Dream of: 03 January 1988 "The Mystery Of Pain"

I had been traveling for several weeks and had returned to a large house where I had been living with a group of people. The house, which had a large interior patio, reminded me of one which might be found in Latin America. I sat down on a couch in the patio, where it seemed as if it might be raining, and I looked around.

The place looked familiar and I felt at ease. The couch was set back under an overhang, but it seemed it should be back farther and I looked around to see if there might be some way to rearrange the furniture. Noticing small doors next to the couch, I pulled one open and saw that the doors led to a very narrow closet. Some interesting looking pieces of wrought iron were inside and I contemplated taking a piece for Will Johnson (a Dallas acquaintance I met in 1987), who I knew liked to fabricate sculptures from various objects. I picked up one piece, which was black. When I held it in my hand in front of me, it looked like a Christian cross.

As I was looking at the cross, my good Dallas friend Eloise LaGrone walked into the patio and sat down in the middle of it. Mohl (a Portsmouth acquaintance I met around 1977) had also walked in and was standing next to her. I had the feeling that Eloise knew I was there, but that she wasn't ready to come over and start talking with me yet. Instead I heard her begin talking with Mohl about a nightmare which she had had.

She seemed upset about the nightmare and she didn't know what it meant. I would have liked to hear the nightmare myself and I tried to listen. As I listened, I began thinking about the subject of pain, and it suddenly occurred to me that pain was the source of fear. It seemed as if Eloise was experiencing some pain and fear which were reflected in her nightmare.

That interested me because I had also recently been thinking about fear; I had felt as if I had eliminated fear to a large extent from my life, but I realized the subject of pain was actually much larger than I might have previously thought. I saw that the possibility of my experiencing pain was constantly with me, and since the possibility of pain was there, the fear of pain still remained. Yet I still thought there might be some way of eliminating the fear, even though the possibility of experiencing pain would remain.

As a sort of illustration of my thoughts, I imagined a situation which had the potential of causing pain. A boy, who looked Chinese, was holding a stick straight up in the air. Balanced at the top of the stick was a glass, but the top part of the glass was broken off so its top edges were all extremely sharp.

Suddenly the boy jerked the stick away. The object of his exercise was to see if he would catch the falling glass in his bare hands. He didn't. He stepped aside and the glass tumbled toward the ground.

Suddenly a second Chinese-looking boy (about 12 years old) rushed up and caught the glass before it hit the ground. The second boy was unhurt and held the glass in his bare hands. He looked at the razor-sharp edges and realized how easily they could have cut his tender skin. Yet he was unafraid. He seemed to be delving into the mystery of pain without becoming absorbed with fear.

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