I have been asked by Andrea if one can exist without pain or joy?
The question presupposes that I am without pain or joy and therefore can I exist? The starting point must be therefore do I feel pain? Do I feel joy ? I shall deal with the latter first .Joy is defined as ” a feeling of great pleasure and happiness”. Now, I feel pleasure. I know that. Happiness? I have had to think about that and I have come to the conclusion that happiness is a lighter version a somewhat fluffy and amorphous sensation of what I truly feel. I feel power and elation. Happiness is lower on the scale. I don’t feel happiness. I leap from a neutral state straight to feeling powerful, infused and elated. Since I do not feel happiness and I see that happiness is regarded as a constituent part of joy, I can only conclude therefore that I do not feel joy.
What about pain? Of course we know two types of pain. Physical and emotional. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, boy it hurts, so that is that confirmed. As for emotional pain, well yes I feel that also. In fact I feel it more than you. The pain I experience is visceral, gut-wrenching and agonising. It sears through me and is most debilitating. Such is its intensity I am forced to take immediate action to remedy the hurt that I experience. The agony that I endure is total and vast. My world collapses in on itself, I am shrunken, withered and wounded. This state is brought about by your unnecessary criticism of me or your failure to engage with me. I must act promptly and with every resource I can muster to push through this pain and end it. It is a superhuman feat but by dint of rage or evasion I achieve it.
Thus I feel pain. Every single day. Imagine having to deal with that.
If the original hypothesis is that one does not exist unless one experiences pain or joy, then given that I experience pain then one can only conclude that I exist. But you knew I existed all right didn’t you? The damage and prescriptions confirm that.