We’ve Been Thinking About Pain All Wrong

To control physical and emotional pain, we need to understand its purpose.

If you ask most people to explain how pain works, they’ll say something like, “Well, you have an injury, and the ‘signal’ travels up to your brain, and your brain interprets it as pain.”

Sounds plausible, right?

It’s essentially the same theory René Descartes described in his 1664 Treatise of Man. Descartes believed a “little thread” transferred pain to the brain, “just as, by pulling…