Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The nirvana of flagellation


I struggle mightily with meditation ... a state of mind which is focused in the absolute here and now - a concept many don't grasp but conceive of meditation as a concrete reality of altered consciousness - something beyond the physical present.

A yoga buff, albeit not particularly adept, the entire point of yoga IS meditation with body poses and rote being used to focus the mind on the here and now. By taking a pose and creating that pose repetitively and repeatedly, by focusing on how your body is feeling, how each tendon and muscle is reacting, by in short, focusing ONLY on what you are doing and using your breath to focus that attention, then you achieve a state of meditation (ostensibly, at least some do).

For meditation is in many respects, far more simplistic than envisioned by many busy minds.

The early Christians (and remarkably, some Christians in some countries today) used self-flagellation as a form of penitence meant to expiate the sins of men and to avert God's wrath for such transgressions. I actually understand the connection between pain and an altered state of consciousness which, for a vastly different reason, the Christian flagellants aspired to. Their self-flagellation, the repeated and increasingly severe rending of flesh served a dual purpose; first, it focused the mind on what was occurring to the body, thereby allowing consciousness to "detach" and a form of enlightenment to occur, and second, by suffering a fate similar to that apparently suffered by Christ, they honour his pain by repeating it and taking into themselves the pain as a form of submission

I believe that the same state of meditation is achieved whether one reaches there through religious fervour or through the wielding of the rope by a sadistic master. Both, after all, offer an intense, spiritual experience that can be likened to a state of exalted fervour and that brings one beyond the gross reality of the physical world.

A point of which I am uncertain is whether or not one needs to be a masochist in order to experience the full reality of flagellation. Over time, I have come to accept the reality of my masochism and made a conscious decision neither to question nor challenge nor even attempt to change it. I am not, however, what is termed a "pain slut" - and a full blown session with no lead-up or warming up would be intensely abhorrent to me, although, to be honest, should he choose to exert that kind of control, I would accept.

Physically and mentally, I believe I have a trigger in my brain that properly used ensures the release of endorphins that turn what could be a painful (and not in a good way) experience into a positive and immensely physically and mentally satisfying one. Certainly, my pain tolerance is extremely high and I am and have always been stoic in the face of adversity and physical challenges.

What I have discovered through honest self-exploration is that I AM a masochist - and despite the fact it DOES hurt, I DO enjoy it ... and yes, damn it, it IS pain but somehow that pain engenders a pleasure in the my mind and soul that is unreachable through other means.

Probably the most intensely personal result of a session is the immense calmness I experience as I float ... a sense of unity with my body and mind that my normally restless personality seldom achieves.

But, unless I know and am certain that he is garnering satisfaction and pleasure from the wielding of his control, then that peak is unassailable ... for serendipitously, I am unable to enjoy myself if I do not internalize that he is enjoying himself ...and HIS reality is that he finds a deep, personal satisfaction in inflicting pain on me ... in exerting his will and accepting my submission. He is, in short, a sadist - a designation he struggled mightily with .. but will be the subject of another blog.

1 comment:

Buffalo said...

It is a difficult thing. I understand his struggle and am coming to understand yours.