Sadomasochism is part of human nature
Wars makes you suffer while you are trying to make others suffer. Sadomasochism comes to mind! Think of the thousands of wars that we had in our history. I am sure that those people had very good reasons to extirpate each other. I am also sure that it was an opportunity to unleash some human sadomasochism. Think of the ways people in the Middle Ages have imagined to make people suffer as much as possible: Boiling people in hot water, wrenching their tongue, burning their eyes. The most popular divertissement was watching them burning at the stake. What do you think was motivating them? Could it be sadomasochism?
Letter 2.6 Sadomasochism
When grown-ups do not have enough stress in their life, they create some. They drive as fast as possible even when they have plenty of time. They don’t take their umbrella even when there is a good chance for rain. They wait before getting a refill of gas. They enjoy the suspense. They will wait another year before cutting the dead tree that could fall on the house. They prefer to take a chance than getting vaccinated.
This is like getting as close as possible to the fire without getting burned. It gives them the illusion of progressing. They are pushing the envelope! They are fighting destiny… or something like that.
Many of our activities can be used to satisfy a need for sadomasochism. We have used religions, governments, social conventions and anything within our reach. I would not be surprised if some people secretly wish to be in a position of self-defense and have an opportunity to legally kill somebody. Religious beliefs that cannot be proved or disproved make a perfect excuse. You satisfy your sadomasochism and say: “God made me do it”.
We imprison those who don’t follow the way of thinking of the majority. We use (our) morality and pretend that it is for the public good. This is sadism. The basic need remains the same. There is in you - and in me - and in the human nature a certain need for sadomasochism.
You could say that life in society needs rules. We drive on the same side of the road. It saves lives! Sadomasochism starts when we make rules that are not necessary.
Let's see if some sadomasochism could be justified
Because sadomasochism is part of us does not mean that it must be out of control.
The sadism of the Nazis made the German people appreciate human dignity. After WWII this was taken in consideration in the creation of their new institutions.
Even the most beautiful flower needs manure.
This second example concerns a man fighting to recover from his drugs addiction. He discovers the importance of being authentic and of taking responsibility and not being afraid of pain.
He is torn between two extremes. He could fall back in his addiction or let his three principles take more importance in his life.
This is an extreme case that could help us understand what happens, at a lower level, in many lives .
Life is a school where you learn to remember what your soul already knows
He already knew about being authentic. He had not realized to what extent being authentic could help him fight drug addiction. He was going through an increase of consciousness. That requires looking for “what is behind” our daily experiences.
Let’s try to extrapolate:
Getting out of a predicament requires some energy. This energy is used to bring a change in the soul rather than a change in the body. We can identify this change in the soul as an increase of consciousness.
In most of our life experiences, we can see the pursuit of an increase of consciousness.
- The child starting to walk gets conscious that walking is changing his life.
- Later, puberty will come with an increase of consciousness.
- Still later he will get married knowing that half the marriages end-up as a divorce.
Literature, painting, sculpture… and what we call ‘The Arts’ in general, are an attempt to investigate ‘what is behind’ our limited consciousness. That implies some pain.
No problem can be solved
from the same level of
consciousness that created it.
To be more conscious of our connections with other people would change not only our individual limitations but also we way we live in society. Instead of sending each other rockets and atomic bombs we would send them literature, paintings, sculptures..... -)
The price we are willing to pay for an increase of consciousness is pain and failure.
Some acceptance of pain and masochism could help human evolution but keep in mind "Use but don't abuse".