In our podcast episode "The Zen of Pain," we discuss religious and secular rituals of voluntary and self-inflicted suffering. How does this desire for pain factor into our evolutionary ascent? Can we really find liberation by the lash and transcendence on the rack? Even your morning workout may serve as a kind of ritualized self-punishment.
I hope you'll join us for "The Zen of Pain," as well as our other pain-related blog posts, but for now let's explore some imagery from humanity's rituals of pain. This isn't meant as an exhaustive, all-inclusive list, but perhaps it will provide some informative visuals to accompany the podcast.
Above we see a scene of torture (left) and transfiguration (right) from a first century CE fresco in Pompeii's House of the Mysteries.
*** WARNING: THIS GALLERY CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES ***