Two Kinds of Pain

As I mentioned the other day, I am trying to start working on Fragments of Fiction again. Here is an old section that I am looking at again.

Life offers two types of pain, one physical and one mental. Man still hasn’t found a tougher prison than the one he encages his mind in. There is no greater pain than the mental anguish we inflict on ourselves and there is no tougher warden than the person we see in the mirror. For some there is no midnight reprieve, the governor doesn’t offer clemency. There is only one way out and no two people can share the path.

We all live in our secret worlds, but some of us never have the strength to leave our shelter and walk under sunny skies.

I used to.

I used to live in a place I called paradise. I could look out on the world and from my window and gaze upon waters that called out to me. Deep blue seas that embraced me like a child in the womb. The seas were always calm and at night they would gently rock me to sleep.

But it wasn’t real. I didn’t live on a boat. I didn’t live on the beach or remotely close to the water. It was all an illusion, a mindfuck that I created to make myself happy. The problem was that I hadn’t realized it. I didn’t have a clue as to how precarious my own happiness was and once that was shattered I knew nothing but darkness. I wandered aimlessly in a fog, not knowing where I was going or what I was doing. It didn’t matter, I didn’t care.

I said it before, there are two kinds of pain and mental is far worse than physical. You can always find a way to escape physical pain, but you can’t run from your own mind. Philosophers had long ago figured out that hell existed, that there was a devil, except he wasn’t a guy with horns, a pitchfork and a tail. The church had made that guy up. The devil was someone familiar with you, someone who knew your most intimate secrets and your darkest fears. The devil knew you, knew how to torment your soul.

The devil knew all this because he was, he is…you.

That’s right, the devil is not supernatural. There is no Lucifer, no Satan, and no Beelzebub. It would be better for us all if he did exist. No, the devil is just a man, a person that lives inside us all.

See when they wrote the bible and told the story of getting banished from the Garden of Eden they were not talking about a mythological place, they were referring to the end of innocence. They were talking about that time when life hits you in the mouth, knocks you down and beats you senseless. They were talking about getting hurt in places that bandages don’t stick, cuts that you cannot stitch, they just keep bleeding. And even if you manage to stop the bleeding that stinging sensation never really does go away.

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  1. Jack's Shack November 29, 2005 at 5:05 am

    Hi Gothamimage,

    Thanks for your input. I haven’t read Milton in awfully long time, but I did enjoy him.

    Cunningham made his bed and now he has to lie in it.


    I was wondering when we might see you here again. I think that depression is oftne a combination of the physical and the mental.

  2. Zeruel November 29, 2005 at 12:01 am

    I often feel depressed too. Even if there are no reasons. Sometimes i think it is the IBS. I come to believe depression isn’t even a psychological condition, but a biological one. Physical ailments can alter your emotions in unrelentless ways, without you realizing it. Biochemical reactions that dictate your mood and behavior. I mean, some people can remain positive even under the worst conditions, while other people get thrown off guard by minor issues. Trying to change the way you feel is one of the hardest things there is.

  3. Gothamimage November 28, 2005 at 8:18 pm

    Was just watching Randy Cunningham,the GOP congressman from Californian, deliver his stunning admission of guilt in a corruption case.

    His mental anguish, completely sincerer, almost melted the TV screen.

    As a Vietnam veteran, with a formibible record, Mr. Cunningham is certainly no stranger to physical pain of all types.

    Yet, those memories must have seemed as sweet as the summer moon, compared to the real darkness he feels right now.

    It’s very hard to understand why people make some crazy mistakes on public life – Why risk so much, for so little?

    Dwelling on his error, more than his error, is his true Hell.

    Whenever people are busted, and they know it, and are truly sorry -I wish ’em well.

  4. Gothamimage November 28, 2005 at 6:15 pm

    Well said, by the way.

  5. Gothamimage November 28, 2005 at 6:14 pm

    “Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
    Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
    Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
    With loss of EDEN….”

    J. Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1

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