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Bose, Sir Jagadis Chandra - All pain contains an element of pleasure, and that pleasure, if carried too far becomes pain



Type of Spiritual Experience


In this we have some confirmation that contrasting emotions are all one function, and we have confirmation that we should be wary of then assuming that the degrees of sensory stimulus somehow equate exactly with the intensity of emotion felt.

Thus when the physical sensory stimulus is converted to a non physical ‘software’ emotion and degree of intensity, we cannot assume that the conversion takes place on a simple sliding scale.  The scale may even be one which reduces the intensity by degrees in order that the sensation is not overwhelming

A description of the experience

Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose – His Life and Speeches

It was supposed that nervous impulse, which, must necessarily form the basis of sensation, was beyond any conceivable power of visual scrutiny.  But Dr Bose showed that this impulse is actually attended by change of form, and is therefore capable of direct observation. 

He also showed that the disturbance, instead of being single, is of two different kinds – viz one of expansion (positive) and the other of contraction (negative) – and that, when the stimulus is feeble, the positive is transmitted, and when the stimulus is stronger, both positive and negative are transmitted, but the negative however, being more intense, masks the positive. 

He identified the wave of expansion travelling along the nerve with the tendency to pleasure, and the wave of contraction, with the tendency to pain.  It thus appears that all pain contains an element of pleasure, and that pleasure, if carried too far becomes pain – that 'the tone of our sensation is determined by the intensity of nervous excitation that reaches the central perceiving organ'.

The source of the experience

Bose, Sir Jagadish Chandra

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