Feeling no Pain

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Painboy
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Feeling no Pain

Post by Painboy »

Despite what my forum name might imply this sounds wonderful whatever the downsides.

A World Without Pain
“I know the word ‘pain,’ and I know people are in pain, because you can see it,” Joanne Cameron, a seventy-two-year-old retired teacher, told me, in the cluttered kitchen of her century-old stone cottage in the Scottish Highlands. Cameron has never experienced the extremes of rage, dread, grief, anxiety, or fear. She handed a cup of tea to Jim, her husband of twenty-five years, with whom she’s never had a fight. “I see stress,” she continued, “and I’ve seen pain, what it does, but I’m talking about an abstract thing.”

Because of a combination of genetic quirks, Cameron’s negative emotional range is limited to the kinds of bearable suffering one sees in a Nora Ephron movie. If someone tells Cameron a sad story, she cries—“easily! Oh, I’m such a softie.” When she reads about the latest transgression by Boris Johnson or Donald Trump, she feels righteous indignation. “But then you just go to a protest march, don’t you? And that’s all you can do.” When something bad happens, Cameron’s brain immediately searches for a way to ameliorate the situation, but it does not dwell on unhappiness. She inadvertently follows the creed of the Stoics (and of every twelve-step recovery program): Accept the things you cannot change.
In sharp contrast to her near-inability to feel awful, Cameron has an expansive capacity for positive emotions. She is exceedingly loving and affectionate with her husband. When I first came to the door, she greeted me with an embrace, crying, “Ooh, I’m very huggy!” Her seventeen years as a special-education teacher required great reserves of compassion. “I had a Down-syndrome girl—who was actually quite high-functioning—and she would come in every morning and she’d walk up to me and spit in my face, and say, ‘I hate you, Jo Cameron! I hate you!’ And I’d stand there and say, ‘I don’t like being spat on, but I don’t hate you!’ ” Cameron told me, smiling. “Oh, I’ve had some very difficult students. I’ve been bitten; I’ve been spat on; I’ve been kicked!” Over the years, the Camerons have provided short-term foster care for four children. One of them stole all their vacation money from the cookie jar. “She did take things for the sake of taking them,” Cameron said pleasantly. “It took us years to catch up! When eight hundred pounds is gone from your vacation kitty, it takes a long time to recoup.”

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Warren
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Re: Feeling no Pain

Post by Warren »

I'm glad there are such people in the world. So very glad. But I don't want to be any part of their life.
THIS SPACE FOR RENT

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Aresen
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Re: Feeling no Pain

Post by Aresen »

I can see her point, but I am not her. I do experience wrath, envy, gluttony, pride, greed, lust, and more than my share of sloth.

TBS, I've learned that all of these have downsides, so I try to avoid them.
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

Those who know history are doomed to deja vu. - the innominate one

Never bring a knife to a joke fight" - dhex

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thoreau
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Re: Feeling no Pain

Post by thoreau »

I think this woman would fit well with a very special thread that we established several years ago.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo

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Jennifer
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Re: Feeling no Pain

Post by Jennifer »

I wonder how well, or badly, this sort of character trait plays out for people in truly horrible situations -- not dealing with "first world problems" but, like, "I live in North Korea" or "I'm a Jew in Germany and the Nazis just seized power"? In physical terms, pain is a warning sign that something is wrong, and living without pain is VERY bad -- I've read articles about people with the inability to feel physical pain and their lives are extremely dangerous. Things like, they'll burn their throat eating an entire overheated bowl of soup, where an ordinary person would think "Too hot!" after only a small sip, then drink a mouthful of something cool and wait for the soup to cool too. (If I felt no pain I likely would've died of my first kidney stone, because there would have been nothing to make me seek help at a hospital, and ultimately discover "Huh, I have NOT been consuming enough water to meet all of my basic biological needs, and things have got bad enough to cause some serious fuckups in the filtering systems.")

I suspect many forms of emotional pain and discomfort serve a similar function. Like, put this woman into a horror-movie situation, where ordinary audience members know "You all need to stay together, do NOT split up and wander off alone, and especially don't go down into that basement." Would this woman feel the same impulse to stay together and avoid the basement, or would she be more "Sure, I'm up for a solitary stroll! Say, I wonder what's down here?"
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Jennifer
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Re: Feeling no Pain

Post by Jennifer »

Further thought: even in first world, liberal-democratic nations there are plenty of dangerous people and situations best avoided, and plenty of times unpleasant emotions inspire you to possibly avoid them. For example: "It's night in the city, this is kind of a bad neighborhood, and I must walk home alone. I choose to walk 500 yards on the well-lit streets, rather than save time and walk only 100 yards by cutting across the dark wooded vacant lot." Which route would this woman choose?
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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thoreau
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Re: Feeling no Pain

Post by thoreau »

We're here because our ancestors were paranoid enough to stay alive and/or sneaky enough to steal resources from those who weren't sufficiently wary.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo

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Aresen
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Re: Feeling no Pain

Post by Aresen »

Jennifer wrote:
11 Jan 2020, 22:57
Further thought: even in first world, liberal-democratic nations there are plenty of dangerous people and situations best avoided, and plenty of times unpleasant emotions inspire you to possibly avoid them. For example: "It's night in the city, this is kind of a bad neighborhood, and I must walk home alone. I choose to walk 500 yards on the well-lit streets, rather than save time and walk only 100 yards by cutting across the dark wooded vacant lot." Which route would this woman choose?
Of course she walks through the dark wooded vacant lot where the axe-murderer's home used to be and legend says his spirit still stalks. How else is the horror franchise supposed to get started?

And how is she supposed to be resurrectified as 'Lady of Death' in her own sequel if she isn't horribly murdered in the first movie?
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

Those who know history are doomed to deja vu. - the innominate one

Never bring a knife to a joke fight" - dhex

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