collective female pain-body… This consists of the accumulated pain suffered by women partly through…slavery, exploitation, rape, childbirth, child loss, and so on, over thousands of years.
The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle.

College age and still at home, one evening I was watching a movie on TV.
During a commercial break, I rummaged the refrigerator.
A bit amazed at what I came up with, I held my bowl out to Mom
as I passed her in the hallway.
“Look at this! Chocolate ice cream and a dill pickle. How weird! But, I want it!”
“Oh! I craved that when I was pregnant with you,” was Mom’s instant reply.

Tita, Tita, Tita.

I have another story, many stories really, regarding the pain body,
as I am just back from a weekend in Kentucky.
The memorial service for my mother’s brother, Uncle Eddie,
reunited eight of the eleven Kearfott cousins, the children of Mom and her two brothers.
I hadn’t seen a number of these people in over forty years.
And I was stunned by the parallels our lives had run.
My generation may not have interacted all that much,
but we share some of the same ghosts and grief.

The pain-body doesn’t want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is.
The moment you observe it, the identification is broken.
A higher dimension of consciousness has come in.
I call it presence.
You are now the witness, or the watcher of the pain-body.
It can no longer use you by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you.
You have found your own innermost strength.
You have accessed the power of Now.
Eckhart Tolle

Well, I don’t feel all that in the Now these days.
I am too aware of the pain my family carries.
As we cousins, the women really, talked around the table, with my mom, and through the weekend, it became obvious that each in her own way was trying to understand and heal.

And so in the next few days and pages, that is what I hope to do.
Heal and share and perhaps bring some Presence or at least the light of day
to my family’s shared pain,
for the next generation is upon us
and they are struggling too.

(Pain Body Part II: Grandfather)

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