Marnia posted a comment on my previous blog with a link to a NY Times article about Free Will and how Free Will just might be an illusion after all. I find Free Will (capitalized for emphasis) to be a fundamental concept for addiction and more importantly addiction recovery. It's always easy for a non-smoker to look at the hideous smoker and say, "Just stop smoking!" The smoker hangs his head in shame and says, "I know, I want to, and I've tried with all my might --- but I just can't". As we know, this shame and guilt inevitably leads the addict to value his/her "drug" even more as a means to "feel better" - albeit falsely and temporarily.
And that whole story reeks of the notion of Free Will. "I have the power to choose - and because of cause and effect - I am fully responsible for the consequences that will come from those choices."
However, both Marnia's "Recovery" and Allan Carr's "Easyway" methods for addiction recover (orgasm and nicotine, respectfully) seem to take Free Will out of the equation. They both do this by illuminating the physical, chemical, mental (and spiritual) effects that addictive drugs are having on our bodies. Then, only through that knowledge (and not necessarily by any will of our own) do we stop the addiction cycle and move on with our lives.
Personally, I am obsessed with phrases that start with "I should/could/would/will (not)..."
- stop smoking
- get more exercise
- be smarter
- be nicer
- have more confidence
- be more humble
- chew my food more
- listen to my body
- think more
- think less
- stop with all my negative self talk
- stop watching porn
- stop surfing the web when I should be...working/sleeping/playing/sharing
- stop reading self-help books and instead live them
- stand up for myself
- when you're at work - WORK
- be more reliable - especially at work
- find passion in your work
- quit your job because you hate it
- be more organized
- be more like….this person or that person
The list goes on and on. And if you visit www.43things.com you'll see that I am not alone. We are suffering beings - all looking to become happy and content.
I am finding that the deeper I dig to understand my own suffering - often the more I suffer (because I see all that I am not...) Could this just be part of the birthing process of transformation? That sounds nice, but I'm not so sure.
So far, my path has lead me to leaders present and past that have taken this journey before me and have made it out to the other side - alive and free. I tried the black and white world of Catholicism and decided that it was not what I needed. I needed the EXPERIENCE of freedom from within - not from a dogmatic boxed-in God. Lately, I have been turning to the eastern ways of life through Yoga and Buddhism which certainly line up with the spiritual practice which is offered in Marnia’s Peace.
Wow --- I just stopped writing to chastise myself that "This blog is too long...no one will want to read it...you've gone off topic...blah blah blah."
This is no way to live.
My thoughts, my love, my prayers go out to all the people who are suffering the way I am suffering right now. Our tears are one...