The business of this life is the mastery of pain. Only pain threatens to decompose grace, that is, pain unbridled by any active schema which convincingly subsumes it as a necessary good. When pain overwhelms, it threatens in the manner of an absolvent, and this is demonstrated by the efficacy of torture in deconstructing the personhood or ego of its subject. This suggests that the ego is the sky palace constructed through years of toil by an organism attempting to give a meaning to the various types of dysphoria that endlessly assail it as far as it is corporeal, in order to sustain its existence.
Additionally, it is apparent that the pain of strain is intrinsic to growth; we speak rightly of growing pains, and note that all advancing-while-assimilating types of motion require a stimulus that engages the singular spectrum ranging from bliss to agony in an organism.
The ego is a perpetual argument carried out by a surviving organism against its exigencies, and when unreasoned, mindless, or irresolvable pain surmounts this organic response, the ego is obliterated in its defeat.
Suggestions of thresholds overstepped in combat or trauma leading to degenerative states we appropriately describe as unravelings or decompositions.
Suggestions of repression, denial, rationalization as the flimsy ramparts by which we strive to stave off the deadly onslaught of mindless pain.
Pain has this power specifically because it alone has the power to viscerally illuminate life’s uncertainty; the possibility that human life has no nobility to answer the abject tedium and frequent absurdity of its station is felt directly by all persons during bouts of agony; such is the root cause of the fear of pain, as associated with this horrifyingly nullifying experience. Taxed beyond their threshold, any person can be compelled by pain to renounce country, family, love, ideals, comrades and promises, which are, of course, the very fruits and unique attainments of the ego.
Mastery of pain, then, springs from two sources: disciplined assimilation of experiences by the subsuming ego, and blind phenotypic and circumstantial luck. A successful manager of pain develops a spiritual capacity to adapt a worldview in which past and future pains are integral to personal development and a necessary metaphysical feature of reality. Furthermore, pain is likely the sine qua non of such lauded virtues as compassion and ideological beneficence, since one must first deeply experience suffering themselves and then eventually realize that all other beings around them are subject to the same force in order to develop the proactive remorse we have labeled kindness.
Felix et ferox is the man who has, through pitting against it his own hardness and finding it superior, molded pain into a tool. Felicissimus et ferocissimus is the man who, far from being a devout and unreasoned masochist for the sake of a mere dark titillation, has bred out of himself any of the bristling aversion to pain that shuts down the mind precisely when it should be most widely open to its most momentous instructor. Such a man stands securely and unswervingly in the tranquil center of the essential phenomenon of an untainted mind and impartially observes the teachings of the spiraling ying and yang of pleasure and pain, the former being very jovial and a little dull and inclined to reticence, the latter of a far coarser manner and potentially unpleasant visitation, but with much more rich experience and meaningful things to say. Let pleasure teach the essence and pain the cost (and therefore value) of human life!