An alcoholic or a nicotinist can many years after he has given up his habit experience extreme cravings for his drug. Suddenly the old tapes can start to play again. Many people have asked themselves: Is this really me that is drinking and smoking again? Isn’t that someone else, from the past? Who is that? Who is playing that old music now?
Who is the deceiver and who is the deceived in a self-deception case? Who is the judge? Who is the prosecutor, who is the defense lawyer? Whom is in the jury?
Memory is a useful thing. Once you have learned how to ride a bicycle you know how to do it for life. Even if you haven’t used a bicycle for years you won’t have any problems riding it if you have to. It is the same thing with drinking and smoking. In the right setting you would immediately blend in. This is your crowd. This is your pack. How come you left them? What an idiot you are!
The same mechanisms are operating when you give up old habitual ways of thinking, when you give up an old useless ideology or a senseless philosophy of life or whatever it is. After the Second World War many Germans had to wake up to the fact that Nazism was an appalling philosophy of life. They had to find something new. They had to and they did, but it took time. Some of them had more problems than others though. It was very had to give up what they had loved so much and devoted their life to. And some kept the core-ideology and simply gave it a new name. They are now selling the same soup but with a different brand name.
If you have a dog you know that you have to be the top dog. If the dog believes that he is the boss and you are the underdog then you will have problems. It is the same thing with the mind. You have to be the boss and the mind has to be the underdog. But who is that boss? Who are you, really? What does the sense of I consist of? Is it just an imagination?
“All the world’s a stage, and the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time play many parts”
Some people dress up as artists and some people dress up as office clerks. They start to act as artists or as office clerks; the way they express themselves changes, the way they talk, the intonation, the dialect, they way they carry themselves. Their incarnation changes gradually, their opinions and beliefs, their ideals. But who is the actor? Is there an actor? Can it be more than one actor in a human being? Are there real actors and false actors?
This is basic: We see the world through filters. A catholic has a catholic filter and an atheist has an atheistic filter. There are bourgeois filters and working-class filters and racist filters. There are thousands of different kinds of filters, but what does the world look like if you don’t see it through a filter. Is it possible to perceive reality as it is without colored glasses?
So, what am I after with all this? Well, this is what I have arrived to: It is possible to give up smoking. It is possible to give up drinking. It is possible to give up a belief, an idea, a misunderstanding. It is possible to change. It is possible for mankind to change. It is not necessary to hold on to old religions and old ways. Anything is possible.