Pain’s spirit, soul, and body
In life, rarely can one find a friend who is there through all the seasons in life—in abundance and lack, in blessings and trials, in acquiring deeper understanding on the temporal and eternal, ever present in good health and sickness. Rarely can one find a positive influence who keeps one humble, grateful, and appreciative; helps gather the strength and courage to face challenges; discovers one’s greatest potential; and builds healthy and successful relationships. When this one special friend passes on, indescribable pain and a deep sense of inconsolable loss manifest. What is this feeling called pain?
Pain has three dimensions—spirit, soul, and body—which fall under these two dimensions: invisible (spiritual) and visible (physical). The spiritual realm stimulates interaction that involves the human spirit and the soul, which includes the mind (intelligence and thoughts) and heart (feelings). We may think of this as the inner life. The physical realm stimulates the human body which has concrete inner and outer aspects, including the senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and basal drive). We may consider this the outer life of man.
Thus, pain in the inner life has two aspects:
- Since the spirit is a force that influences a person’s mood, it shapes his or her daily actions as it relates to thoughts and feelings (the soul). Relating with another person means having a spirit. Losing someone or something evokes the spirit of pain, which is relieved by hope that the loss can be replaced or there is a future hope of seeing the person again.
- By nature, the soul, including the recesses of the heart and the mind, can be preoccupied merely with the physical and not the spiritual matters. Focusing on the physical realm (the temporal), one attains fame and fortune; yet with a feeling of dissatisfaction (a certain pain, appended with disillusion and depression), there may come a sense of meaninglessness. The soul is aware that nothing lasts forever, and it needs to go home to the eternal, spiritual realm. In pain, the soul then struggles between temporal compulsions and spiritual disciplines (i.e., humility versus pride).
On the other hand, the pain in the outer life can be summed up this way:
- Literal body pains includes headaches, muscle pains, tensions, tightness, body aches, and stiffness. To remedy this, the body must be in the state of equilibrium attained through nutrition, diet, and exercise, enabling vitality and agility to indulge in activities. Overextension can lead to imbalances, allowing the pain of sickness, illness, and disease, which make physical existence less enjoyable. Also, the body needs to grow and develop from womb to tomb. When inflicted with harm, our temporal selves feel pain.
In short, pain is essential to our humanity. Pain helps preserve the body, the soul, and the spirit. Soulful friendship helps us grow spiritually and make the temporal existence worthwhile. Further, the things we acquire and lose in the spirit of cheerfulness and hope helps us see joy when in pain.
Learn how Larry Friend deals with loss and how we grow as people even in these difficult times through his books, available at www.larryfriendbooks.com.
Ling, Natalie. 2016. “Chassidus Applied: Depression.” MyLife Essay Contest 2016, Meaningful Life Center. Accessed September 12, 2018. https://www.meaningfullife.com/chassidus-applied-depression