STEPPING FORTH TO MEET PAIN
We share a common biology and from this, the commonness of our inner experience may be inferred. Because in terms of physical structure and physiological function we all show an essential sameness, our subjective consciousness can be expected to reflect it as well.
Thus, the range of human capacity for joy or pain should not vary from individual to individual to a greater degree than do the physical and chemical states of their tissues. Hence the basis for empathy.
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A mind that is exclusively dedicated to the service of the physical-self represents one extreme; a mind totally preoccupied with the world outside of the physical plane upon which its biological survival rests, represents another. A state of health and perfect balance results when no essential difference is perceived between the self and the existence-at-large.
To begin with, the child's mind properly identifies with all existence. It acknowledges the whole as well as its parts. Its focus is uniformly diffused throughout. The experience of pain distorts this initial uniformity of focus. It forces the mind to limit itself to the factors of immediate relevance for the biological well-being of the body.
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We all are subject to PHYSICAL PAIN. We let it become an imperative. As a rule, early after birth we become stamped by pain and remain its captive for life. Directly or indirectly, we let pain figure in as a prominent factor in all endeavor. We anticipate it, we flee from it, we try to avoid it. We are only partly successful.
To protect ourselves we lower our sensitivity and become dull. Thus we remain numb and stagnant until we recognize THE NECESSITY OF PAIN for growth, and willingly accept it when due. As long as avoidance of pain remains our chief motivation we are fundamentally animals. Unless we overcome this barrier we can not become truly self-directed. Progress resumes once inevitability of pain becomes self-evident.
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