woman pushing away camera, representing pain body

The Pain Body: Its Strengths And Shortcomings As A Concept & Resources For Dissolving It

As long as you are unable to access the power of Now, every emotional pain that you experience leaves behind a residue of pain that lives on in you. It merges with the pain from the past, which was already there, and becomes lodged in your mind and body. This, of course, includes the pain you suffered as a child, caused by the unconsciousness of the world into which you were born. It can only exist if you unconsciously identify with it. The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken.

Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author of The Power Of Now

What Is The Pain Body?

women holding her hand in front of her face representing pain body

I’ve discussed pain body healing in the past but would like to take the time today to focus on Eckhart Tolle’s concept again to give you a better understanding of how the pain body gets in the way of us being able to discover our gifts and share them with the world.

I’m going to provide some examples of the pain body in action so you can get a better feel for how it might be showing up in your own life.

Eckhart Tolle’s pain body concept is super powerful and useful, but in my humble opinion it also has some shortcomings… and we’ll be discussing some of those.

As we explore further, we will get a glimpse of some views of other pioneering healers of the body and mind and how their ideas and concepts relate to the the emotional pain body and how to dissolve it.

Finally we will discuss if it is actually necessary to completely dissolve the pain body and I will direct you to some resources for pain body healing. 

Understanding The Difficult Dance Within Our Minds

If you prefer to learn about such things by watching videos, below is a video I made on understanding the pain body:

…or listen to the audio podcast version and/or look for the BioSoul Integration Podcast wherever you listen to your audio podcasts:

As with all healers, my story began many years previous.

The reason the pain body can be difficult to understand is that it takes place within our minds, often on a deep, unconscious level.

Thoughts and emotions are tools of the mind.

Many of these thoughts and emotions were set in place before we even made our physical presence in this world.

A great many of them aren’t even our own, but we don’t realize this. 

As we try to figure out how this human existence works, we are influenced by those who came before us.

We are influenced by family, culture, and even racial and gender memories.

These conditioned emotions and thoughts told us that we needed to wall off certain parts of ourselves in order to survive.

Over time, these walled off thoughts and emotions become strong and attempt to break through the walls and we fight to push them back where we have been conditioned to believe they belong.

It is like there is an internal dance between these two sets of thoughts and feelings.

This happens on a deep level, yet the energy it takes to maintain the balance affects us in the now.

The pain body, which feeds on negativity and drama, becomes stronger the longer we continue allowing this dance.

Over time, these dance partners become a tangled mess, causing the dancers to trip over themselves.

The pain body becomes loud and screams at us that our minds need attention.

Until you can actually recognize that the emotions and thoughts you are feeling come from somewhere in the past, or worry for the future, you can’t fully understand how this pain body is ruling your life.

You need to learn how to stop and identify the emotions in play and evaluate whether or not they belong in the now.

Are you really in danger at the moment?

Does the fear or anger really have a place in this moment or is it simply a conditioned response to a long-ago story you have been told or told yourself?

Eckhart Tolle And Others On The Pain Body

Eckhart Tolle wrote two important books on the concept of the pain body.

Picuture of Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and expert on how to heal the pain body
Image courtesy of www.EckartTolle.com

In A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose, Tolle presents the concept that pain follows us through time.

This can be familial pain, racial pain, national pain, or gender-related pain. 

In The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Tolle states: “As long as you are unable to access the power of Now, every emotional pain that you experience leaves behind a residue of pain that lives on in you. It merges with the pain from the past, which was already there, and becomes lodged in your mind and body. This, of course, includes the pain you suffered as a child, caused by the unconsciousness of the world into which you were born. It can only exist if you unconsciously identify with it. The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken.”

Sigmund Freud has been credited with coining the concept of ego, although he never used that term in his writings.

Sigmund Freud

Freud used the term “das Ich” which translates into “the I”.

The part of you that thinks “I am out of here” or “I’m not going to take this.” is this ego.

In most cases, these thoughts come from that collective human mind.

They are, however, only the smallest tip of the iceberg that is you and not really who you are.

This ego is not the spiritual part of you that must undergo a spiritual awakening.

This awakening can occur during times of trauma or other events of great significance.

This often feels like time slows down for a bit.

Other ways that this awakening occurs include meditation and yoga.

You become aware of when your ego is triggered and this allows you to fully examine it.

You will be able to recognize when the I, or ego, takes over, and disassociate it from what is currently taking place.

Carl Jung introduced the concept of the shadow.

Here’s an in-depth blog post I wrote on the three keys to quickly integrating your shadow, otherwise known as “shadow work.”

Our shadow self is that repressed part of our personality.

Light and dark are both present and two sides of the same coin.

It is necessary to integrate these two sides in order to achieve wholeness.

I feel that this is the same with the pain body.

My concept involves the way we build walls to keep unwanted, or perceived “bad” emotions and thoughts at bay.

I refer to this as the authentic self vs survival self.

The survival self has the need to keep these walls in place, but the authentic self knows that these things exist and need to be noticed.

These repressed things will often slip out when you are in a high emotional state or overwhelmed.

They can end up running the whole show if you are not aware of where they came from, which is the disowned, dishonored part of ourselves.

Let’s look at some examples of this.

Looking At Some Examples Of The Pain Body

In Movies

gollum representing the pain body
From The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures

Gollum is an excellent example of how the pain body can eventually take over.

He used to be Schmeagle, a mild-mannered, sweet guy.

As time passed and the pain body started appearing more and more often, he eventually finds it taking complete control and he becomes Golum.

It appears at times that there are two different entities sharing this body, Schmeagle and Gollum.

They even speak to each other.

But over the time the Gollum pain body took over.

In My Life

I look at the YouTube channels of my competitors.

I watch their stats and compare them to my own YouTube channel and part of me is happy when I am coming out ahead.

I can feel that part of me that is happy when those I compare myself with are not doing so well.

And I feel disappointed when I am falling behind.

Another example of this hidden self taking over is when you are in an argument with your partner and find yourself saying anything you can to cause them pain.

It eventually blows over and you wonder where those things came from.

They are the overflow from behind that wall you have erected.

Shortcomings Of Eckhart Tolle’s Concept

The problem I have with Eckhart Tolle’s concept is he makes it sound as though this pain body is actually a separate entity that has possessed us.

On one level, he’s right, it’s not us.

We picked it up from those who came before us.

However, we’ve woven it into the fabric of who we are and have essentially made it our own.

Seeing it as this seperate being makes it too easy, in my opinion, to project our shadow onto this seperate entity.

In the process we end up pushing a part of ourselves away as opposed to coming into relationship with it and integrating its gifts.

It has wisdom and gifts that it can share with us.

Because it has made itself at home within us, we need to be able to recognize it, learn from it, and integrate it into who we actually are.

It has become our responsibility.

We can’t be only love and light.

This darker part to us that needs recognizing and integrated.

Resources To Start Pain Body Healing

As the pain body only exists in time, it can’t exist in the present moment.

As soon as your focus is on the now, you can start to misidentify with the pain body and it loses power.

Eckhart suggests that you always keep a part of your attention on the energy body itself.

A direct route to this is to notice the sensations you are feeling in your body.

That’s easier said than done for some people.

Let me ask you, how do you know you have a body?

If you close your eyes, you can’t see it, but you still know you have a body by way of the physical, physiological, and emotional sensations you are feeling.

The Science Of Enlightenment By Shinzen Young

the science of enlightenment by shinzen young

Shinzen Young speaks in The Science Of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works that we often get overwhelmed because we can’t track the sensations related to our experience.

Mindfulness training can help you achieve this ability.

You feel the seat under your rear, the scratchiness of clothing, the tension in your shoulders.

You may feel your heart beating or feel your breathing.

Emotions of one type or another are always present and they create sensations in the body.

The trick is to keep your focus on these sensation.

To do this we need to be able to strengthen what I call our attention muscle.

If It Didn’t Hurt By Dr. Jay Uecker (yours truly)

If it didn't hurt: how to resolve our pain and discover your life purpose by Dr. Jay uecker

It just so happens that my recently released book, If It Didn’t Hurt: How To Resolve Your Pain And Discover Your Life Purpose, would be a great resource for you in this case.

You can find it in all its forms on Amazon but if you want the paperback you can save $3 by getting it on my website.

While I don’t specifically mention the pain body in my book, I do give you some instruction on how you can strengthen this ” attention muscle” and learn to focus at least part of your attention on the sensations in your body and, thus, the now.

Once this happens, you will be able to start healing the pain body.

You don’t actually need to understand the pain body in order to understand what I’m talking about here, but doing so will enhance your experience.

A Direct Felt Sense

You can’t really understand the pain body until you are able to get a direct, felt sense of it within yourself.

The pain body concept can’t really be “understood” unless we have a direct experience of its unwinding in the presence of our emerging authentic selves.

That’s going to require some embodiment work of some sort on your part.

This can be mindfulness meditation, yoga, somatic psychotherapy, EMDR, brain spotting, network chiropractic, or BioSoul Integration (the work I do).

You also need to understand how you got separated from yourself to start with.

On the other hand, as long as you have a true commitment to bringing attention to your body sensations, you’ll naturally begin to heal and gain insight and understanding about the pain body.

The Next Step

If you have found this information helpful, I’d like to invite you to post your comments below.

I am also interested in hearing any questions you may have.

If you’d like to go deeper, get my FREE, personalized BioSoul Integration Guide that you can use to orient yourself on the healing path.

Click the link, answer one question about yourself and receive your personalized guide.

I look forward to helping you express more life,

Dr. Jay

The Pain Body: Its Strengths And Shortcomings As A Concept & Resources For Dissolving It

About the Author Dr. Jay Uecker

Dr. Jay is the founder and owner of BioSoul Integration Center in Louisville, Colorado. He’s a chiropractor, a hands-on healer, an in-person and online soul integration coach and the author of If It Didn't Hurt: How To Resolve Your Pain And Discover Your Life Purpose. For two decades Dr. Jay has been helping people navigate their healing journeys. Over the course of that time he’s worked intimately with thousands of people. Those who are most drawn to Dr. Jay's work are those who are seeking to integrate and embody their soul's essence and their soul's gifts so they can share them with others. Life will keep nudging us in that direction, anyway. BioSoul Integration helps to speed up the process and smooth out the rough spots created by the innocent and unconscious resistance that lives in our primal brain and nervous system. Click the link to get your Personalized BioSoul Integration Guide.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

1 Shares