It is said that Socrates had complete mastery over his body. He is said to have walked barefoot in the snow and hardly ever twitched in extreme temperatures. I sit back and ask myself if this is of mythical or mystical value.
Then I don’t wonder too much. Why should I, when I can draw some key learning points?
I think to myself, does pain really exist or is it just a figment of our imagination. A mere ‘software’ in human ‘technology’?
Pain is relative to everyone. Some feel it, others dont know what it is. Some manufacture it, others welcome it. Some publicise it, others conceal it; it is a master who conquers it just as an artist does with his masterpiece.
Pain is every man’s individual conception, deception or expression.
Pain is a resident in my mind’s estate. Just as an estate can exist without a resident, so can the mind, without pain.
Pain is an illustration of fear primarily-it is an illustration of hurt, of loss, of change, majorly.
Thinking about it,hurt is bred from fear of under-achievement, fear of ridicule, fear of a lost past, fear of a downgrade. The feeling of loss is usually bred by fear of the unknown(God knows how many people are afraid of this!), fear of irreplaceability, fear of losing worth, fear of losing one’s being. Change as a cause of pain is bred from fear of the unknown, fear of lacking adaptability, fear of the ‘lost’ self.
As you can see, fear fuels pain.
Once pain and fear are conquered, there is a clear path towards the kind of mastery of the body that Socrates is known for.
All this means we shouldn’t fear pain; and we shouldn’t conceive pain from fear.
Both are the mind’s creations and can only be defeated by formidable willpower.
Formidable willpower can be acquired or learnt.
Socrates knew this.
Do I? Do we?