The difference between trauma and suffering


This is another issue many people have due to socialization and believing that their Ego is who they really are - the nuances in the relationship between trauma, pain and suffering. Many people cannot tell the difference or the relationship, and they assume that trauma and suffering are one and the same thing and together with pain something to be avoided. Not true. There are major differences and one of the major reasons for people to get involved in Qultura is to learn the differences between trauma and suffering so they can understand how to properly heal, recover and grow.

The irresistable force meets the immovable object

The best way of illustrating the major difference between trauma and suffering is to start from this well worn saying which I'm sure you're familiar with. All trauma is natural force coming at you out of space, out of an environment, and is the start of a new karmic process. Pain, all pain, is a sensation which comes from the impact of trauma. The ability to feel the sensation of pain is one of your senses outside your major five senses of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste - the felt sense of immediate experience is based on your whole sensory nervous system and covers about 20 different senses, such as balance, hunger, and one of these senses is pain.

One of the biggest issues when it comes to trauma, pain and suffering is not these things by themselves, but the way we've been socially and mentally conditioned to believe that separateness is natural reality and moral reasoning is normal. As a result trauma, pain and suffering is generally seen as something bad, something to be avoided, or something to be resisted. This is a very dangerous way of looking at these issues. You should not be conscious at all of your body, which should function entirely within your subconscious without you needing to think about it. If your basic physiological functioning is coming into the focus of your conscious attention then at the very least you need to investigate or get yourself off to a doctor so they can investigate. A lot of people die each year because they chose to ignore a minor health issue which then escalated into a major health issue, their ability to function breaks down so they are forced to go see a doctor. Only then it's too late and they end up with either a disability or a terminal illness.

How this breaks down is this:

All trauma is natural force coming at you out of your environment and is always the start of a new karmic process.
Pain is the sensation you feel when you are experiencing trauma. There are different types of pain, ranging from mild discomfort to sheer agony which takes you up to your sharp edge of humanity and beyond. There's physical pain, emotional pain, psychological pain, and even meta-physical pain.
Suffering is the mental and emotional attachments associated with trauma which usually creates fear, anxiety and worry about the outcomes of trauma and new karma. Unlike trauma, which is real and natural, Suffering is conceptual and ideological. Trauma is environmental, suffering is mental. These are major differences.

It's always important to work out what is trauma and what is suffering whenever you're experiencing pain. This usually tells you how to deal with the pain you're experiencing.

Creative Law

You've got to roll with it, you've got to take your time
You've got to say what you say
Don't let anyone get in your way
'Cause it's all too much for me to take
Don't ever stand aside, don't ever be denied
You want to be who you'd be, if you're coming with me
I think I've got a feeling I've lost inside
I think I'm gonna take me away and hide
I'm thinking things that I just can't abide....

Oasis, 'Roll with it'

The path of least resistance

Superficially the Qultura approach to issues involving trauma, pain and suffering doesn't seem that much different from other similar methods such as Buddhism, Taoism and yoga. Suffering is seen as attachment and connected to craving and desire, and the mystical principle is non-attachment. However if you go down the more 'eastern' path of other systems you find the practical solution ends up being either meditation or yoga. This would be fine if you're a monk living in a monastery which is in a natural retreat, you simply sit and meditate and do your vipassana, samatha or za-zen, and sooner or later you heal and recover from trauma. Here it's important that all these other systems were developed to be used by monks living in a strict monastic order. However to the typical individual living in Western society this approach is impractical and while convalescence is good, adopting this methodology as a 'one true way' approach runs the risk of suppression and re-traumatizing yourself.

From the Qultura perspective trying to address individual trauma and suffering through Buddhism, Taoism and yoga is slow, outdated and impractical. The Qultura approach is far more proactive, direct and immediate. Trauma is motion, karma is motion - because all existence is change, all existence is relationship - so the general Qultura principle when it comes to trauma and suffering is negation of both through drama. What is drama? Drama is creativity and interaction.

You can get a practical demonstration of the Qultura approach to trauma simply by dropping a stone or pebble into a body of water. You get the splash of impact of the stone hitting the surface of water, which is trauma, and then you get waves and ripples (karma) until eventually the surface of the water is smooth again. You're a manifestation of energy in the universe. The universe is 'doing' whatever is going on in your life through you, so it makes good sense that if life is handing you lemons through trauma - be it sickness, illness, the loss of a job, the break down of a relationship or bereavement - is to do the natural thing and become creative and interactive.

Dealing with trauma and suffering is done through Unmind which is the fourth more practical and magical component of Qultura methodology. Developing a method through Qultura to deal with trauma and suffering requires a method which involves three things:

RAIN methodology
RAIN methodology (Recognize, Accept, Investigate and Non-Attachment) is a simple four step strategy to address issues involving trauma and suffering.
Membership of the Qultura community
If you're dealing with trauma or suffering then you often end up isolated and marginalized by others. Given the widespread social and cultural attitudes to trauma and suffering there's not much empathy or humanity for those who are seen as 'failing' to live up to 'normal' societal standards. You can lose friends and have people turn away from you and will often learn the harsh lesson that you can only really count on yourself in life. Qultura was originally developed for people who don't fit in with societal expectations of 'normal' and connecting with community is essential if you want to become involved with dream weaving.
Dream weaving
Trauma involves separation and division, dream weaving involves connection and learning but also a process of individuation. What makes us the individual human beings we all are in reality is our personal experiences of trauma. No two traumatic personal experiences are ever alike. Dream weaving is developing connections between trauma, memory, the environment and the mind so as to develop your unique individual strategies - through Qultura - of dealing with and coping with individual trauma. Be sure that your death, the ultimate experience of trauma in life, is not going to happen the way you think it will. The whole point of developing consciousness and mindfulness is to be as prepared as you possibly can be for your death. This might seem morbid at first, but what this approach teaches you is that it's very important to understand and appreciate every experience you have of life and living existence. You're only ever going through the life you're living once. This is also very important to remember.

Flow = trauma -> karma -> drama -> equilibrium

All trauma and change creates initial fear and anxiety which is inevitable because you're always moving from the known and familiar into the unknown and unfamiliar. There is nothing you can do to eliminate this fear and anxiety simply because your mind is empty space and needs order, definition and a certain rhythm or pattern, or order in which to function. Actual reality is coming at you in a vast multi-dimensional continuum of sensation and experience - the so-called Felt Sense of Immediate Experience. In other words everything is happening everywhere all the time. Compare this with your narrow focus of conscious of attention where you can only focus on one, two or three variables at a time. There's simply no comparison.

This is what makes failure and mistakes inevitable. You're socially conditioned to focus on form, states of being, structure and order, because you've been conditioned to think in terms of separateness, permanence, duality, polarity, morality, continuity and cause and effect. This is generally unhelpful simply because all existence is change, all existence is relationship. The trick is to focus instead on the motion, direction and trajectory, the dynamic, and the connection simply because life experience is always dynamic, life is all about energy and energy - being based on cycles, waves and vibrations, is all about flow, currents, trajectory and direction. Whether you want to or not, life is always about motion, and you're always moving in some direction. The key to life is to understand this and rather than trying to control stuff, which you're not able to do anyway, is to 'roll with it' and focus on steering your life in the direction you feel you want to or need to go.

Let's take a very simple example of these principles and understand how on some level, you understand what is being written here. Let's take some examples of discomfort. You're sitting and feel discomfort so you move. You definitely move if you experience discomfort during sexual intercourse. When you get pins and needles in your legs or your arms, you get up and move. You see how trauma is so closely related to karma and activity? Contrast this with suffering, which is attachment, and therefore avoidance, denial, indifference, apathy. Suffering always comes with a need for justification, a distortion of reality, and with this blame and fault, which are forms of indifference which arise out of the illusion of separateness. Sure you can avoid stuff, run away, hide, but all the time life goes on within you and without you, so avoidance and indifference take you further and further away from reality.

Understand that motion and movement past trauma isn't always possible because firstly you don't know how, and secondly the fear and anxiety creates a barrier or hindrance that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot get past on your own. This is where having a constant opportunity to reach out to community, a community which is open-minded, non-judgmental, and accepting becomes necessary. This open-minded, non-judgmental and accepting community is the Qultura community. Here it's extremely important to understand that neither trauma nor karma have anything to do with morality. Morality is another social illusion. There is no right and no wrong. No good and no bad. No weak and no strong. There is benefit and harm - both of these are real and not connected with morality, but everything else is morality and a social illusion, part of conceptual reality. There is also impermanence and constant change. Therefore there is only what is felt, what is said, what is expressed in the present moment.

Therefore it doesn't matter what is said at a meeting of the Qultura community as long as it doesn't harm either yourself or someone else and cause new trauma. If you register on our Community Message Board you're free to post anything and create a new thread or post, and as long as the post isn't harmful it will stand. What you don't do when it comes to either the Community Message Board or meetings in the community is say to yourself "I cannot say this. I cannot post that." If you feel something, or sense something, anything at all, you're free to express yourself. It's just human feelings and human emotions, totally natural and normal. If it's something that's weighing on your mind, and you keep ruminating and thinking it over and over and over again it's important to get whatever repetitive thoughts out there into environment and give it some form. Then you let go and move on. This is the Qultura way of doing things. Express yourself freely, openly, always mindful of the present moment, and then let go and move on not being attached to anything and being always free to deal with reality in the present moment.

About Qultura

Qultura is a developing alternative dreamweaving community centred in Nine Elms, London, so 'Qultura' may refer to the Qultura community itself, Qultura methodology or Qultura Core, the core of the the community. Our community is freely accessible to all interested, completely free of charge to participate in and make use of, and welcomes everyone to our meetings, workshops and on our Community Message Board.