Types of Pain

Types of Pain

In the notes for a recent distance healing by Dorothy Rowe, she made a useful observation I wanted to share.

She differentiated pain born of karma and pain born of illusion:
“Pain born of karma is sharp and drives awareness inward toward the pain’s place of origin, to be thus addressed and eliminated. Pain born of illusion is remembered or anticipated pain. It drives thoughts and action while yet remaining unrealized in the present moment. When recognized and handled with discernment, pain born of karma is a tool for evolution. Pain born of illusion is a tool for creating more karma.”

Goddess Temple firepit, Indian Springs, Nevada
Photo by Danny Bradury

Characteristics of the pain of karma include being present now. If we put our attention on it, we’re led to its source as mentioned above.

Characteristics of illusion-based pain include stories of the mind, the movement to the past and future, and feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, and inability.

This is where discrimination is important. The two types of pain can be quite intertwined. Behind stories are often energetic drivers that are karmic. Past stresses bring karmic events into experience now and may remind us of that past.

If we put our attention on present pain, we can resolve it. Even physical pain is a call for attention. Once received it can ease way off.

But if we put our attention on illusory pain it can amplify it, making it stronger and more real. The key is using our attention to see through the illusion rather than giving it strength. Often it has a quality of aversion, a looking away or avoidance so we don’t have to face our karmic pain.

If our attention is on dramas and stories, it’s on the illusion. If our attention is on what we’re feeling behind that, we’re shifting to resolving old karmic pain.

But we have to be willing to see the stories as stories. The mind can be addicted to the satisfaction it gets from “knowing” and blame. With stories it has explanations and feels in control. Seeing through the stories threatens that.

When truth becomes more important, the illusion fails and we see the karmic pain behind it – often in layers.

As Dorothy observed, remembered pain can include learning that gives us common sense in the present. For example, don’t put your hand on a hot element. Every experience can move us forward.

Average rating 4 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


    1. Hi AB
      The stories are the minds response. They have no strength or reality in themselves. It’s the emotions behind the story that drive it. Allowing one to experience the fear will lead to its resolution.

      When it’s big stuff, we may poke at it a bit, let go a little. Then over time, we become ready to take on the core and resolve it.

      Often, it will turn out our fear of the fear (anger, etc) is worse than the actual fear. Unwillingness to look at it causes the secondary fear to be yet another layer that builds up around the original core. For the big stuff, that leads to a sort of onion of resistance to be peeled off in layers.

      In the linked example, the episode itself would be karmic. Both emotional and physical pain have similar sources even if the nature of the events that seem to cause them is very different.

      In the example, he compared what was happening to his experience and stories and misunderstood what was taking place. There was purification taking place prior, apparently. This is very common when we have no experiential reference points. This is why health programs emphasize education.

      Key now is what he does with the experience. Resolve it or make it part of his identity and reality?

      There is also the layer that is common in spiritual circles where we think we’re beyond such things – we repress anger as nonspiritual or ignore rising issues because we think we’re somehow immune from our past.

      Again, this is where energy healing can be very beneficial. Physical heart issues can be karmic but also issues from decades of repressed emotions.

      If you want help with stories, you may find Byron Katie’s The Work useful.

      We could list physical pain as a third catagory but it’s really not so different from emotional pain – just experienced from a different aspect of ourselves. If we stop resisting the signal and allow the experience, the message is received and the pain eases way off.

    1. Hi Kenneth
      Most of the noise in the mind and emotions relates to stories but the driver behind that is often karmic. We may develop stories about a bad experience, for example, but the experience itself arose because of karma. How we responded determines if it was resolved or recycled for another round.

      When we heal karma, there is usually some sort of energetic charge that surges up, often as a strong emotion. Allowing it, it is resolved. But there can be aspects of it creating events too. For big ones, we can feel a load off, although the process may be subtle or obvious.

      For stories, they come up but we see through them this time. They’re not accepted but just noticed. We as if take the wind out of them. At the same time, we can notice then what is the feeling behind the story? What is driving it? That will take the attention to somewhere in the body and we have an energy healing experience.

      For big ones, it may take a few rounds or there can be layers in both cases. But with a little patience and practice, the process becomes second nature.

      I’ve written a bunch of articles on this. See Key Posts Healing, etc.

  1. It’s worth mentioning that a lot of healing takes place emotionally. This is because the energy that drives a lot of events and stories comes from repressed emotions, trying to find a way to resolve.

    If we’ve been suppressing for a long time, we may not be conscious of our emotional state, how we feel. This is especially true of men.

    Thus, a key aspect of healing is becoming conscious of how we feel during our day.

    At first this may not be a pleasant exploration because of what we’ve kept a lid on. But if we learn healthy ways of expressing how we feel, then learn to allow and release those feelings as they come up, our quality of life will take a major turn up.

    (The practices I recommend help a lot)

    As we let go of our backlog, the shadow of those repressions clears, all the energy it took to suppress them is released, and our awareness clears.

    This takes time and patience but the effort is more than worth it.

    1. Jim

      Yes, eliminating fear then allows us to move anywhere in our awareness, to resolve anything. It becomes an uncharged playing field, though our personalities remain [mostly] intact.

      “(The practices I recommend help a lot)”

      Yes, fear is always born of the unknown so the most efficient way to integrate the unknown, and eliminate our fear, is to reliably transcend our reality, with the dual benefit of becoming more established in the ineffable, and continuing to be effective in an ever changing world. Fulfilling our desires easily, whatever they may be.

      Transcending mechanically removes unreality from our lives, and establishes us in Reality. A process that accretes Reality, and then leaves it to us to integrate Infinity into our lives, making it personal.

      We lose ourselves and find ourselves simultaneously, and through the miracle or illusion of persistence, come to live a reality free of fear, with minimal pain, and great success. Once fear is gone, only Infinity remains.

      Hope you enjoyed my rant. News at 11. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest