Bearable extreme physical pain?

If you get into a deep enough meditation is it possible for pain such as being burnt alive or crucifixion not to seem very intense?
What about masochists? How extreme is the physical pain they might crave?
And what do people with Borderline Personality Disorder feel when they cut themselves? Do they also burn themselves sometimes? Do they feel relief or some kind of pleasure?

I wonder if some persecuted religious people felt ecstasy when they should be feeling intense pain?

Not really a Great Debate.


OK, GQ it is. Maybe there’s some medical answers to the question.

Are you asking about anyone who self-harms, or only people with BPD?

I’ve known a few, and in time they may become acclimated, and require increasingly greater amounts of pain. Eventually they may crave procedures that are actually life-threatening. Sadly, some of them find partners who are willing to give them what they crave. Either that or suicide.

Google “Burning Monk”, that guy just calmly sat there the whole time.


“Since 2009, 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule”
And “vast majority” have died.

There’s only one way to find out.

it would seem to me that at a certain point, maybe shock sets in and the person no longer experiences scream-out-loud pain.

Would they even seek the kind of pain involved in setting themselves on fire? I mean what kind of pain do they end up trying?

I was wondering if things like crucifixion and hell aren’t in fact that bad for some people.

Aren’t there some guys in the Phillipines or somewhere that get crucified as an Easter ritual every year?

It talks about it here:

According to some Christian books, crucifixion is very painful and the pain lasts for hours. I wonder how much pain those other people experienced.

Maybe some monks would be oblivious to pain when in martial arts holds that can lead to broken bones…

What’s cool is that intense pain can lead into religious ecstasy, f’rinstance in* Son Of The Morning Star* Connell reports that before Little Big Horn Sitting Bull cut himself dozens of times then spent 3 days in the Ghost Dance suspended from a high pole by sticks driven through his pectoral muscles, leaping and dancing and chanting the whole time.

The most famous of those being Thich Quang Duc (Malcolm Browne being the photographer who took that picture.)

Thich Nhat Hanh, one of his fellow monks at his monastery, described this in one of his books. He writes that Thich Quang Duc planned this months ahead of time, and spent weeks ahead of time meditating on it to prepare himself.

G. Gordon Liddy famously held his hand over a burning candle until the skin turned black. When asked how he endured the pain, he said, “The trick is in not minding.”

A dentist performed what was supposed to be a very painful procedure on me. He didn’t tell me it was going to hurt beforehand. I wasn’t paying particular attention to what he was doing except there was a sort of sawing motion.

Eventually he paused and said to me, “You must have a really high pain threshold.”

After that, it hurt like crazy. That’s how absent-minded I am. I guess it was sort of a self-hypnosis.

You really don’t want to know about that.

Read “The Orenda”, by Joseph Boyden, describing how the Huron tortured the Iroquois. You’ll have a hard time sleeping, believe me! shiver

GQ ? The scientific world says its subjective.

Right there it means its like a computer program “run ExtremePain”.
It may or may not crash the computer

its a bit hypothetical that anyone actually likes it, it sounds a bit inconsistent with definitions to like it… That if they like it then its not pain.

However the idea may be that the release of endorphins with the pain is what convinced someone that painful experience was somehow enlightening, or at least made it feel like the load was lighter.