The Meaning of Pain


Physical or moral, pain can be so violent that it makes you want to die. When opium or morphine can no longer calm her, the last resort is to escape from her body to stop suffering. We do it every night in the fog of dreams. Initiates do it at will.

The Living and the Dead

For ordinary mortals, the conscious body exit can only be obtained when they die. Now remind: like any death, suicide has a serious disadvantage. It is irreversible.

When you’re born, you get your one-way ticket to the afterlife. Compulsary. You don’t come back from the dead. There are a few mythological exceptions. They only confirm the rule. Once you are alive, you will die one day …even if you don’t want to consider this touchy point. But then what happens to us after death? You’ll know soon enough.


Quite Real

Here is in their strangely inhumane vocabulary what doctors think of pain.  It corresponds to a biological function that is an alarm mechanism whose role is to detect internal (visceral) or external (cutaneous) stimulations whose intensity threatens the physical integrity of the individual. This neurophysiological protection system is useful to the body because it immediately and accurately informs the patient of a malfunction. (source)

Inhumane like hospital, allopathic drugs, mandatory vaccination and psychiatric treatments. Inhumane but very real. Not everyone wants to rely on healers. Good thing, they are too few down here.




So pain is a paradox. When it is so violent that nothing can stop it, it endangers the survival of the body, while its purpose is to protect it. Physical pain is intended to prolong life by pointing to dysfunction. So we can remedy that.

But when remedies cannot cure the cause of pain, when drugs and alcohol cannot erase it, what was supposed to save us becomes what loses us. Not possible! There must be another explanation. Pain must have another purpose.

I went through such intense pain that the only way out was to leave my body. To leave pain, this prison, and get out of jail. The moment I’m pure spirit, the pain disappears; the memory of it vanishes at once. Life outside the body is a sulime bliss. I remember that curious antiphon we used to sing in the aisles of paradise when I was there: Ode to the Dead. I’ll quote it at the end of this article. Yeah, such a grateful dead I’ve been. 

Take Your Pain

We can take the pain of others without keeping it in ourselves. We cannot feel it for a moment. We suck it with our skin, with something in our skin. We suck it enough to get it out of the patient’s body, not enough for the pain to come into contact with our skin.

We can manage very finely the fluctuations of the energy, of this particular energy that we called the Qi or Chi, vril, mana, influx, power, radiation, magnetism, subtle energy, awakening energy, even the Force in Star Wars. All these beautiful labels, and many more, adorn the same bottle. This subtle energy is the very source of life. Every era believes to discover it, all ancient civilizations have known it.


Understanding for Healing

Pain is a nerve impulse detected by the central or peripheral nervous system, which the brain and spinal cord transform into a more or less acute sensation. Pain has no material existence. Or rather, it does, just like light, a wave-corpuscle duality, as Louis de Broglie showed with his predictions of the wave nature of electrons. (source)

Travelling along the electric cables that are our nerves, pain is a wave. It’s also a flow of particles. By emitting an equivalent inverse wave, it is theoretically possible to cancel it out.

This is the skill of the healer. But if the healer is aware of the real need for pain, he won’t simply cancel it out. The danger would be to suppress a life-saving signal. He will strive to bring out the root cause of the pain in the patient. Is it a vital signal or something else?



Those Who Heal

Some humans have gone from theory to practice. The mind can do this. Yogis, fakirs, healers and penitents have done it and still do. So do adepts of voodoo or other comparable animistic spiritualities, who repeat this feat during collective trances or hypnosis. Sioux warriors do it with their Sun Dance. For them, the Sun Dance is not what Westerners imagine: a masochistic ritual designed to prove one’s manhood. The Sioux do it because they’re on a vision quest.

From the Sioux point of view, a vision has to be earned. The Sun Dance is therefore a purifying ordeal of the following kind: “Now that I’ve had a good shit, I deserve an answer to my question, and/or my wish to be granted.” That’s what pilgrimages are all about, all over the world. Mecca, Amarnath, Lourdes, Compostela, Medjugorje, Saut d’Eau in Haiti, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, thousands of others, each time physical or moral trials are the obligatory prelude to the quest for vision, healing or any other wish.


Sun Dance

The Sun Dance has another function, which is added to those I just mentioned. To get out of one’s body without risking death. This is how I practiced sweat lodges, when the stinging pain of steam on the bare shoulders causes the bodies of all the warriors present in the hut to leave. one after the other, we find ourselves in our subtle bodies hovering over the hut. Moments of great hilarity. It is so unreal, so magical, better to laugh.

Temperance. Distanciation. Trivialization of the miracle. From this arcane, the path will become one of all possibilities. It climbs steeply, it is difficult, acrobatic sometimes, and often dangerous. But also what happiness to rub shoulders with the abyss and to know the peaks! Taking care however not to give into intoxication. Relativize. Cultivate humility. Don’t attribute that grace to any merit. They don’t matter. They have their usefulness, of course. But like our actions, do not expect any result. In the philosophy of nagual, there is no god, no Source, conscious or not. There is only Energy and Intention. Energy is blind, Intention is deaf. Prayer is vain. Only our intention protects us.



The Inner Healer

Beyond these extremes, I’m sure we can all heal ourselves. I believe in the inner healer. We all have one, but does it work? Medical science, or rather medicine, talks about our immune defenses.

This is a simplistic view. We have more important assets than this physical-chemical mechanism. I’m talking about the forces of the spirit. Be careful not to confuse this magnificent spirit with the poor mind. The spirit can make the physical body perfect, correcting its shortcomings, complementing its deficiencies and restoring its optimal functioning. The mind, another name of the ego, is a dead end trap for those who seek enlightenment.

In a lifetime of healing practice, I’ve seen the validity of this conviction. To be cured, you have to want it. The most powerful will does not originate in the mind. It is called intention and doesn’t come from your head, but from your guts. It comes out the inner body. The powers of the belly, particularly the colon, are considerable. Our overly scientistic and rational age has made the greatest mistake neglecting this fact.


Overcome the Pain

Pain is also meant to be overcome. It takes us to the darkest depths of our being. Infrequent. We’ve heard this nonsense so many times: “if you touch the bottom, kick and you’ll rise to the surface.” You say so …

I think just the opposite. Stephen Jourdain convinced me. He says, “When you hit bottom, don’t go back. You have to dig. Go down again. There is a double bottom.”

If you go up again, your pain will be useless. You will have to go down to the basement of the cellar again and again with the rats. Still shit for nothing. Under your pain, under the bottom, under the hell of the emotional you will find a paradise: energy. Its area is just below the emotional. That’s why so few humans have never been there. What a mistake!

Beyond the pain is a broader understanding of our place in the universe. It sets the record straight. Humility, O my rule, O my shield! As a human, I am nothing. Out of Love, my existence is insignificant. Out of Love, everything is diluted, everything is erased. And this direct path to unconditional love is at the heart of pain.



Find Happiness

No masochism in it. One does not seek pain as others seek pleasure. One does not indulge in it as the masochist would. As soon as it occurs, we strive to go beyond it to sublimate it, make it disappear, make it change into something else, a global feeling, warm, offertory.

Thus one enters the heart of pain. Without anesthesia, one faces it, one confronts it like a wild beast. We give it the love it lacks. Love its pain as we love the way. Accept it not for what it is, but for where it leads. In doing so, it is shifted to make it harmless. Her claws are still in my flesh, her fangs are still tearing me apart, but I’m somewhere else already. I still feel the pain, yes, but since I chose not to care, I don’t care.

Lamb of God

Sufis followers of the way of blame use it for this purpose. Beyond pain, there is the hyper-enjoyment of total bliss. Let’s call it the Christ on the Cross syndrome. With life, he gives his sufferings to take those of humanity. The imitation of Jesus pushed Christian mystics to inflict the lash, the whip, hooks in the flesh and other delightful joys.

“Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.”  Doesn’t that lamb make sheep? These super gregarious animals follow the herd whatever happens, even if it means rushing from the top of a cliff because the dominant ram has lost reason, and prefers certain death rather than facing danger.


Give Us Peace

Give us peace? Or leave us alone? Let’s be serious. Can we find peace in the midst of suffering? Suffering is a constant war. It makes the body its battlefield. A minefield gutted by bombs, strewn with rubble and charred flesh, a body of suffering as an offering, an intense body, a body that opens up and lets go of the spirit, the atman, the aura.

The subtle body and self-awareness join the soul, our aura. All three fly towards the light of the between-lives, the glory of the between-worlds, which nagual warriors call the Eagle’s beak.

This process seems reserved for an elite, yet it borders on suicide. It is nothing less than letting go of the prey for the shadow. The prey is physical life, and the shadow is death. And as Libellule used to say, when you’re dead, you’re dead for a long time. (source)Les aventures de Gil Jourdan by Maurice Tillieux


Once Dead

When dead, whatever the effort made, it is final. You remain dead. Some imagine that the dead can return. Let them talk to us if we know how to listen to them. I myself lived it with my two best friends. Real dream or emotional delusion? Why did they leave? Do they know that the world looks like nothing without them?

Everyone is free to believe what they want. The law is tough, but it is the law. Let the dead bury the dead, there is much to do for the living. The other world, if it exists, has an impassable boundary. I might as well make a point right now. I say that but I sing something else in my heart:

There is an other world within this one
The border is internal and fear stops here



I’m reminded of the carefree chorus we used to sing so wholeheartedly:


Ode to the dead


Heavens, how pretty death has been
Seen from above
Seen from above
See how the dead were polished
Out of chaos
Out of chaos


Heavens, how they blossomed
As they came slow
At the whim of the wind
They who never said yes
On the old days
On the old days


Better discovering samadhi
How they laughed
Their eyes shone
They whom the Earth had cursed
They forgot all
They forgot all


They who thought themselves lost
Have the honors
Of great lords
Nothing had prepared them
For happiness
For happiness


How they forget their life below
Always disappointed
Had they known
That they could be at the big meal
So well received
So well received


Heavens, how pretty was death
Seen from above
Seen from above
See how the dead were polished
Out of chaos
Out of chaos





We stink of the head.
Lao Surlam