School Talk 57 - Addiction
(Using descriptive adjectives)
(Aims and Goals)
(everyone is a unique individual)
[brackets for clarification]
(audience participation in parenthesis)
So we’re going to talk about addictions to various and sundry chemical substances. People are addicted to caffeine. People are addicted to nicotine. People are addicted to alcohol. People are addicted to cocaine, to marijuana, to any other chemical substance that you might get; and incidentally, you can get addicted to certain foods.
Let’s say that you get addicted to wheat. You simply couldn’t get by a meal without a good piece of bread. But usually it will give you some good decided symptoms if you do eat it. That’s possible in many cases. So people find that they’re addicted to almost anything you could come up with.
Now when we say addiction, we mean that the person is gong to great extremes to obtain whatever it is they’re addicted to. If I just ‘like’ something and find I can’t have it today; but that I can leave it off, or I can have it tomorrow or forget about it then too, then I’m not addicted—but if we’re addicted, we’re going to have it on a regular basis—no matter what. If it’s going to cost more than I’ve got, I’m going to find a way to steal to get it, or I will find some other method. So most everybody is well acquainted with the chemical addictions the various and sundry chemicals that people are addicted to. So we’re going to talk and spend most of our time talking about addictions that very few people have ever realized they’re addicted to.
They’re addicted to various and sundry responses to emotions. Now we seldom think of anybody addicted to having certain emotions. Have you thought of that very often? No, you probably wouldn’t think of that one? But people are addicted to having certain emotions, and it’s for the same reason they are addicted to certain chemicals. You’ve probably rarely noticed that our greatest attribute for survival is adaptation.
In other words, if I go out in the hot sun, I adapt by getting some tan on me. And then when I don’t go out in the hot sun, why the tan fades away. I don’t need it any longer. So that adaptation goes away. If I take some noxious chemical into my system, the first reaction of the body is to try to eliminate it—throw it out--you may even vomit. You may have diarrhea. You may have a sweat. You may have a fever, but if you’re addicted, you will keep on using that chemical—very shortly the body builds an antidote to it--and it builds it on an expectation basis. If you’ve been having double martinis at 5:00 every afternoon, it doesn’t take very long until 5:00 comes and you get the “antsies” to get the double martini. It doesn’t take very long, because the body builds this chemical that’s going to counteract the effects of it; and so then by adaptation, we have to have that chemical.
Now this is where people are addicted to all sorts of things. If anybody has tried to give up one of those chemical addictions, you know what you go through with trying to get rid of it. Did you ever try to quit smoking? How’d it work? Tell me?
(Not very well.)
In other words you found that you have a craving.
So if you smoke a cigarette every 15 minutes, every 15 minutes you have a wild craving. And if you smoke a cigarette, it is all fine for 15 minutes and then you get another craving--it’s all right because your body has prepared. It waits and then builds this antidote every 15 minutes all day long. Now, it also is smart enough that it doesn’t build it every 15 minutes all night because you can lay down and sleep all night and don’t have to have a cigarette. So you quit smoking every day and it doesn’t bother you one iota because that is not in the body’s expectation, do you see. That’s why you didn’t wake up every fifteen minutes and have a cigarette all night. Otherwise, you see, you would because it’s on a time basis.
Now when you’re up of a morning, the first thing one needs, of course is a cigarette and a cup of coffee—two of them, nicotine and caffeine. They go together real well. And so you’ve got to have it, is that right? But you didn’t think of cigarettes nor coffee all night long. You slept eight hours just like a little babe because it’s not time for that. So our adaptation is time based.
If you have the drink—the double martinis every day at 5:00, it only builds the antidote at 5:00. So it’s not just a dumb reaction, it is a highly intelligent arrangement that the body adapts, and it produces the thing it requires. Now this fact of adaptation (which we couldn’t survive unless it was active) is also the source of where we become addicted to various and sundry substances and situations.
Now we’re going to talk about the emotions that people become addicted to. I’m sure that nobody here is addicted to any emotion, but we do possibly know a few people somewhere that have one or more of these. So we’re only going to talk about these addictions. One very common addiction is to worry.
You can worry about almost anything if you so choose, is that right? You can also let it alone if you want to. Now if you worry frequently through the day, pretty soon the body does a response for that emotion. When you’re worrying, you produce certain hormones in response to the worry which says, “We got to go hide.”--we got to run. So the body has two basic defenses for external affairs—one is to fight and the other one is to run.
The victim rolls up in a ball and sees themselves as a victim. If they run, they’re going to see themselves as being victimized. If they fight, they’re going to see themselves as victimized. One sees self as victimized with either fight or run.
So worry means you got to run because there’s’ going to be some impending doom come upon you. And when a person gets to worrying, they build this hormone. At first it makes you sick to worry. Did you ever hear a person say, “I’m sick with worry?” At first it gets you sick, but pretty soon you’re addicted—then you can’t live without worrying. So you’re going to find something to worry about all day long. If business slows down, you worry because you’re not going to have the money to pay the bills, is that right? And if business is extremely good, you worry how are you going to manage the tax bill.
Am I correct?
You worry just the same. So you’re hooked on the hormones that the body produces in response to the inner feeling of worry, ok?
Now there are other people that are addicted to anger and they’re going to find something to be “ticked off” about all day long. Now if there’s something that’s happening that they didn’t like, they can be ticked about that, right? And if nobody does anything, they’re ticked because nobody came around today. Is that right?
You’re acquainted with that particular syndrome. But the person is addicted. Now one of the most common addictions that I run into in my everyday working is people addicted to being victimized.
Now a person, who is going to be victimized, is going to be victimized today. They are going to feel like they are a victim. They’re a victim of pain. They’re a victim of being ignored. They’re a victim of rejection. They’re a victim of overwork.
If they’re not working, they’re a victim of unemployment. You know they’re going to be a victim. You can’t get around it--no matter what, no matter how—it’s going to be they feel like a victim, come hell and high water. They’re going to feel victimized in some way. Now do any of you know anybody like that? Any of you happen to run into anybody anywhere that no matter what, they’re going to be a victim.
I know one lady who is a victim of alcoholic husbands. She’s married five in a row. Now she survived each one of them, eight or nine years a piece with all the agony and the misery of having an alcoholic husband—very pathetic. Finally she leaves them—you know what she does? She has a date with another one next week, and she tells me this man’s not drinking. He’s not a drinker—but he’s a sot--a “hung up” alcoholic. He’s addicted to alcohol. I could see it. And I said, “Well, it looks to me like he drinks a lot.” “Oh no, he’s not.” She marries him and then she discovers that he’s an alcoholic. Now this has been going on since she was 18, and she is now kicking about 50. She’s never been without an alcoholic husband except for a very few weeks, and she was going with one of them even then. So she’s victimized.
Now I know more than one of these kinds of ladies. I won’t tell you how many, but I know a considerable number of ladies who are married to wife beaters. Now I don’t know whether this particular lady I have in mind knew he was a wife beater when she got ‘em, or whether she forced it upon him. But in observing her, there is no way the guy was going to manage that she was not going to be beaten every few days. This has been going on for a long, long time, and she stays with one for a considerable length of time. Now no woman has to put up with a wife beater.
Back in Kentucky one time, we had a lady came in who had her nose all swept over to one side and black eyes--she wanted me to straighten her up, so I did the best I could. She got all right. I said, “Why are you going to live with a man who beats you up.” She said, “Oh, I love him, and he won’t ever beat me anymore.” And I said, “How do you know?” She said, “Oh I know.” About two or three weeks later I had a call at 3:00 am and it was her house—come immediately! She was the one who made the call, so I figured she’d gotten beaten up again. So I went out there; and she lets me in the front door and she looks fine. She said it’s not me, it’s my husband. So he’s lying in the bed. She had taken an old black iron skillet and filled it about half full of pig lard and she heated it to the boiling point and poured it on his belly—right smack here. Well, it was pretty well cooked—skin was going in all directions. She said, “I told you he wouldn’t beat me anymore because he’ll know from now on he can’t out sleep me.” “He can’t get along without sleep, so he won’t ever beat me anymore.” He healed up in a few weeks. He looked like Adam. He didn’t have a belly button but otherwise, he was all right. And she didn’t have to put up with a wife beater and neither does anybody else. Now anybody can pour grease on a guy’s belly when he’s asleep. Any of you could do that.
And I have jillions of men who are victim of, shall we say, discrimination of one form or another. They’re always being victimized. So it’s not always the women. Men are also victimized by nagging wives and all these endless number of ways that people are victimized because if one is hung up on being a victim, I guarantee you, there are many ways to be victimized. You hear plenty of them, do you not, in your field of endeavor? Most of them are victims, aren’t they? Well, I’m saying there that they are addicted to it.
Now we can go through all the technical know-how of trying to get the person to see. We can reason with them. We can make logic and we can do everything under the sun, but that person is still going to have themselves in that position, no matter what? They’re going to be victims, huh? Have you found that somewhat? They’re going to be victims of something or someone. Now if this case disappears, they got another reason to be a victim in a few days. Have you noticed that? And so it goes. So here is another addiction and a very common one. A very big one.
We can also get addicted to various and sundry sensations. Let’s take pleasurable sensations of any kind. Now most everybody feels that whatever they do, today is supposed to bring about all the four dual basic urges. You know what the four dual basic urges are?
The urge to gain pleasure and escape all pain. Gain attention and escape being ignored. Gain approval and escape being disapproved of and gain a sense of importance and escape all feeling of non-importance.
Now people hunt for these as a constant thing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. I think that a man named Thomas Jefferson wrote in a declaration of independence that we could pursue it. He didn’t say anything about catching and keeping it. He just said we could pursue it—is that what it says? It’s just the pursuit of happiness. Now you can pursue it all you want to, just don’t expect to catch it because you’re only going to catch an infinitesimal bit. If you get it by the tip of its tail, you’re doing pretty good. You’re not going to get the whole tiger; and it won’t be permanent—only fleeting..
So people spend endless hours and endless amounts of money—wreck their health and their livelihood and everything else pursuing the four dual basic urges.
We’re all addicted to the four dual basic urges. No use haggling around about that. As long as we remember, “Well, I’m addicted to it, but I don’t expect to catch it all the way--permanently.” We never get enough of it stored up that we can get along without it because we’ve all been getting along without it. We’ve all had some pain. We’ve all had some being ignored. We’ve all had some rejection. We’ve all had some disapproval and we’ve all had the sense of feeling unimportant in this universe. If you check it out, at least the size of it, we’re not even a speck on the speck. So you know, we’re not so important. I don’t think anything would miss us very much if we weren’t on the speck. It would be all right, you know, maybe two or three people would miss us for a few days, but after that, I’d just be gone.
So let’s take what we would look at and say that I am hooked on having the four dual basic urges, ok? Now the major occupation of some is that sex will gratify the four dual basic urges. Sex is here to stay. Let’s don’t get that wrong. It’s here and it’s going to stay. But we expect way too much of sex, and are addicted to wanting too much of it. Sex is wonderful and it’s nice, but it’s not going to give you the four full basic urges totally and permanently--I guarantee you! Thank goodness it doesn’t because just imagine if you had sex once and it was totally and permanently gratified you—then the fun’s over with forever. About right? It’s all over. So thank goodness it’s partial and temporary, but nobody ever stops to think of that.
So these people are addicted to the pursuit of happiness, but what they’re really in pursuit of is sex and a partner that would provide permanent gratification of the four dual basic urges—but there’s always found to be a little bit of lack of those four dual basic urges—no matter what. Sex is wonderful. It’s delightful. It’s here to stay, but you’re not going to get the four dual basic urges totally and permanently and completely from it. So the person gets addicted to the pursuit of it. When you’re pursuing, you may get some that pleases you for a few days, but soon you can find a little flaw in it somewhere. I’ve heard from the same person—too much, too little, too frequently, to infrequent and too long and too short--and a whole bunch of other objections of how it’s not quite right. I’ve heard these from men and women over and over. There is always something wrong after a little bit of—so then they complain.
Now complaining is another very excellent addiction because when you’re complaining, the body goes through certain traumatic change to prepare to fight or run. Complaining says this is a bad world, it’s a bad thing to be in, everything’s wrong. I guess the best way of stating it is that the “world’s going to hell with its back broke”, and I’m in a worse shape. So we have this to complain about—what can you name?
Let’s start with government, that’s a good easy one. Everybody’s got some of that around and that’s a good easy one to complain over.
We can complain about mates if we have one. If we don’t have one, we can complain because we don’t have one. Have you ever heard both sides of that one? So what.
We can complain because we have too much to eat when we’re well fed because we’ll get fat. We can complain if we’re hungry, and we can complain if we have a pain. If we didn’t have pains, the body would not be adapting some way or other to various and sundry strenuous situations.
I hear of a person every once in a while that’s very very ill and then all adaptations suddenly quit—in a few hours they die. The person comes out of a coma or a semi-coma. They sit up, recognize the relatives and talk; and the relatives think they’re getting better. Now anybody who’s in the know knows they’re going to die in a few hours because the adaptations quit. So one of the biggest sources for adaptation that goes on is the adaptation to the constant complaining. The person doesn’t even know they’re complaining. They have a craving not to complain, but due to the hormones and the addition that only comes when they do complain, the adaptation is needed for balance. They complain during the day--like I mentioned about the process with cigarettes--and again, the antidote to complaining doesn’t work at night. They don’t wake up through the middle of the night and complain because the antidote is not programmed in there through the sleeping hours.
So when we begin to look at the real situation we discover that we live on planet earth and there is nothing here that is going to gratify me totally and permanently—thank goodness. I’m glad when I eat—I’m hungry and I eat a good meal and I’m totally satisfied. So then I’m not hungry at that time, but thank goodness I get hungry again later.
When I’ve had a lot of attention and approval, I’m well fed up with it for the time being, but thank goodness it wears out and I can get some more later; and I can go out and rummage around a little bit to get some more of it. I don’t have to work too hard for it. The same with everything else.
Now the only way to get out of an addiction is to first recognize we’re addicted. I have worked with innumerable alcoholics over the years and every one of them told me they could stop any time they wanted to. They all told me they could do that—right quick—nothing to it. Nothing to it—they’re not addicted. And they will not agree they’re addicted until they are in a very extreme situation.
Now the organization called alcoholics anonymous which does a great job with them will not work with a person unless they first admit they’re hooked. If they said, “Well, I want to quit, I know its causing trouble<” and they say “Well, are you addicted to the stuff.” “Oh no, no—I can quit any time, but you know I really don’t want to”—AA won’t work with them under those conditions. When he once admits he’s addicted, they’ll go to work and they can get him sober in a very reasonable short period of time and keep him that way—well, as long as he continues to be associated with them anyway.
So the first step in handling any addiction whether it is chemical or emotional or situation that we find ourselves in--the first thing is to recognize I’m addicted. That’s the first thing out.
Now the next thing is then to see you want to do something about the addiction—whatever it may be. We’re not saying the addiction is good and we’re not saying it’s bad. We’re not making a justification condemning or justifying it. Only the person with the addiction knows whether it’s causing them any trouble or not, right? The rest of us can see it very easily, but only the person with the addiction can determine whether it’s causing them any problem. If you’re addicted to coffee and it doesn’t cause you any difficulty—so what. Let’s go ahead and be addicted, who cares, it’s not hurting you. You got a certain amount of adaptation going on and the adaptation keeps it within design, and so what. Certain people can handle alcohol and maybe they’re addicted, but they get along all right with it—it’s not causing any difficulties in their life. I’m not saying “Well, quit.”
Certain people are addicted to worry; and if they can get along with it and feel fine and like it, that’s good. But if they want to really do anything about it and live peacefully, the first step out is to say, “I’m addicted to worrying.”
Now when you see you’re addicted to it, it ceases to be so valuable. In other words before you recognize you’re addicted, something is working on you. This worried me. She worried me. The situation worries me. The fact that there are atom bombs in the world worries me.
Now can you keep from worrying? You can go on and on with that one if you want to. It says, “Well, I’m addicted.” Now you’ve discovered that you are finding these things to worry about. I can worry that the tire’s going to wear out. I can worry about having a flat tire between here and yon. I can worry about my business is going to fall apart at the seams. I worry, afraid that…………………there’s just no telling what people find to worry about--you name it.
My mother was a professional worrier. She was highly addicted. She tried to teach it to me, and she did a pretty good job for a long time. I’ve seen her sit on a lovely summer afternoon, when everything was pretty well done on the place, and look out across the hills at the blue hills of Appalachia in the background. Then she’d say, “I’m sure feeling very uneasy, everything’s going too good.” “I know something terrible is going to happen.”
So you can worry because things are going too good--seeing it as an omen of doom. Something terrible is going to happen real soon because if it’s been good, it’s bound to fall apart at the seams. So you can go through all the turmoil, addiction, conflict, and worry that anyone goes through, but you can, if you care to, see I’m addicted to this foolishness.
Now if I could offer a little suggestion, it would be that we could kind of check up to see what all we’re addicted to. It doesn’t mean that if I find I’m addicted to something, I’m going to change it. If I don’t think it’s bothering me; and it doesn’t hurt anyone else around me, I don’t know why I’d even want to quit. It’s all right; I’m addicted to something, that’s fine.
Most people tell me they would like to have peace of mind. Has anybody here figured that would be kind of a worthwhile thing? Pat, did you ever figure that would be all right? Vivo, you’d like that? Patti would like to have that. So you don’t have peace of mind while you’re worried, aggravated or feeling like a victim--any of those other unpleasant emotions we talk about? You don’t feel peace of mind, correct? Then if peace of mind is something you’d like to have and you’re addicted, then first you would observe for a while and see that you’re addicted to worry, anxiety, to pursuits, to struggle—what ever one. We each have our little favorites—you know—there are a jillion of them. I’m not going to name every one. We all know pretty well what we’re hooked on huh? And when we see that, then we say I’m addicted.
So you have then taken some responsibility for the situation. Now never before until you say that you’re addicted have you taken any responsibility for it. You’ve blamed it on something else, is that right? Very few people who smoke as many as five packs of cigarettes a day would admit that they are addicted, huh? That right Bon.
You’d say anytime you can quit, whenever you want to—you say, “I like it.” You only find out that you’re hooked when you try to leave it off, right Linda?
That’s when you find out about it. But then you don’t want to admit that, so you go on and cover it up and say, “Well, I’d rather smoke.”
So being responsible (able to respond) comes when you see that something is detrimental to you, and you discover that you’re addicted—then you can proceed to do something about it. It takes some attention and making up the mind over a period of time, but it can be done. But without being honest with yourself, that I’m hooked, I’m addicted to it—there’s no way out. No way out at all.
Now we’re not addicted to food in a general sense. We may be addicted to one or two kinds of food. We’re not addicted to sex because sex exists now and then; but we can perform certain arrangements with it that we become addicted to--those because they’re exciting.
And we can become addicted to excitement. Now this is a very strong addiction that is prevalent in the world today. Any of you been to a rock concert. Vivo, you ever been to a rock concert.
Thank goodness, but you know of people who have been. Now we probably have seen some of them at least on television or somewhere, is that right? You get very hooked on that excitement. You can get hooked on any excitement.
If you play certain music, it is soothing to you, is that right? You can play some “catchy” music and you find yourself tapping your toes to it; or you can play exciting music, is that right? I know a lady who runs her vacuum to exciting classical music so it goes faster. I also know a young woman who jogs to rock music on her walkman. You could also play a dirge. You can see people slugging through the snow carrying a heavy coffin on they’re shoulder going to a funeral in half darkness and feel every bit of it with the music played. So much of the music on TV these days is excitement. If you don’t watch the picture, you can feel how the music is affecting you and it certainly isn’t peace of mind.
And so we can become addicted to excitement—very common one these days because if you’re not constantly being excited, you feel you’re bored, huh?
(I’ve observed that.)
You’ve seen that around have you not?—you’ve observe a couple of teenagers—is that right? And if there isn’t some excitement, they’re bored sitting around looking at Mama or each other and wanting to be entertained with some excitement, is that right? They’re very bored. Your kids get bored? They’re boredom level is almost as short as mine. I’m very easily bored, but I don’t have to have excitement.
So we don’t have to have excitement, but many people are addicted to it. We’re addicted to entertainment. Now one of the big things that addiction to excitement or entertainment blocks is evolving, right? But if you’re constantly distracted with noise, with music, with pictures, with whatever, could you ever concentrate?
Can you concentrate and be distracted at the same time-impossible, isn’t it? So the very thing that we hold up as being essential to evolving is concentration—at least one of them, right? There’s also meditation or just a quiet mind. And if you’re constantly distracted, could you do much meditation. Could you meditate and be constantly distracted? Pretty hard isn’t it? Doesn’t work very well. And we can’t concentrate if we’re distracted all the time. Now what do we use for distractions.
There are a jillion different things that goes on, huh? Very few people can feel real comfortable with themselves. That’s one thing we’re not addicted to very much. Now we may be addicted to putting out a false image of self to others. You heard people talk and talk giving you the impression that “I’m a big shot”. “I can do all this.” “I can do all that.” “I know all about this, that or the other.” One may be addicted to that because it temporarily gives a thrill or a feeling of importance. “I’m trying to convince everybody what an important or intelligent person I am,” Most of us find one or more people that we can hardly stand to be around--that’s these kinds of people. You like just being alone by yourself a long time Randy?
Sometimes. Not very often. How about you?
(I like it pretty well.)
So do you like your own self pretty good? Do you like “you” pretty good or are you……
Very bored in your own company. That’s one that we’re not usually addicted to is self. So when we begin to look at the situation, we see that before we can do much evolving, we need to check up and see “What am I addicted to?”
It’s not good; it’s not bad, it’s not wrong, it’s not right. It’s only do I want to evolve, and any addictions will interfere with it. Now it’s not that the addiction is good or bad, or right or wrong or any of that sort of thing. We’re not talking about that at all. We’re talking about something that interferes with my evolvement. And the thing that is somewhat necessary for evolvement is the ability to concentrate or the ability to be totally quiet for a while, and we can’t do that with all these other things running through our head.
Now I couldn’t be a victim and concentrate, huh? The mind is too busy. In other words all these emotional situations that we talked about keeps us very busy within. It’s just going blah, blah, blah. They tell us about the right brain and a left brain, but I think they’re spinning in opposite directions. They very seldom harmonize. We talk about the term integration meaning get it all together; but if one side of the head is thinking on something, and the other side’s going somewhere else, is the mind quiet? If we got one addiction, we usually got two or three, or many more.
So if we’ll observe and check to see the addictions, then the mind becomes somewhat quieted down—not totally to begin with, but we can start in that direction. When it starts being quiet, then we can start concentrating. We can pay attention to one thing. We can cogitate something. We can continue to think a subject all the way through. We can look at it from many sides and many angles. But if I’m going to be distracted every minute, I’ll never get past the first one.
Sometime if you’d like to see what’s going on, it’s interesting to create that little point of awareness--even if just temporarily. Set that point of awareness out there and watch what thoughts run through the head. It’s rather surprising how many, how fast and how changing it is--that we call dis-identifying.
They have computers sitting around here. Randy likes to play with this computer, but did you know that the human mind is running faster than that computer, no matter if you buy the biggest one out. Even if we get Perry’s back there. It’s a slow motion compared to how many thoughts you can have in a few minutes. He has one of those big expensive ones—real efficient, you know. It’s smarter than he is. He already found that out. But how long could you work if you had a computer, Perry, that did like the human mind does—jump from this to that to the other thing instantaneously and twenty different ones in total contradiction. How would the thing work?
It would blow to pieces.
And another little thing some of us are addicted to is asking “why”. Whenever anything comes up, we got to know “why”, why, why, why. Now that gives you another anxious inner feeling, but also feeling of importance—you feel that you’re really digging into deep things. But you see the human brain is set up so that it can retrieve information that has been recorded. Further, it can’t originate new information from something that hasn’t been recorded. You may put together two recorded things and come out with a third, or you may put six things together and come out with another one, but for something that’s totally not recorded in your brain, the brain can’t handle.
So when you say, “Why did she do that?”—that’s not recorded in your head, right? It’s just not there. So that little “why” guy begins knocking on the door of every little brain cell and says, “Why did she do that?” And the brain says, “Search me,” “Search me.” “Search me.” And this why question goes around to each brain cell and when it gets through, it starts all over again. Now that in computer terminology is called an infinite loop, isn’t it Perry?
(An open loop.)
An open loop or an infinite loop, and it just keeps running, doesn’t it?
Now if you had 5,000 of those running in your computer, could it have much space for anything else?
It’s kind of blocked or locked up.
(It’s too busy.)
And when we have at least 5,000 “Why did this happen,” “Why did that happen?” “Why’d it happen?” “Why me, Oh Lord?” It could go on and on and on and we have all these useless quests running on and on in there. No wonder we’re confused because those thought are still running in the infinite loop. Once it’s put in there, it’s still looking for it until we can see the fallacy of the question.
Now you can stop that only by seeing that all “why” questions have no answer recorded in your head. Now there’s a lot of stuff recorded in there, but that “why” is not recorded. So you can stop about 5,000 open loops, infinite loops at one time. Would that restore the efficiency of the brain somewhat? You got a computer. Would you continue to allow thousands of unanswerable questions to go on in there when the answers are not recorded in there? You can’t use it because its looping and looping, is that right? Makes it inapplicable to anything worthwhile, correct?
So we wonder why we don’t accomplish too much.
So you can stop about 5,000 open loops, at one time. Would that restore the efficiency of the brain somewhat? You got a computer? Would you ask your computer to do thousands of unanswerable things that are not recorded in there? Makes it inapplicable to anything else, and results in a big waste of time not to mention the frustration, correct?
So we wonder why we don’t accomplish too much.
I’ve heard lots of people that say, “Well, I know I have the education.” “I know I have the talent.” “I know I have the ability, why can’t I get going.” Now they got another infinite loop started. That’s a whole set of others in there. One more set of “why” question. “Why is this happening to me?”
You heard about the nice little Jewish gentleman in New York that had all kinds of bad luck? Did you hear about him Vivo? When anything could go wrong, it did. He was an outstanding example of Murphy’s Law. When they had to repair the street, it was always in front of his little store. So he would say “Why me.” “Why me.” “Why me.” He got no answer, but would go on and on. Once he went down to work and the big water main in the back of the store had broke out and made a big flood which had washed out all the merchandise, all the fixtures--everything was out in the street—all was ruined and nobody else’s store was hurt. So he said, “Why me, oh Lord, “Why me.” He sat and prayed for hours, but nothing happened. So he went out about his business and somebody came along and said, “Abe, I know you and your family are in an extreme situation, so we’re going to try to do something about it.” So they brought him over some groceries and said, “We’re going to look for a job for you.” Well, the house burned down--everything they had except the clothes on his, his wife’s and the kid’s back was burned—was gone. Well, he sat in the front yard and he prayed all night, “Why me, Oh Lord, why me.” He prayed all the next day and into the next night, and finally there was a booming voice from the heaven that said, “Oh Abby, I don’t know, It’s just something about you ticks me off.”
So you see, even the good Lord doesn’t know the answer to a why question. So, even he didn’t know why it was, he just ticked Him off. So we don’t have any room for all these “why” questions.
Now it does give us a sense of profundity to be asking why. We think we’re very profound, but it really prevents anything from happening in the now--in other words we can’t do something about “what is” right now. In addition, we’re gradually using up the capacity of the brain. We’ve got infinite loop after infinite loop--open loops going through there. What it does to the computer, it also does to the brain.
(It’s not good for anything.)
That’s what happens to you. It’s just the way it works. Just something about asking “why” questions ticks that computer off.
All right, I think I’ve rattled on long enough here, and so we’re going to take questions. We’re going to give Leland first shot because he has his organized. Everybody else will have to think of theirs. Leland works a month to get the appropriate questions for a time. All right. Fire away.
(This is absolutely on target. Ok, psychologically, how does procrastination come into being and what keeps it going--even when one recognizes it as self defeating, How can one end it?)
We can be very addicted to procrastination. I have a sign in here on the wall that says: “I’d like to procrastinate, but I haven’t had time to get around to it yet.” So procrastination is an addiction.
We have a very strange feeling when we’re putting things off. It’s an unhappy-type feeling, but it produces certain hormones, and we get addicted to these and so we become addicted to procrastinating.
Do you procrastinate?
Once in a blue moon. Now if you only do it now and then or here and there—occasionally--you’re not addicted. But if we do it as a consistent way of life, which most of us good procrastinators do, we get hooked on it just like we get hooked on coffee or alcohol or anything else because the procrastination brings on a strange heavy feeling in our solar plexus when you’re putting it off. Is that right? Did you ever procrastinate?
Very unpleasant feeling, isn’t it?
And the more you procrastinate, the more you put it off, is that right also? You don’t say, “Well, I want to get rid of this feeling and jump up and do it—no way—no way!
So it’s an addiction.
(What happens if you have that feeling and you’re pathetical—and you enjoy the feeling?)
Well, I said if you enjoy it, you’re failing to look at the fact that you are addicted. Because everybody says, “Well, I enjoy this even though it’s making them very ill.” That’s a fact, isn’t it? Do you enjoy smoking cigarettes?
Even though sometimes you cough your head off, you say what?
(I say I enjoy it, I don’t want to quit. I enjoy it.)
Right, no matter how hard you’re fighting with it. You can wake up in the early morning with a taste in your mouth like the Russian Army had just walked through or just took a rest break in the same place; and still say, “I enjoy it.” That right?
Go ahead, next question here?
(So you recognize that you’re addicted.)
And then say that if you’re addicted, you determine whether you want to do something about it. It’s very easy, believe it or not, once you have recognized you’re addicted to it. Not just agreeing you are, but recognizing yes, I’m hung up on this one. I’m going to do it when it’s not to my advantage. I’m doing it no matter what the cost, and on and on and on.
We can procrastinate about anything, and we can find any excuse for it. Just like the guy that’s hooked on hard drugs can find more excuses as to why it’s that way. He tells me about a terrible pain he has, or he got started when we had a pain. You’ve all heard the many justifications. Anybody that’s been around hard drug users knows all the justifications, right? They got a justification for every reason to stop. They’re totally not responsible.
The first step of responsibility is saying I’m addicted. And once you begin to accept responsibility for anything, you find how easy it is. As long as you don’t accept responsibility, it is—would you say impossible—unless you look them up.
My cousin was, for many years, the director of the Federal Narcotic Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Ever hear of that place over there—it’s a biggie. And they had people there that didn’t want to quit. Somebody else had put them in there. They locked them up and gave them the cold turkey withdrawal. They were kept there three years with no drugs. My cousin told me over and over that most of them were back on it before they got to Louisville which was 60 miles away and 30% of them were back on drugs before they got downtown Lexington. He said there are guys waiting out there saying “What do you need friend.” as he comes out the door--and he’s ready to get it.
And so they have never taken responsibility for it.
Now I’ve worked with many people that were for one reason or another on hard drugs. Most of them were in a hospital for a long operation and got morphine for the pain afterward. But once that patient said, “I’m addicted to the stuff.” it was easy to get off without all that hard cold turkey withdrawal to get rid of it. So with addiction, the first step is, I’m addicted to it.
(Now is there a psychological change which comes from the recognition.)
There’s a psychological change that made it, and then there’s the psychological and physical and spiritual. We’re one unit even though we have tried our best to tear ourselves apart. We’re still one unit. In other words, if I stomp your toe, you have mental anguish, huh? And If I force mental anguish on you, pretty soon you will have physical pain and so on down the line. We are not separate pieces. We are one unit. Hard to believe because everybody studied it. They divided it up. You know they sat around, the “four big wheels” of the manmade world and said this one’s yours, this one’s yours—but, in fact, we’re still a unit.
(Did you say that different addictions bring on adaptation with different hormones?)
Sure so the person gets addicted to that hormone. So if I’m fighting one, I’ve got one set of addictions, one set of hormones. I get hooked on them.
And when I take responsibility for it, I can begin to move it. Without taking responsibility, there’s nothing that I’ve ever seen that you can do; and very little anybody else can do. They can force you, but force doesn’t change anybody from anything. That doesn’t change anything. I could be locked up and take all my cigarettes away; and I wouldn’t smoke for a while. But that wouldn’t be the point. I’d still be looking for one—desperately—and so on down the line, ok?
(Ok, let’s take the next one here. You noted that pleasure is a by-product which comes…)
…….indirectly as a result of living in a harmonious way. I don’t know that I said pleasure. I probably said happiness or peace of mind or well being feelings. More than likely it’s pleasurable, yeah. It is obvious, however, that we seek pleasure directly in many ways—the taste of good food, the sound of fine music, the satisfaction of pleasant sex, the reward of good companionship and so on.
(At what point or in what way, then, may pleasure become a barrier to one’s relationship with it?)
Any time that pleasure is not a by-product, but is something that I go out hunting for. When I go out hunting for it, I changed it into my “god”, and now I’m trying to union with it. If I am doing something and pleasure is a by-product, wonderful; but I wouldn’t see pleasure as an idol. That’s what it is. People make it into an idol. So the four dual basic urges is a very big idol in the world. Now all of those are pleasant and nice if they’re by-products.
If my lifestyle brings me a certain amount of pleasure and comfort as a by-product, it brings me a certain amount of attention and approval and feeling of being useful, that’s all as a by-product.
But if I set out to go get any of those, I have made it into an idol and says, this is what’s valuable in the world, and I don’t think that one would be an integrated person in that respect, ok?
(You could say, then, that it’s necessary to give up the achievement of the goal of having the pleasure—that is if you go out...)
..And struggle for it. If I went out to get it.
Now, if I’m doing something and I find this feels pretty good…. Say I like to cook, for instance. Every now and then I cook and it turns out delicious--it smells real good and I get pleasure out of it. But if I say I’m going to cook myself pleasure, no—that’s not why I cook. I cook so that somebody can enjoy good food. It’s purely a by-product if I happen to have pleasure. So you never really experience pleasure until it’s really a by-product, not an effort to gain. You’ve really never had wonderful pleasure, the pleasure that can exist when it’s a by-product—as long as one was pursuing pleasure.
I have had occasion to work with a great number of people who tell me their problems. One of the big problems is over sex. They go out trying to find pleasure over sex. Well pleasure is an expression of affection. Sex can be an expression of affection for another person. If it is the by-product of pleasure—it is pretty wonderful. If it is only pursued for gonna get some pleasure, it gets very old, very rapidly. I think anybody can tell you that one.
(No part of the process is surrender of.)
It’s the surrender for the desire of the four dual basic urges and taking that on as your purpose in living. We always talk about a new purpose, huh? A purpose to make a contribution to life, to be as harmless as possible, and to be what to me is a good guest. If I take on just what to me is being a good guest, I got it all taken care of. I don’t have to worry about all the others. I don’t think about having pleasure, but I do think about living in a way that I am being what, to me, is being a good guest. I think we’d find it to our advantage to just change that one thing instead of trying to achieve, get or escape the four dual basic urges.
I set out daily to be what, to me, is being a good guest. I think that most people would have pleasure beyond any comprehension if they ever experienced pleasure as a by-product to their efforts of being a good guest or contributing to a pleasant mood wherever they were. In fact, I know that. I’ve tried both ways. I tried them both. I tried gaining pleasure and it all turned into smoke, sludge, ashes, what-have-you; and I have been attempting to the best of my ability to live what to me is being a good guest for quite a number of years, and I sure wouldn’t want to trade back, ok?