Or at least the ones that got the most attention and memorialised in our consciousness (partially because we are horrified, but also secretly in awe that people survived these things).
Initiations involving: genital mutilation, cutting & scarring, being hung painfully suspended, death defying stunts, insect stings, being harshly isolated/outcast from family, being whipped and more.
All without anesthesia.
Once upon a time, these initiation rites and the respective pain were accepted in the tribe or community (although many done in secret sacred spaces). It was usually treated as something to be revered and a celebration.
But now, this perspective is getting less & less so. Not that I’m condoning painful and dangerous initiation rites, but it seems like it’s swung the other way.
A juxtaposition type perspective has come instead – a need to avoid pain at all cost. That pain is bad.
And yet, pain has not been avoided in our society at all. Not really.
In Australia, in 2018, 1 in 8 people live with chronic pain, 1 in 8 live with anxiety and 1 in 10 live with depression (or feelings of depression). I’m sure Australia isn’t greatly different from other first world countries in these statistics.