metaphysical pain

With metaphysical thought (which seems to me to be almost a tautology) comes metaphysical experience. For example joy, fear, and pain. I am interested in metaphysical pain. How can thought hurt? What faculties are operational in metaphysical suffering? Is this pain less real than physical pain?

What do you mean by “metaphysical”?

Two meanings of “metaphysics”: Nietzsche and Heidegger.


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emotional pain. thoughts can easily trigger emotions-- depression, sadness, fear, despair, sorrow, anxiety, lust, envy, etc. and not just simple emotional reactions, but thought (especially patters of it over time) can also bring on paradigmatic emotional states, relatively stable personality-type emotional states that persist over time and tend to underlie long periods of time. (e.g. the difference between “depression” and “major depressive disorder”)

emotions are not any less real than physical pain, they are just a sublimation or further subtlizing of the chemical-electrical processes which sense physical stimuli, evolved to respond in increasingly complex ways to internal mental states of cognition, belief, expectation, desire, etc.

im not sure if theres anything “metaphysical” about it, but i suppose you could call it that if youd like. i think i know what you mean, i would just call it “physical”, or perhaps “physical-energy” myself (i.e., “materalist”, although to most people this implies physical at the expense of energetic, quantum or higher vibrational states of matter, so ill avoid it for clarity’s sake).

I do not mean emotional pain - that is wholly physical, chemical.

I do not know of anyone has experience with pain in the form of thought. Pain that cannot be defined in other terms than the thoughts that cause it. When two realities are cutting into each other. Emotional and even physical pain may result from this, but the essence of the original pain is inevitably lost in translation.

For the record, I separate thoughts from physically measurable experience such as physical injury or emotions. Thought carriers can be observed as electric impulses, thoughts themselves can’t. This may change but that is speculation.
All definition of reality relies on experience. I separate experience into physical and metaphysical. Metaphysical being anything that can’t be defined in terms different from itself, physical being that which can be compared and replaced.

I realize there are many hiatuses in my string of definitions. By no means do I want to claim any objective truth.
I am just wondering if people have experience with suffering thoughts.

I agree with brevel_monkeys definition. Metaphysical pain is pain beyond what is physically determinable.

[edit] of course psychiatrists would disagree that this type of pain exists - there is a pill against every thought, the pharmaceutical industry claims. But I think depressions can be solved only by making adjustments in thought-forms from within the mind, as opposed to making adjustments on the level of chemical (im)balances in the brain.

love hurts - nazareth


well, theres no need i think to get into another materialism debate. however, i still dont understand what sort of “metaphysical pain” youre talking about. any “pain” ive been subject to while philosophizing or doing “metaphysics” or deep introspective thought/conceptualizing has been in the form of stress, sadness or depression, anger, feelings of confusion or disorientation perhaps, all those can result from contemplating life’s hard truths and the finitude and inevitability of death from a philosophical standpoint (i.e.without religious fictions or fantasies, regardless of whether or not there is an afterlife).

can you explain what you mean by metaphysical pain?

Not really. That’s been my point. I am wondering if people can relate, that’s all.
It’s the experience that thoughts actually hurt of themselves. Not because of the implications they have on my life - the pain from that is emotional. (fear, regret, etc)

Imp - yes it does, but just chemically, and for some in other physical ways. I don’t think love is very metaphysical, at least not the kind that hurts. But I’m not an expert at the cognitive agony that come with agape…

Perhaps it is a gulf between different cognitive modi.

Life’s hard truths aren’t metaphysical.

i would agree with that statement, because i dont think anything is “metaphysical” (i.e. “beyond” or “prior to” physical, when we understand ‘physical’ as energy-forms, from the quantum world on up).

but still… can you at least explain how this metaphysical pain that youve experienced manifests itself? how does it feel, what is it like, why do you think its not just an emotional reaction based on what youre thinking/feeling at the time?

Common sense says you’re right, but it remains to be established. Okay, you don’t want to have that debate (again), I understand because it is endless and fruitless. But in terms of dealing with this metaphysical pain, it served me better to think of experience as fundamental to matter instead of vice versa.

It doesn’t really ‘feel’ like emotions do - it’s a presence of a thought-form that does not fit within the mental framework I was born with. Perhaps it’s like the pain some women experience in giving birth, something that just doesn’t fit is forced through. But it’s an idea, or rather a way of thinking, seeing, interpreting, not something that directly applies to the concrete. I call it the experiencing mind - something I believe is possibly more elemental to reality than the motions and charges of quanta.

so perhaps this pain is an experience of change or threat to the system itself, maybe youre feeling a reaction from your paradigmatic cognitive belief-set in that the current thought-form youre experiencing is at odds, contradictive, or external to this cognitive belief-set itself or many of its necessary premises. maybe its just a vague subtle form of “pain” as “this experiencing that is happening now is threatening”, from the perspective of the mind itself, i.e. of its coherence and consistency/non-contradiction?

i can see how it could be almost completely cognitive, as opposed to emotional, if the thought-forms and belief-sets that enter into an opposed or conflicting relation are very expansive and vast within your mind, triggering far more responses across the neural network than a simple individual or group stimuli would-- if the thought-conflicts or threats are truly systemic (metaphysical?) then perhaps this is not sufficient to generate a normal emotional response, and instead the threat/conflict must be interpreteted on a different level of a “less emotional experience” (i.e., a more cognitive experience), since the circumference of emotions/cognitions is pretty much the sum of our experiential mental processing, disregarding sensation and perception, which are the prior system to emotion/cognition (emotion/cognition exists to interpret sensation/perception).

That’s good - systemic.
I wouldn’t say it’s not sufficient to generate a normal emotional response, rather much too much. It is as if the pain is at the core of my mind, and the gognitive friction accordingly generates so much energy that I really went mad with fear, and, cyclically overcoming that, with extacy. Perhaps it is comparable to a nuclear reaction. Little mass converting into great amounts of energy (e=mc^2), some elements of cognition converting to huge surges of emotion.
Again, it was only after I had tried dealing with it in terms of emotions and directly went to what I called the archetypical, and which maybe could be called systemic, that I began to get a grip on it.

Maybe loneliness is an example? I suppose this starts from one feeling bored… the body and mind isn’t being stimulated by something (lack of dopamine, lack of attention, feeling of reward), and a habitual value for not being lonely causes the mind to start thinking “If I only wasn’t alone, I wouldn’t be lonely.”

The body isn’t really in pain… as in, the body isn’t really in danger, there isn’t any damage going in; the mind has just been trained for pleasure-seeking through social means.

I get you bro. That sick f pitted gut feeling you get when contemplating every moment of this shitpile fools call reality. That constant feeling of solitude and unease that is never quenched. The constant disdain that comes from the feeling that every moment you continue on is just another moment of infection by the degeneracy and filth slathering upon you. The unceasing agony of indefinitely being somewhere you dont belong in which it doesnt feel right to finish yourself off. And yet disgust comes from every second of continued life. So all you do is keep on truckin, hoping that maybe the next second you might wondrously be absolved from your curse.

I believe cognitive dissonance can be felt almost physically, the presence of conflicting thoughts or beliefs etc. weigh on the mind. the conflict of such may be conceived as one idea forcing its way over the other. but i’m not sure what you mean by thought being elemental to nature??

I don’t think thoughts are “metaphysical”, I think it’s just that they are only visible to the “computer” itself (whereas a normal computer screen is only visible to the user). Aren’t thoughts epiphenomena accompanying processes “deeper down” within the organism’s structure? Or in other words, aren’t they just the topmost layer(s) of those processes?

I’m surprised you get me so well - I’m not sure we are talking about the same thing. I deeply appreciate (my) life, I have nothing against the world as such - even though it is disgusting how many things work. I think it is more of a problem related to ‘what to do with my mind’. The mind can be used for so many things, to accomplish so many goals. For different goals, it needs to work differently. To formulate different goals, it even needs to speak a different language.
I have read so much, seen so much, that there are too many ways for my mind to experience truth. Truth has become dispersed, diverse, and yet it maintains the same acuteness. It’s a question of what to affirm. For this I am constantly looking into my own mind to see if there is any inherent nature to it. Perhaps a mind observing itself causes some kind of metahysical friction. But again the pain does not relate to specific things or conditions in the world.

I don’t think consciousness is a by-product of matter.

the problem is the horribly insufficient conception we have of ‘matter’; atomism still infects us with its irreducibility, constancy and temporal immediacy. matter needs to be reconceptualized in a way which is devoid of such notions of irreducibility and immediacy. quantum mechanics can help in this, as can Nietzschean understandings of will(s)-to-power; there are other models which are helpful as well, particularly within biology, sociology, and information theory.

only when ‘matter’ is reenvisioned as a process, and NOT as a “thing”, will we be able to see how consciousness can indeed arise from symphonies and worlds of matter-acting and matter-interacting, generated by behavioral “mechanisms” such as the law of large numbers, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, Brownian motion, quantum entanglement, etc.

“Matter” as consisting of quanta of force. Force the outward expression of an inner will—the will to power. Consciousness as the feeling of the mutual resistance of wills to power. Human self-consciousness as an incredibly complex interaction of wills to power.