Self-control and Self-immolation

How should we think about weird things?

Self-control and Self-immolation

Post #1  Postby macros_man » Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:21 am

I watched the movie "Saw II" yesterday, and a scene in which one of the victims was burned alive made me think about a video I'd seen ages ago, where a buddhist monk performed self-immolation (suicide by starting yourself on fire).

The character in the Saw II movie was suppose to be a real tough-guy - not afraid of pain and such.  And yet, when he was trapped inside a large oven, and was burning to death, he began screaming uncontrollably.  It would seem to me that nobody, no matter how tough they are, could ever maintain self-control when being exposed to such immense pain.

This leads me to the video of the buddhist self-immolation.  If memory serves me correctly, the monk was able to sit still, in a kneeling position, while he burned to death.  I cannot imagine how he possibly could have done this.  I understand that people are able to condition themselves to endure extreme hardships and pain, but something as extreme as being burned alive; I do not know how anyone can possibly condition themselves to experience such extreme pain without  dying first.

My question to you, is do you think the monk may have taken some kind of drug, that would have numbed or otherwise dulled his senses.  Or could it be that he simply had conditioned himself to withstand the extreme pain.

I've seen some self-immolation videos where the person goes wild once they are on fire... and maintaining self-control during self-immolation is no-doubt the exception, rather than the rule.  But if this monk did in fact remain relatively calm while he was burning alive... I wonder what made this possible.

I apologize if this thread belongs in a different forum... this one seemed as good as any for this topic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-immolation


There is also a scene in the movie where a young woman is hurled into a pit full of syringes.  I doubt this has ever actually happened in real life... but it was interesting to think about what that would feel like.  The other day, I was driving some nails into wood (I'm finishing my basement), when I pushed myself off from the wood, and accidentally drove a nail up into my finger, just under my finger nail.  The pain was so extreme, my head felt like it would explode.  It's probably the most pain I've ever felt within a short period of time like that.  I understand that the body reaches a pain threshold, after which, all surplus pain must simply be discarded.  After all... extra pain, past a point, serves no biological purpose.  Why bombard our bodies with more pain, when we already have more than enough pain to cause us to react to a situation?  This makes me wonder if being burned alive reaches a pain threshold, after which the body kind of shuts down its sensory input, and either the pain remains constant, or even dissipates, when the body's reactionary facilities succumb.

Any thoughts?  Any masochists our there?
User avatar
macros_man
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:25 pm
Location: Union City, California

Post #2  Postby Xipe_Totec » Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:16 pm

Well, my first guess is the intent.
The monk self-immolated, the guy was burned to death. Ones decision is a big difference in showing external reactions to pain. As you said it, masochists answer. :D

So, yeah. I'd chalk it to his determination in controling his body not to go flailing about, in much the same way I control myself by sitting still when I get a cramp or something, instead of lashing out and making pain faces.

As for the maximum pain, well, once you damage the nerve receptors in the skin hard enough, you might feel less pain. Although I've never tried it, it seems logical due to the way nervous system is built.
The Government did it.
User avatar
Xipe_Totec
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 1014
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:18 pm

Post #3  Postby Capthorne » Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:11 am

Smoke inhalation? I wouldn't have though there'd be enough smoke in that situation; open air, some sort of accelerant...
I am a skeptic because God made me so. - me
"I believe everything and I believe nothing" - Peter Sellers in "The pink Panther"
"Imagination rules the World" - Napoleon Buonapart
User avatar
Capthorne
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:03 pm
Location: Silicon Valley

Post #4  Postby Capthorne » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:40 am

:|
I am a skeptic because God made me so. - me
"I believe everything and I believe nothing" - Peter Sellers in "The pink Panther"
"Imagination rules the World" - Napoleon Buonapart
User avatar
Capthorne
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:03 pm
Location: Silicon Valley

Post #5  Postby Capthorne » Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:27 am

:o
I am a skeptic because God made me so. - me
"I believe everything and I believe nothing" - Peter Sellers in "The pink Panther"
"Imagination rules the World" - Napoleon Buonapart
User avatar
Capthorne
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:03 pm
Location: Silicon Valley

Post #6  Postby macros_man » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:12 am

Most of them die of smoke inhalation rather than burn to death. . . .


Some of them may also die from the humidity... but I hear it's a dry heat... (about as dry as Doctor X's humour...)
User avatar
macros_man
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:25 pm
Location: Union City, California

Post #7  Postby brainfart » Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:21 am

If you stay lying flat and very still for about 20 minutes, you may find that you cannot really tell where your limbs are , because , it seems, nerves shut down somehow when not firing off signals all the time. This is not the same as numbness that gives pins and needles when circulation starts again.
I don't know if they used this technique or another, but I know they can do some amazing stuff.
The Shaolin monks that tour, on the other hand, are not of this type. Of the whole bunch, only 2 were monks, when the first tours started. Now they are called warriors. Most are not real monks, but martial arts students. Their displays are mostly circus tricks.
bltthhhhh
brainfart
Account Locked
 
Posts: 2032
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:44 pm



Return to Skepticism and Critical Thinking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: SmokingGun and 1 guest

MIB
MIB
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! MIB