Discerning Between Now and Then

Exercises – Now is Then – From Levels of Food – School Talk #40

(*Audience participation is in parentheses–notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

Here we go with a description of the exercise – perhaps you can find a way to apply it to your own experiences.

One time I unknowingly ate a piece of tainted pie. Along with the pie I drank a cup of coffee. Before morning I had considerable physical difficulty, and that difficulty went on for many hours.

After the acute stage was over, I couldn’t stand the smell of coffee. [There was an “association” set up between the experience with the tainted pie and the coffee being consumed together]

I would drive down the street and smell coffee in people’s homes–I’d never done such before, but it kept happening. If I walked into a hotel–it was overpowering–the coffee from back there somewhere gave me horrible nausea!

Another thing that went on while I was still in that [acute physical state] was that I was to take a state board exam in New Mexico–and so I went to take the exam. I sat at the table and here’s the monitor of the exam–a lady with her coffeepot perking away right next to me. I spent more time in the wash room than I did writing the exam.

I did pass the exam, but at great agony, I will assure you! I made frequent detours. Test takers couldn’t leave until the paper was handed in. I had my “necessity” increased/! That paper was handed in in a hurry and correct–but with agony.

So finally one day I decided I didn’t want to live that way. I did like my coffee. [He decided to do an experiment to put a barrier between the “now is then” association which was creating nausea every time he was around coffee.]

I sat with a cup of coffee and a little teaspoon. I would take a half a teaspoon full of coffee and tell myself that “now wasn’t then.” It took three hours of that [procedure] before I got any “action” to understand that “now wasn’t then.”

Since then, I haven’t smelled coffee in people’s homes [with the result of nausea].


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