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.