Pain Magnified by Fear

The terribleness of pain is almost entirely due to its being magnified by the fear of pain that we pile up, and are helped to pile up, very early in our lives. Once you get the fear of pain out of the way, pain is just pain. You can feel it, and if you’re paying attention to what’s going on, it stops pretty much the moment the injury stops. As you have found, the fear is an amazingly large portion of the suffering

I learned this fairly early in the development of RC when I encouraged dentists to work on my teeth with their drills without any novocaine.1 I learned that if I had novocaine, I would be shut down 2 all afternoon after the appointment with the dentist, but that if I skipped the novocaine, I was bright and chipper 3 the minute the drilling stopped.

1 Novocaine is a local anesthetic.

2 Shut down means numb and unaware, due to distress.

3 Chipper means lively.

Harvey Jackins

From a letter written in 1992

Last modified: 2020-05-05 07:13:04+00