Writing and pain

Right now I’m sad because it looks like writing well requires feeling good. So, I cannot write well when in pain. But what is pain? The pain-part of pain is an illusion. It’s the typical illusion we’re all familiar with—referring to many as one, and so thinking many as one, and so perceiving many as a one.

Happily, this is only a problem for intellectual as opposed to experiential knowing. We all know that the sensory realm is doubly absent as an ontic basic. Sensation not only delivers a simultaneous plurality, but a simultaneous plurality that passes. So it succumbs to mereological nihilism twice.

Yet we still stubbornly stare at it, at The Sense Realm, and insist on calling/intending/perceiving it as a one and permanent.

It’s bad enough to do this on the level of cognition, but we also do it on the level of practical reason. Our whole lives then become a long and complicated reaction to the illusions of unity and permanence.

Look closely at pain. If you look close enough, you lose the focus of the singularity that is essential to (an) object. The object breaks up into subjective states, none of which are pain.

Gross, subtle, subtler, subtlest, nirvana

S. N. Goenka

If you keep on working with universal truths, the technique is such [that] it will keep on taking you from very solidified, intensified, apparent truth of the surface level. And you will find how day to day, as you are here for ten days, day to day—piercingly, penetratingly, piercingly, penetratingly, dividing, dissecting, disintegrating, dissolving—you are moving towards subtler reality, subtler reality. Day to day you will be moving from the gross, to the subtle, the subtler, the subtler. And certainly this technique will take you to the stage where you experience the subtlest truth. The subtlest truth pertaining to the matter—at the experiential level. The subtlest truth pertaining to the mind—at the experiential level. The subtlest truth pertaining to the mental contents—at your experience level.

And then a time will come when you will explore the entire field of mind and matter, [and] you will be able to transcend that field. And experience something which is beyond mind and matter.

No words can explain what it is.

It has to be witnessed, to be experienced.

The ultimate truth.

And the whole process is a process which will make you realize the truth about your own self. Know thyself! The process of knowing yourself becomes a process of knowing the law, the nature, the universal law of nature. Then you start understanding the universal law of nature as you experience the truth within yourself.

The universal law which governs the entire universe—animate, inanimate—which is applicable to everyone, everything. That becomes so clear.

S. N. Goenka, Vipassana 10-Day Lectures [Day 1] (22:59)