I recently saw a piece of the ’08 conversation between Eckhart Tolle and Oprah, talking about the pain body. He also associated this with the ego. I wrote several articles on the series back at the time. They’re replaying the New Earth series so they’re now available on the site again.
While what Eckhart says is true, it’s a simplification to make it easy to subjectively relate to. But I thought it would be useful to explore this in the terms I use and take a larger context. The Pain “body” itself isn’t really a body but more a sheath. And it’s better to think of it as the koshas than a pain body. An energy body that is loaded with unresolved and difficult charges. The body isn’t made of pain but rather contains it.
This is also not the ego. The ego is more subtle but is identified or caught by the pain and thus it experiences itself as the pain. The pain is thus personal and defended. It is my pain and my reality. This is who I am. This is my story of pain. Life is a struggle, and so forth.
But we discover the ego is distinct if we culture the observer. Shifting into the observer untangles the ego and makes it much easier to detach from the pain and let it go or resolve it.
When those charges are resolved to some degree, it becomes apparent that the energy body continues but without the charges – charges that mask the subtler values like the bliss body and who we are within. Now the energy body fills us with life and empowerment.