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4 May, 2004 12:06 AM

The Greenman has been writing about pain:

'A scar is a physical record of earlier pain that has made us the complex and, hopefully, balanced individual that we are today. Pain is integral to life and we all experience it. It is an interesting phenonemon that, largely through medical advances, we have come to see pain as completely negative. This was not always the case. Primitive cultures often viewed pain as not only unavoidable but also a path to a more complete person. It was integral to so many initiation ceremonies across the world that it is likely that it vested something in a young man that they would have had difficulting gaining without it, generalised perhaps as "maturity".'

This reminds me of The Gift of Pain by Philip Yancy and Paul Brand. Like their other work together this is an excellent book which examines how Pain is a gift rather than something to be avoided. Pain has a purpose and a life without it is actually actually one of the most terrible afflictions - just ask someone who suffers with Leprosy. Whilst few of us enjoy the sensation of pain, it gets our attention and alerts us to something that is wrong.

I might have to get the book out tomorrow and write a quote or two.

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