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In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity... Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
Bully_rus
Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 5:28:55 AM
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As easy as a pie (a piece of cake), although not all pies are equally edible.
PS Now readily available in pills, injections.

>> Endorphins ("endogenous morphine") are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.
pedro
Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 5:57:09 AM
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the pang's the thang
MTC
Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:41:19 AM
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Joined: 1/18/2011
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In The Scarlet Letter, Ch II, "The Market Place," Hawthorne describes Hester Prynne's march through the crowd toward the pillory:

A lane was forthwith opened through the crowd of spectators. Preceded by the beadle, and attended by an irregular procession of stern-browed men and unkindly-visaged women, Hester Prynne set forth towards the place appointed for her punishment. A crowd of eager and curious schoolboys, understanding little of the matter in hand, except that it gave them a half-holiday, ran before her progress, turning their heads continually to stare into her face, and at the winking baby in her arms, and at the ignominious letter on her breast. It was no great distance, in those days, from the prison-door to the market-place. Measured by the prisoner’s experience, however, it might be reckoned a journey of some length; for, haughty as her demeanour was, she perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung into the street for them all to spurn and trample upon. In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvellous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it. With almost a serene deportment, therefore, Hester Prynne passed through this portion of her ordeal, and came to a sort of scaffold, at the western extremity of the market-place. It stood nearly beneath the eaves of Boston’s earliest church, and appeared to be a fixture there.


American poet Emily Dickinson covered some of the same territory in one of her most famous poems:

After great pain a formal feeling comes--
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions--was it He that bore?
And yesterday--or centuries before?
The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
Regardless grown,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.

This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.

Can the mental states Hawthorne and Dickinson describe be reduced to the actions of neurotransmitters?




Bully_rus
Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 2:01:03 PM
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A multi-faceted approach gives the best results. Either side must present its evidence and time at the proper time will deliver its verdict - beast or soul, science or Bible. Besides science or semi-science language have its mumbo-jumbo beauty too, but now I'm on the side of the angels.
jcbarros
Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:59:00 PM

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Pangs of remorse.
Verbatim
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 5:42:23 PM
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Joined: 10/3/2012
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Daemon wrote:
In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)


Hawthorne alone must have known the value of that trade-off in the story plotting of Hester's torment, because the Puritan community of that early Boston settlement
kept on the pangs which rankled her for many years to come after she was pilloried.

We can shudder at the thought of the cruel treatment the well educated Puritans were capable to inflict upon their own--all in the name of an inflexible
understanding of the world-- just as we must give them credit for their keen interest in educating their offspring to much higher standards.
After all, Harvard owes its existence to the Puritans' thirst for knowledge. How odd the ambivalence!


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