The other night, a friend of mine asked me how one can quit smoking. I said to her that the only way to quit smoking is to not want to quit it in the first place. We always think that addiction to smoking, drugs and alcohol is the problem, but to me, all of these things are not problems at all.
There is no harm in smoking, doing drugs or consuming alcohol as long as it is done consciously. Unfortunately, as individuals, our consciousness is like a small slit on a door through which the rays of the early morning sun pass. For a person who has never been out in the open, the small slit is the only sun which he knows of. We observe and analyse everything in life based on our limited view. All our conclusions in life are then drawn from this limited view that we have.
The reason why smoking has become a problem for so many people is due to lack of understanding. In every article that I write, I always talk about understanding and it may sound ridiculous that I keep repeating the word every time, but honestly, it does have a lot of significance.
To get rid of smoking, you first need to understand what addiction is because smoking is just an external symptom. The real problem is not smoking, but the addiction. As you are right now, and the limited amount of consciousness from which your life operates, anything in the world can become an addiction.
It is not just a selected few people in the world that are addicted. The entire world is addicted. For an unconscious individual, everything becomes a drug. It doesn’t matter whether it is alcohol, drugs, sex, or food. Anything in the world can become an addiction for an unconscious person.
The first understanding that you need to have as far as addiction is concerned is that everybody is addicted. You may or may not be titled as an addict, but that makes no difference. If you are living in unconsciousness, you are an addict.
Don’t Try to Quit Smoking:
I want to emphasise a little more on what I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Once you have understood what addiction is, then it becomes easier to understand what it means to not try to quit smoking. At first, it sounds stupid when you hear that you don’t need to try to quit smoking, because clearly, as far as your life is concerned, it has become a problem. Anything that is a problem needs to be gotten rid off immediately – this is the ordinary understanding.
The understanding of a Mystic is different in the sense that a Mystic looks at a problem from a broader perspective. The broader perspective is that when you try to quit smoking, it is almost as though your left hand is trying to win a fist fight with your right hand. When an individual tries to quit or get rid of any addiction in life, his mind is basically split into two. One part of the mind tries to get rid of the addiction whereas the other part tries to hold on to the addiction.
You cannot win a fight against your own self. It is impossible, but that is exactly what you’re doing when you try to quit smoking. The moment you understand this, you stop trying. Once you stop trying, your mind is no longer split into two. The mind then becomes one. It becomes integrated. I spoke earlier about living consciously, and all mystics right from Gautam Buddha and Mahavir to the modern day mystics such as Sadhguru, Mooji and others keep talking about it.
To have an integrated mind is the first step towards living consciously. When your mind is not fighting against itself, only then, an experience can be total.
Experiencing Life Fully:
People talk about having many experiences in life, but if they had really experienced life fully, they wouldn’t go on repeating the same things again and again. How is it that a person goes on smoking for years and is unable to quit? If he had had the experience of smoking, he would have quit smoking long ago. The fact that people remain addicted to alcohol, drugs and other forms of addiction for years only shows that they have not yet experienced life fully.
When I say that they have not experienced life fully, what I mean is that while they are involved in the act of smoking, drinking or any other activity, they are in a sort of schizophrenia. It is the same thing which I spoke about earlier where one part of your mind is in conflict with another part. This conflict is a barrier towards experience. So to experience life fully, it is important that an individual gets rid of this schizophrenia that arises out of a divided mind.
Observation is the Master Key:
While you are smoking, forget about everything else and just smoke. Do not start thinking whether what you’re doing is right or wrong. Just observe carefully what you are doing, because observation is the master key towards all understanding in life.
If you observe all your actions in life, you will automatically see the foolishness in what you’re doing. Let your observation be the decision maker of what is right and wrong. Human beings do stupid things because when they are doing a certain thing their eyes remain closed. They completely forget themselves.
To forget oneself is to avoid observation. To be conscious of oneself is to be observant. Therefore observe every action that you’re performing in life. If the action is right, you can continue to do it. If the action is wrong, there is no need to quit doing it because your observation itself will stop you from doing it.
Live Every Moment in Joy:
Unless you live life in such a way that each moment becomes joyful, addiction will be the norm. I once tried to smoke a cigarette when I was a teenager. The first puff itself was enough for me to understand the futility of it.
I have never understood the joy that people get in smoking – You cough; the smell of the smoke is irritating; you feel a burning sensation in your chest – I don’t understand how any of these things could ever be associated with joy. For a while, smoking can probably relieve your stress, but once you are done with it, the stress is back.
Your problems keep piling up while you are trying to get rid of them by smoking. Therefore, in my view, the first step that an individual needs to take in order for each moment to be joyful is to not escape from life’s problems. Face your problems with courage, and don’t find excuses to get rid of them.
Years ago, I used to love spending time drinking with my friends. I enjoyed the feeling that I got out of being drunk. The moments when I wasn’t drunk, I tried to analyse my situation. What I realised is that being unconscious was what gave me that good feeling. Being unaware of my problems is what made me feel good, but once the hangover was gone, the problems surface again.
Alcohol, drugs and smoking do not help in any way. They just help in creating a situation where you can remain more unconscious. The reason why you like to be unconscious is because you have not experienced the joy of consciousness.
The Taste of Life:
Once you have had the taste of Life, you have understood what joy is. Then, there is no need to rely on any form of addiction. The reason why you are so addicted to drugs, alcohol and all kinds of things is because you have not tasted life.
What you know as life is simply a routine. Life has become like a chore to you. The day you start to live life consciously, for the first time, life starts to develop a completely different flavour. Life no longer becomes a task to complete, but an activity that you delight in.
Once you have tasted life, then there is nothing in the world that can get you addicted. The day I started to live consciously, I was surprised that alcohol didn’t give me the same joy that it gave me years ago.
I tried to get drunk many times, but it is not the same anymore. In fact, the more I get drunk, the more miserable I feel. Years ago, the situation was completely the opposite – the more I was drunk, the happier I felt. Therefore, I avoid alcohol as much as possible – not because there is anything wrong with alcohol, but because I am not miserable anymore.
Therefore, today, I avoid alcohol as much as possible. By saying this, I do not mean that there is anything wrong with alcohol. I avoid alcohol because I am not miserable anymore. Living consciously helps you get rid of misery without any effort.
Once you have understood all of this, then there is no need to get rid of smoking or any other kind of addiction. Why? because understanding itself is liberation.
Bring consciousness and understanding to every area of your life and nothing in the world will be able to destroy you. A human being is invincible, but that entirely depends on his level of consciousness and understanding in life. A point comes where you are so conscious of everything that you transcend all misery and become absolutely invincible.
This invincible nature that is discovered is what the mystics of the world call enlightenment. Enlightenment is a state where you become invincible.
If this article has helped you in any way do let me know in the comments down below. You can also send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to share your own views on the subject of addiction.