The Power of Pain

Our society has been developed around the concept of pain. The power the government has amongst its citizens is the fear of pain. Our judicial system has been constructed by the power of punishment. Sadly we have become a society that needs such discipline in order to function to some extent. Although our judicial system by no means is perfect we need it. The threat of pain has justified wars and even creations of religion. Acts of cruelty such as human sacrifices were once justified as offerings to gods. We are terrified of the idea of pain, but yet we all endure pain and intact it. We like to think we are civilized people who do not take part in harming others, but that is an illusion. We all have said hurtful words. We all have thought bad thoughts. We also endure some degree of pleasure in enacting pain to another human being. We all have been hurt before and it is those hurtful experiences that led us to acknowledge that having the ability to hurting someone is what makes you feel powerful. How can we not at the end we are imperfect; believing otherwise is our mistake. We feel it is our right to judge others and cause them pain if we feel that is justifiable. Who are we to decide such faith? We are able to take part of many cruel acts because we have the unique ability to forget. We forget of the morality when it comes to pain if we feel that individual deserved the pain. We choose what to believe and what to forget. Although, forgetfulness is both a bad and a good thing. We need to forget in order to be happy. Holding grudges is the worst thing an individual can do. In order to live happy we need the ability to forget unpleasant memories. As Nietzsche states, “…the benefit of active forgetfulness, like a doorkeeper or guardian of mental order, rest and etiquette: from which we can immediately see how there could be no happiness, cheerfulness, hope, pride, immediacy, without forgetfulness.”

Pain is also associated with punishment, but we do not have a bad connotation of these two combined.Nietzsche argues, “Throughout most of human history, punishment has not been meted out because the mis- creant was held responsible for his act, therefore it was not assumed that the guilty party alone should be punished: — but rather, as parents still punish their children, it was out of anger over some wrong that had been suffered, directed at the perpetrator, — but this anger was held in check and modified by the idea that every injury has its equivalent which can be paid in compensation, if only through the pain of the person who injures.” As a society we justify the use of punishment as a way of making an individual feel guilt over their actions, but this is not so. Guilt is not something we can create in an individual. Punishment is used more as a mean of controlling not making the individual a better person. The will to power is the problem with our society. We value power over everything else. We justify wars in order to obtain power. We see that mass murderers due such crimes in search of power over their victims. The same thing can be said for the majority of violent crimes. The perpetrator seeks power over his/her victims. We justify the gender bias against women because of power. Men have felt the right to intact the will to power. We discriminate against sex, gender, and religion for this search of power. Even with nature we seek power. We have caused many animals to become extinct and feel the right to have power even on Mother Nature. Is it our natural instinct to feel the right to justify actions in the search of power? To me power is our weakness. We ignore any moral beliefs in order to achieve power. In doing so we have no problem enacting pain on another living organism or even our environment. I believe we seek power so desperately because we are terrified of someone else having more power over ourselves. I have used the power of words to cause pain to an individual as a way of getting even with the pain they caused me. I must admit I unconsciously felt pleasure of knowing I was capable of causing pain to the person that hurt me. Although, in doing so I became just like that person. That in no sense was powerful. We need to get rid of the sense of power because who are we to have power over anything on this earth. Power has grown out of fear of being powerless in a world with many uncertainties. We choose to be the person with power rather than the victim. We are all victims so why continue this never ending cycle? Nietzsche states, “This man of the future will redeem us, not just from the ideal held up till now, but also from those things which had to arise from it, from the great nausea, the will to nothingness, from nihilism, that stroke of midday and of great decision that makes the will free again, which gives earth its purpose and man his hope again, this Antichrist and anti-nihilist, this conqueror of God and of nothingness — he must come one day . . .”

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