Jump to content

Read: A Guide to Quit Gaming for One Year

JustTom

All pain is caused by yourself alone.

Recommended Posts

Just a thought I had today at the gym, let me know what you think. I'm mostly talking about psychological pain, of course. But it even applies to physical pain. Pain is not inherent to suffering damage. Pain is a reaction that the brain decides is appropriate when we get hurt. When we get a cut, the nerve endings at that spot send the information about physical damage to the brain and the brain decides to evoke the emotion of pain around that place, so that you keep it away from danger and don't forget to treat it. It happens completely unconsciously, but it's still just a decision of your brain and can become conscious once the individual's awareness is strong enough. Some people even manage to control it to a great extent. 

Psychological pain, however, is more of a conscious decision in many cases. For example, the pain that comes from incongruence is mostly guilt. It is pain we inflict on ourselves to punish ourselves for behavior that is not in line with our ideals and values. This is very often counter-productive but doesn't necessarily have to be. I don't think pain is good or bad, it simply is. It is an emotion in our body that can be amplified or diminished. No external circumstance "gives" us pain. We give ourselves pain as a response. 

Perhaps next time, become more conscious and aware when a circumstance arises that would make your brain evoke pain and see if you can influence it a little. 

Edited by JustTom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely agree with you that pain is neither good nor bad. I read a book once about pain and the author studied Leprosy patients that had lost the ability to feel pain. Interestingly, without pain they did not live a carefree life, but rather ended up having infections and other small health issues that continued to get worse because they did not have the motivation of pain to improve the problem. I found it important to understand that even though pain can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, it can also have positive effects.

The motivation to avoid pain, whether it is physical or psychological is a large part of why we are motivated to do or not do many things. In some ways, I have made the decision to stop playing games because I would like to avoid the long term psychological pain of feeling unproductive, unhealthy, lonely, and guilty. Sometimes avoiding short term pain (by playing games) we are causing more long term pain for ourselves. By becoming aware of the long term benefits and risks, we can empower ourselves to change our habits for the better.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah but I'm taking it even further, of course, it's a bit of a higher concept that I'm not following 100%, I'm also using psychological pain as a motivator to improve my life. But I'm also realizing that's all completely arbitrary. YOU cause that pain. It's your choice. Ever heard the phrase "Not voting is also voting"? In the sense that if you don't choose, you actually choose the default winner, the one that would win without you voting. If you are not conscious of the fact that your happiness and your pain and pretty much all emotion in you is your choice, then you are taking a choice of giving the steering wheel to external circumstances. Which is fine for most people, but I think eventually we would like to go beyond that, if you're a person who wants to be truly self-actualized. 

We, gaming addicts, are trying to control our urges to play a game, right? Well, that is also an emotion you are trying to control. Controlling higher emotions such as pain, happiness, sadness, anger etc. is just 1 step further. Every rich person will tell you that money doesn't bring you happiness. Everybody knows this. But why is that? Because happiness is an inner choice, as well as any emotion.

Of course it's not that easy to take control of that choice, because NOBODY teaches or even talks about this when we grow up. The society is not mentally developed enough, but eventually, it will come as well. You can see some self-actualization concepts starting to penetrate the popular culture such as meditation. A couple of decades ago the idea of going to the gym was considered laughable and people didn't know shit about nutrition. People thought cigarettes were fine, sugary foods were fine, fat was making you fat and all sorts of nonsense. Mostly because of the centralized spread of information(TV/radio) that is easy to manipulate and push propaganda, but also that change in culture is a gradual process and takes time. Now that we have the internet and knowledge is free to look up, people are getting wiser and mental exercise AKA meditation is something people know is good, even if they don't do it regularly yet. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I understand what you mean about we have a choice to make about controlling our emotions, and this includes the pain we feel. I know I personally easily play the victim and let my circumstances define me and my emotions even when they are not healthy or what I truly want for myself long term.

I just don't quite think that "All pain is caused by yourself alone" is accurate and defines what you are trying to say. Logically, this also would mean that "No pain is caused by anything but yourself". As I think we can quickly see, this is not true. Physical pain is easily caused by things other than yourself (car accident, abuse, etc.)

Perhaps as you mentioned in your first post you are meaning "All psychological pain is caused by yourself alone", which also would mean "No psychological pain is caused by anything but yourself". Again, I'm not sure that this is true either. For example, if you had a close friend pass away,  the psychological pain is not caused by yourself, but rather than the situation you would find yourself in. While it is true we have the responsibility to take control of our emotions, pain is sometimes a normal part of life.

To be clear, I am not arguing the opposite that "Pain is all caused by external circumstances", this also would not be true because there are many times we cause our own harm (consequences of our imperfect actions). Perhaps somewhere in the middle, "Some pain is caused by yourself", may be more realistic. Perhaps it is something else like "You can control your emotions and pain" that is more to the point. 

I know it may feel like I'm picking out details, but I think the use of absolutes (always, never, all, none, etc.) can be very dangerous in our thinking. I know for myself, if I were to truly believe that "All pain is caused by myself alone", this would easily lead to other absolute statements like "It's all my fault I feel like this", "I should be able to avoid all pain", or "If I can't control my pain now, I never will", which are not necessarily true or helpful.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while powerful and convincing, absolute statements are often exaggerated truths and should be used with extreme caution, especially with complex things like our brains, emotions, addiction, or even politics. I even see it in how media portrays things. "All of group X are terrorists", "All of X political party are idiots", "All of X human race is X stereotype" are all examples we easily cling to. The sad thing is that these ideas are so common in our thoughts whether we are aware of them or not. I am definitely guilty of "all or nothing thinking" quite often and have to make a hard effort to correct it.

On another direction, I love what you said about "mental exercise" and that this is not something most of us are taught. Just like going to the gym can increases our physical health, we can increase our mental strength by doing exercises as well, whether it's meditation, prayer, mindfulness, writing a journal, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, DRCC said:

this would easily lead to other absolute statements like "It's all my fault I feel like this", "I should be able to avoid all pain", or "If I can't control my pain now, I never will"

I think it IS all my fault. I really think that we are responsible for 100% of the situation we find ourselves in currently. This is the crazy thing - even if it is my fault, why would I associate all these negative emotions with it? The negative emotions are my choice! Just like it was your choice to conclude that if it's all your fault, then you should be able to avoid all pain or that you never will. That is already the implication you chose to create. See things for what they truly are, nothing more and nothing less. Do not put extra labels and associations on things. I think it's a tough pill to swallow for most people to realize the responsibility, but that's what personal development is about. We are not perfect. You could be perfect if you wanted to, but most people don't want to and so they cause trouble for themselves, it's very natural. That's why pain is natural. I'm also far from perfect and my life is far from what I wanted it to be, but it's fine. It is what it is and we have to try to do the best we can. 

I explained in the first post how physical pain is also just your choice. Some emotions are harder to control, some easier, but if you just reason from first principles: if your brain controls the response than you control the response. You can google around and quickly find these things as well. Especially mindfulness meditation seems to be very powerful, very fascinating. I find that the more I become conscious of certain things, the more I can control my emotional state. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×