Dissolving Emotional Pain

by Eckhart Tolle -

As long as you are unable to access the power of the Now, 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. It’s the emotional pain-body.

It has two modes of being: dormant and active. 

A pain-body may be dormant 90 percent of the time; in a deeply unhappy person, it may be active up to 100 percent of the time.

Some people live almost entirely through the pain-body while others experience it only in certain situations, such as in intimate relationships or situations linked with past loss, abandonment and physical or emotional hurt.

Anything can trigger it, particularly if it resonates with a pain pattern from your past. When it is ready to awaken from its dormant stage, even a thought or an innocent remark can activate it.

Some pain-bodies are obnoxious but relatively harmless – a child who won’t stop whining, for example. Others are vicious and destructive monsters.

Some are physically violent; many more are emotionally violent. Some will attack people around you, while others may attack you, their host. 

Your thoughts and feelings about your life then become deeply negative and self-destructive. Illnesses and accidents are often created in this way.

Some pain-bodies drive their hosts to suicide. When you thought you knew a person and are suddenly confronted with this alien, nasty creature for the first time, you are in for quite a shock. 

However, it’s more important to observe it in yourself. 

Watch out for any sign of unhappiness; it may be the awakening pain-body. This can take the form of irritation, impatience, a sombre mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression, or a need to have some drama in your relationship. Catch it the moment it awakens.

The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive through your unconscious identification.

It needs to get its food through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain. When it has taken you over, it will create a situation in your life that reflects its own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.

Once the pain-body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a perpetrator or both; there really isn’t much difference.

You are unconscious of this of course and will vehemently claim that you do not want pain. But look closely and you will find that your thinking and behaviour keep the pain going. 

If you were truly conscious of it, the pattern would dissolve for to want more pain is insanity and nobody is consciously insane.The pain-body, the dark shadow cast by the ego, is actually afraid of the light of your consciousness. It is afraid of being found out.

Its survival depends on your unconscious identification and unconscious fear of facing your pain. But if you don’t face it, you will be forced to relive it again and again.

The pain-body may seem like a dangerous monster that you cannot bear to look at but I assure you that it is an insubstantial phantom that cannot prevail against the power of your presence. Some spiritual teachings state that all pain is ultimately an illusion, and this is true. 

The question is: “Is it true for you?” 

A mere belief doesn’t make it true. Do you want to experience pain for the rest of your life and keep saying that it is an illusion? Does that free you from the pain?

What we are concerned with here is how you can realize this truth – that is, make it real in your own experience.

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.

adapted from 'The Power of Now'