Physical pain as we can see is vital for our physical survival. How about emotional pain? Can the same principle apply? Emotional pain can be likened to thorn stuck in the lion’s paw in the story of “Androcles and the Lion.” Androcles takes shelter in a cave that turns out to be the cave of a wounded lion. Androcles removes a large thorn from the lion’s foot pad, forces pus out of the infected wound and bandages it. The lion recovers and becomes tame toward Androcles and starts acting like a domestic dog towards him. The cave in this story is a metaphor for the subconscious mind, because caves are dark and deep and so can the subconscious be. The lion is Androcles animal spirit (his inner monkey) and the thorn is the emotional pain he is suffering. Androcles needs to be careful in approaching the wounded animal, he needs to be careful as he uncovers his emotional pain and needs to force the pus out. The forcing of the pus out can be quite painful and many of our inner lions prefer to walk about wounded with emotional thorns rather than dealing with draining the emotional pus. Dealing with emotional pain is a metaphorically likened to dealing with a wounded lion, it requires courage. It feels as if death can result if we are not careful. The reward is having our own personal pet lion. Who does not want to have a pet lion? No one will mess with us when they see us rolling with our pet lion. We can all have our own personal pet lions if we choose to remove our emotional thorns, force the pus out and bandage our emotional wounds.
Suppressing emotions with cigarettes is an efficient and legal way to not feel emotions in the immediate now. We stuff our emotions deep down in the subconscious with the hazy smoke of the cigarette. We can decide to not feel, we think we are in control. We can decide when to feel, we think we are in control. We use the varying dosages of NRP, we think we are in control. The monkey feels is in control and it feels great. This set up is almost perfect, if it weren’t for the simple fact that we don’t have control. We were only living with an illusion of control. The tobacco corporations are in control and they are taking our money, one cigarette at a time.
The brain is amazing at storing images and symbols and creating impossible connections of those images and symbols forming the most bizarre ideas. An example of this is the golden arches of McDonald’s, we all know how it looks, and we can almost taste that juicy wonderful big Mac when we imagine the arches. Some of us will shriek at the sight of the golden arch because it’s a reminder of the ungodliness of the fast food industry. For the uninformed, children, the golden arch is a symbol of yummy good food and a great time in the playground. We see an image of a steaming hot cup of coffee and we imagine how great the coffee would taste and how it makes us feel alert and we start craving coffee. Some of us don’t love coffee and just don’t get the connection, coffee is as exciting as a rock with no remarkable features. We see the cup of coffee and we instinctively start lighting a cigarette, all of that happens within a microsecond and it happens subconsciously. Thousands of cigarettes smoked make up the smoking habit that is now part of the subconscious functioning of the mind.
It is time for us to reprogram our built-in image association module. Why does McDonalds spend billions of dollars every year telling us how great their burgers taste? Because if they didn’t remind us every day we would stop eating Big Macs. The fantasy they sell is repeated so often that it becomes self-fulfilling. We can be forgiven for believing that Santa was real as children, as adults we need to forgive ourselves and prove to ourselves that Santa Claus needn’t be real in the physical sense, Santa Claus needs only manifest in our actions towards others to become real.
Here is a simple exercise. Smoke a cigarette (Are you helping me quit smoking by telling me to smoke? It feels unorthodox and I think I like it) in front of a mirror, watch yourself closely, analyse every gesture, every movement and every breath. Does your body language convey what you feel when you smoke a cigarette? Do you see yourself becoming more relaxed? Do you notice how you start to look more tired for every breath? Do you see how exhausted the nicotine metabolism is making you? Do you feel how your lungs are working overtime to clear the tar? Imagine you are watching your best friends, what would you tell your best friends if you saw him or her like that? The best friend you can have is staring at you in the mirror right now. We don’t judge, we say those things that need to be hear.