If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn’t even know you are thinking. You would be like a dreamer who doesn’t know he is dreaming. When you know you are dreaming, you are awake within the dream. (Present Moment Reminder, Eckhart Tolle)
For the last two weeks I have been driving my Mom’s car, and what a blessing it has been! I had totally forgotten when I had to give it back, and was just reminded that tomorrow I would be without a car once more. Although not having a car was normal for me, hearing I wasn’t going to have one anymore provoked some negative feelings. I felt disappointment and then it slowly dissipated.
What would have happened if I hadn’t let go of those negative emotions and held onto them? My mind would have started thinking negative thoughts. The voice in my head would have been talking about all of the reasons it was anxious about not having a car, describing exactly what would be more difficult, and why this was indeed an upsetting situation to be in. Those thoughts in turn would have given rise to even more negative emotion than I had felt at first. When emotional pain turns into thinking, the voice in the head is acting on the assumption that being upset will somehow help it get what it wants.
Eventually that pain subsides, and the mind starts thinking about other things and moves on. What happens to the pain that subsides but is not let go of? It is still within, and when an emotion akin to itself is provoked at some other time, it takes that opportunity to arise once more and add to the new emotional pain being experienced. The new negative energy feeds the old negative energy lying dormant within. And when that past pain is woken up, it takes the opportunity to feed negative thinking, which will make the negative emotions grow.
Eckhart Tolle describes the negative energy field that dwells within us as the “pain body.” Deeply negative people are often controlled by the pain body. That is the deep negativity; the heavy pain body. It is not who that person is. Awakening to the pain body is freedom. The cycles of the pain body no longer have to operate. You don’t have to feel bad every 3 weeks, or have a fight once a month with your partner. When it wakes up and you know how it operates, it ceases to control your life. Instead you have the opportunity to observe the pain body, be with the pain without reacting, and dissolve the past pain whenever you choose to express and let go of a negative emotion.
Consequently, when you awaken to your own pain body, it is easy to awaken to the pain body in others. For me this has helped me to not take negative comments and actions from others as personally. When I see it is just the pain body, I am able to see through the person’s pain to their true self. Have there been situations in your life where you can see now that a person had been taken over by their pain body?