Saturday, October 21st 2017

Pain-Body Index™

The U.S. Pain-Body Index™

The Pain Body is a term coined by the spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle. It refers to an individual’s unconscious hurt and anger — the stuff that resides in the psyche’s basement. The pain body also has a collective aspect: riots and road rage are examples of a community’s pain body flaring into the open.

In our version of the Harper’s Index, we take measure of America’s collective pain body:

100+: Rumored number of small arms in Vice President Dick Cheney’s private weapons collection, which includes antique machine guns, Lugar pistols and shot guns.

123,000: Hours the average American alive today will spend watching television over their lifetime.

750,000: Upper estimate of annual suicide attempts.

1.4 million: Violent crimes in 2005, including murder, rape and robbery.

10 million: Threshold surpassed in 2006 for number of cosmetic procedures performed by U.S. doctors on women.

100 million: Prescriptions written by physicians annually to treat depression and anxiety with Prozac, Zoloft and other serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) .

50 billion: Dollars spent by Americans each year on methamphetimines, cocaine, heroin and other illicit hard drugs.

110 billion: Dollars expended annually on alcoholic beverages.

50 %: Proportion of Americans currently married who will end up divorced.

6 in 10: Ratio of Americans who believe in the existence of the devil.


  1. NewsMax, right-wing political blog, Insider Report: Machine Gun Cheney, May 3, 2004.
  2. Nielsen; Nielsen Media Research Reports Television’s Popularity is Still Growing; Sept. 21, 2006 (estimate based on 4.5 hours of viewing per day over 75 years).
  3. National Institute of Mental Health, Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention.
  4. U.S. Department of Justice, Crime in the United States, Unified Crime Reporting Program
  5. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, America’s Approval of Cosmetic Surgery at an All-Time High, March 9, 2007
  6. The Harris Poll; The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans; December, 2005
  7. U.S. Census Bureau, 2002