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Observations placeholder

Michaux, Henri - Far Off Inside - Easing toothache



Type of Spiritual Experience


Michaux learnt the art of 'meditation' - contemplation and detachment - whilst he was in the east and this observation is about him using the technique to help him with toothache and earache.


A description of the experience

from Far Off Inside

That cavity in my front tooth was pushing its needles all the way up into the root, almost under my nose.  A nasty feeling!

What about magic?  Certainly, but you have to move in massively under your nose.  What imbalance.  And I hesitated, my thoughts elsewhere - on a study of language.

Meanwhile and old earache, which had been dormant for three years, woke up and so did its tiny  perforations in the depths of my ear.

So I had to make up my mind.  If you're wet, you might as well jump into the water.  If you're knocked off balance, you might as well get a new perch.

All right, I drop my studies and I start concentrating.  In three or four minutes, I erase the pain from my earache (I knew the way).  For the tooth I needed twice as much time.  It was in such a funny spot, right under my nose. Finally it disappeared.

The difficulty is to find the place where you're in pain.  Once you've got yourself together, you go towards that spot, gropng in your night, trying to circumscribe it - since nervous people can't concentrate, they feel pain everywhere - then as you enter it, you aim at it more carefully, for it gets small, very small, ten times as small as the point of a pin, still you keep watching over it without letting go, without increasing attention, throwing your euphoria into it until you no longer have any point of suffering before you.  That means you've actually found it.

Now you have to stay there without pain.  Five minutes of effort should be followed by an hour and a half to two hours of calm and insensibility.  This applies to people who are not particularly strong or gifted, at any rate that's the time I need.

Because of the inflammation of the tissues, there remains a sensation of pressure, of a small isolated block, like the feeling that remains after the injection of liquid anaesthetic.  

The source of the experience

Michaux, Henri

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps