Don’t look away

When you’re in pain, you tend to find something to distract you away from it.

But when it comes to metaphysical pain, which is the kind of pain that isn’t a bodily sensation you can clearly pinpoint, it gets tricky. You drown yourself with mildly amusing music, videos or information so that the nagging pain feels just like a minor nuisance. But that method of distraction works only on physical pain. For flesh wounds and bodily damage, it does seem to be an effective pain management strategy.

Metaphysical pain comes from the disease of the mind. A pain that is so sharp and heavy that, if you were to be left alone in a room with nothing other than your own mind, it would take on a shape so gripping that you can practically feel its hand tightening around your neck.

But only in paying attention to that pain, in capitalizing on our capacity to transform chaos in order which is tapped in when we engage with the world consciously, that we can find within that pain a source of meaning that can justify existence.

In distracting yourself by flooding your brain with constant stimulations, you choose to look away, which can make life a bit more bearable momentarily because now you exist in a state of consciousness that’s being spread thin over too many things that there’s hardly any consciousness at any particular point.

Don’t look away. Confront the suffering. Engage with it. There’s no guarantee that your confrontation will have any merits. Perhaps you will die alone and with no dignity, but perhaps you will die feeling that your existence justified, with every fiber of your being.

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