It is painful to an inveterate smoker to give up smoking. It is in fact extremely painful, at least for some smokers. I read in the paper that those with a specific gene will find it five times harder to give up smoking, compared to those who don’t have this gene.
Anyway, the first week or two without nicotine feels like a terrible flu. The withdrawal symptoms are peaking on the third day. The inner voice is coming up with amazingly negative ideas. The irritation with other people is unbearable. After the third week things are getting better. However, a deep sadness can linger on for months. A new identity is gradually being formed. The smoker can no longer hang out with his old friends at the pub. He feels like a crayfish. When a crayfish grow he has to shed his old shell and wait under a rock until the new shell is formed. He is loosing all meaning to his life. He is loosing his love of other people. Then, suddenly, he finds himself smoking again."Oh Brother! This is life, isn’t it?"
"How the hell did this happen? Why did I start smoking again? What an idiot I am?"
OK, after a few months of heavy chain smoking and self loathing the smoker realizes again that he has to do something or else he will cough his lungs out. So he stops smoking again and suffers the same ordeal again, for the umpteenth time, deeply convinced that this has to be the last time. However, his life can go on like this for years, back and forth, sometimes a smoker, sometimes a non smoker.
All habits are hard to give up, thinking habits, eating habits, drinking habits
inveterate prejudices, deeply ingrained opinions, selfishness, laziness. A habit is not always a problem, though. To eat, drink and be merry can be wonderful for years but eventually the day will come when some doctor tells you that either you change your lifestyle or you will die.
Selfishness is another vice but it is seldom a problem to the selfish person. It is the people he meets who suffers.
To give up prejudices, ingrained opinions and selfishness is probably the most difficult tasks you will ever have to face in your life. They are impossible to give up, I think. It is not even worth trying. The abandonment of a prejudice or a selfish belief will happen by itself or it won’t happen at all. A deeply ingrained belief or prejudice will not be abandoned, until the believer, at the bottom of his heart, realizes that he has been all wrong.
Yes, it is hard to give up ideas. To some people it is extremely hard. Think of all those who eventually realize that the cult they belong to is destructive and evil
Some people are also born into such cults. They need professional help from mind control experts and therapists to start a new life.
What if all of us need help from mind control experts to start a new life? What if all of us belong to different kind of destructive cults? Isn't this a terrible thought?