When the Awakened Return to Slumber
Have you or anyone you know ever successfully given up a vice, an abusive relationship with a substance or behavior via spiritual means, only to later transfer that obsession to another failing – or even have an outright relapse? Many have.
Well, what happened? There’s the botched broadening of a spiritual living that is the usual reason given. And it’s true. That’ll do it every time. But just how does that work and what can be done about it?
It isn’t uncommon for someone to experience an apparently miraculous modification in their attitude and behavior, giving up a bad habit or vice, experience the benefits of a new lifestyle, but then bizarrely just throw their newfound freedom away.
They might have what is often termed as a “spiritual awakening” experience, removing the obsessive need for whatever assuaging product has been the object of their fixation, discover the power to regulate their behavior, and begin living free of their former addiction. And yet for some inexplicable reason they relapse right back into the very same substance or behavior – or even a worse one.
Alcoholics will go to nicotine. A former nicotine addict will go to food. A gambling abuser will go to porn. Heroin addicts will go to compulsive sex or dodgy relationships. The variations of objectionable behaviors are endless. But just why this happens and how to prevent it isn’t at all complex.
When alcoholics, drug and food addicts awaken spiritually, they simultaneously get free of anger. They’re no longer subject to their emotions.
Even when emotions do crop up to tempt them, and they always do, aware individuals can step back to watch, and then effortlessly let them go. Subsequently, without that judgment, without what is playing God, their psyche comes into what I call conscious homeostasis. It is impossible to be addicted to anything in this balanced state – being in this world, yet not of it.
Then they feel right. Not justified in guilt, but free from the discomfort of a pained conscience. Not high . . . not low . . . but with an attitude of neutrality. The need for pain-relief is fully eradicated, because there’s no pain to feel. Virtue is restored. Now they lose their addictions and are fully recovered from the mental and physical disorders that are the cause of their suffering.
If they had an emotional need for food—it leaves. For alcohol—gone! Cocaine—kaput! Smoking—the need for the seductive comfort of nicotine just melts away and they can withdraw with ever having the urge resurface.
All of these are obsessions. There each cause by same thing. The solution is the same, too.
Incredibly, it is not unusual for someone to have this phenomenally liberating experience, then after just once undergoing an initial relief from the internal discomfort and a subsequent removal of obsession, still toss that awakened state away. When this happens, they immediately fall back, deeper into abuse, repeating the behavior originally driving them to seek the solution.
The problem is that getting free of anger once does not automatically mean staying free. To be durable, the freedom of spiritual recovery includes continuous watchfulness. It requires consciousness and always watching for the temptation toward emotional upset––watching only, without struggling.
The backslide-effect is also why smokers who use hypnotism or other superficial methods to quit smoking, soon smoke again or else become overweight––or why dieters going on formal regimens initially lose weight but then gain it all back, sometimes becoming heavier than before. This is the relapse experience often seen in alcohol and drug recovery programs too.
However, if they remain awakened by improving conscious contact going forward, they begin to live connected to intuitive knowing that keeps them alert to the ever-present temptations in the stream of life to judge and play God. No longer besieged by anger, they get to keep their wellness.
Such freedom is only possible once they adopt a conscious lifestyle unlocking the secret code to all obsessive behavior.
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