I’m a huge fan of Eckhart Tolle’s books ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth’. In his books he describes The Pain Body, it’s the wounded part of us that feels our negative emotions, pain and trauma.

The pain body is described by Tolle as an ‘energetic, emotional representation of the ego‘.

Pain-Body The Pain Body

It can dominate and thrive on our negative thoughts but even more interesting is Eckhart Tolle’s belief that our pain body actively seeks out and feeds off a reaction from the pain body of others.

This can play out when someone is perhaps feeling unresolved anger or is upset about a situation but they unconsciously take it out on someone else by trying to trigger the other person’s pain body, usually through criticism or some other form of provocation.

If the other person isn’t aware of what’s going on energetically, they will most likely react from their pain body which could result in an argument and thus the pain body of both parties is strengthened.

How do we stop the pain body?

We can tell the pain body is engaged if we are having an over-the-top reaction to something relatively minor, so the key is to become conscious before it takes hold. As soon as we feel a negative emotion such as fear, sadness or anger along with a contraction in our body, it’s time to get really present with the emotion before it begins to control our mind and actions.

Eckhart Tolle has simply personified the emotional aspect of self in a slightly similar way to how we perceive the wounded inner child. The key difference is the wounded inner child seeks re-parenting in order to transform into the divine version of itself, whereas the pain body’s desire is to sustain its own survival, no matter what.

The solution, however, is the same, to become conscious of what’s happening, compassionately sit with the emotion being presented, observe it and receive the message from it.

When dealing with someone else’s pain body, we can remind ourselves that this is not who they truly are. Once they become conscious again, we can have a conversation about what was really behind their word and actions. They may even be open to hearing about the concept of the pain body and how to deal with it, leading to self-regulation instead of passive-aggression.