I have always been up for great adventures out in the natural world and seem to accept that aches and pains come with it. Put me in situation where I am sitting at home and an illness symptom or injury arrives, well that same pain becomes unacceptable. This type of inner adventure is not one I am fond of. And over the last 20 years, the conscious, inner adventures have been happening but the pain-filled adventures always seem to get bypassed. It is so easy to take the sensations that make up ‘pain’ and have them shrink your Universal Self into a pseudo entity called ‘me’. Now, this ‘me’ seems to have to navigate around this pain so it can continue to live as it wishes. A very strange phenomena and one that recurs at regular intervals for most folks.
I am writing with what you might call a ‘pretty significant headache’. It came on in the middle of the night. I am doing nothing about it; pain is just part of what is showing up. I cannot say ‘this is my pain’ or claim that I had a choice about it arriving.
I remember, in what appeared to be one of the seminal moments of life, a spiritual pilgrimage to India. I was standing at the gates of the Osho ashram in Pune. I could accept what was behind the curtain and enter into the wild sexual escapades and spontaneous allure of exotic spirituality or choose door number two–which is what actual took place: severe dysentery, ego-dissolution, karmic debt and humility–of course that is an over-simplification filled with labels. Did ‘I’ really have a chose? Do ‘we’ have a choice about how this play of Life unfolds?
It is only a misconception of our true identity that appears to have a choice. When you realize that you are Pure Consciousness, the Universal Space and not a tiny individualized aspect called ‘I’ or ‘me, it is an awakening to Reality. To see things as they are instead of how they appear- even that is not a choice. The body, we often identify ourselves as, will do whatever it needs to do but We as Consciousness only watch.
So as the headache plays out, no thoughts or actions are occurring that wish to attack the pain–the usual modus operandi. There is no movement to throw alternative remedies at the symptoms. I’ve use acupuncture, acupressure, massage, herbs, lemons, spices, treatments, modalities and if the natural stuff doesn’t work, I go for good old-fashioned ibuprofen. Somehow, this time, there is just, as the sage said, ‘ignoring it’. I cannot say the headache is going away or diminishing as awareness still flickers towards it but I am becoming less and less interested in the reality of it–that it has anything to do with me. One of the sagely wise dudes from India once said:
“Most pain and suffering is provoked and you have to pamper it. Don’t pay attention, ignore the symptoms and they are lost. You must have the capacity to tolerate pain.”
Ultimately I do not know what is going on with the sensations and such which make up that label we call ‘headache’. Pain is one of the ways we create an identity in the body. We cannot even say what the body is but the habitual belief that ‘the body is me’ operates like a magician’s illusion. As we watch the magician’s slight of hand, we must not be tricked into believing in the appearance. And one of the greatest tricks is getting lost in the mind. In my case, it use to be in ‘figuring it out’, not only barraging the pain with holistic stuff but I also needed to know how it happened to begin with. As soon as you enter the false domain of mind, one is lost in the endless realm of ideas and more thoughts. It will not end until we stop being interested in knowing. Instead we realize that our home is the unknown and there we remain. Content, peaceful and easy is the unknown. To enter the world of the known is a mouse’s spinning wheel inside a cage. Fortunately in an instant we can not only step off the wheel but leave the entire cage behind.