I acknowledge this graphic from the Net.
In this 78th dharana and 103 Verse of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, Shiva says:
Resting consciousness upon neither pain nor pleasure
But in the middle on the essence
Realize Shiva state
Pain and pleasure, fear and greed, flight and fight are the primal emotions and behaviours we experience.
Psychologists say that all our actions arise from these basic instincts. In psychological terms, these are the reptilian
brain impulses, whose impressions are from the dawn of creation.
In Tantra, the root energy center, muladhara chakra is the locus of desire, greed and pleasure, whereas the
Self energy center, Swadishthana chakra, is the locus of fear and pain. Most of us spend our lives oscillating
between these two energy centers.
Looking at Maslow’s version of transpersonal psychology, pleasure and pain comprise the first two layers of
his pyramid of needs, survival and safety. Buddhism and Taoism talk about the same concept as the Middle Path
and the Yin Yang integration.
Getting out of the clutches of these two primal emotions is a matter of getting out of our conditioning. From childhood,
we are reared through reward and punishment as positive and negative operators. As adults, in work or life, these are
reinforced. Our entire societal structure, including ironically religions, are built on these. Every religion controls us through
the fear of sins and the liberation of good deeds leading to hell and heaven. Each religion has its own definition of good
and bad deeds, some diametrically different. One religion bans eating pork and another beef. One advocates monogamy and
another polygamy. One preaches tolerance and another elimination of non believers. Or at least, the preachers and proponents
of these religions promote them this way.
Shiva asks us to pause and look at the essence or truth. The essence or truth is always in the middle. When we move beyond
the grip of the dualities, we reach the non-dual, absolute truth. This is where Shiva rests.
Good and bad, hell and heaven, right and wrong, pain and pleasure are human definitions of judgment. All judgment arises from
the mind. In the mindless state, these dualities of judgment do not exist. Even in physiological terms, the symptoms and manifestations
of extreme pain and pleasure are similar. Those familiar with meditation know that both pain and pleasure disappear upon observation and
awareness. Disengagement from the extremes brings us to the center.
In a way, this technique follows from the previous one on transience. Neither pain nor pleasure is constant. Both are transient. In the middle lies
what is permanent.