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Chapter 6: Breaking Free
“When you don’t identify with it, the pain-body can no longer control your thinking and so cannot renew itself anymore by feeding on your thoughts.”
Because of the human tendency to perpetuate old emotions, almost everyone carries in his or her energy field an accumulation of old emotional pain, which Tolle calls “the pain-body.” The beginning of freedom from the pain-body lies in the realization that you have one. Then, more important, is your ability to stay present and alert enough to notice the pain-body in yourself—as a heavy influx of negative emotion—when it becomes active. Your conscious presence breaks the identification with it. When you don't identify with it, the pain-body can no longer control your thinking and renew itself by feeding on your thoughts. Pain-bodies can be extremely dramatic, always overreacting. Someone with a heavy pain-body easily finds reasons for being upset or angry, and these triggers bring old emotions back to life.
When you feel strong negative reactions arising in you (a negative thought-emotion cycle beginning), have an attitude of curiosity rather than one of condemnation. Being present is infinitely powerful. When you recognize that the present moment is inevitable, you can bring an inner yes to it. With inner resistance gone, you stop creating unhappiness and find yourself empowered by Life itself, at one with the nature of God.