Non-smoking Time

I’ll wait for the next cigarette here.

As we continue to increase the time limit, we eventually reach an amount of time that is equivalent to or greater than the amount of time we are awake on a given day. For the average person this is 16 hours. We spend an entire waking day as non-smokers and we are confronted with the dilemma whether to smoke or not before going to sleep. What a wonderful dilemma to have! It’s like having a monstrous dilemma deciding which is cuter; kittens or puppies. Nighttime sleep doesn’t count into the hours of the time limit for obvious reasons, sleep is for rest and not learning, naps on the other hand are acceptable, and we can nap all we want during the day. In fact, as we spend more and more time free from smoking, we experience a increased desire to sleep and nap more. This is completely natural and is to be expected. The body is repairing the damage caused by smoking and more sleep is needed. Teenagers sleep longer because their bodies are growing and need to rest a lot, and the same principle applies as we smoke less, the body starts to repair and needs the extra rest. The amount of time spent sleeping extra is roughly equivalent to the amount of time that we used to spend on smoking so there is no real loss of time. Over time the increased need for rest is gone as the body grows and needs less rest. We don’t lose time when we quit smoking, we gain time, we need less rest, we have more energy to move faster and we live longer gaining even more time. As long as we smoke the body doesn’t have time and energy to repair the damage caused by smoking, it barely has time and energy for maintenance of the current condition. The current condition is the condition of the body right now, we add tar from a 20-pack and we see that the current condition is slightly worse, the body is repairing the damage that was the previous condition and we only add more damage with smoking, the body can’t keep up. Add damage from a few thousand cigarettes and the cycle is complete. A bleeding sore doesn’t stop bleeding unless we stop poking it, just as tar-clogged lungs don’t start to repair until we stop pouring tar into them.

The extra time spent sleeping, ironically, is equivalent to the time saved on not smoking cigarettes. Soon enough the need for sleep will return to a normal non-smoker levels. After an entire day of non-smoking, we can decide to smoke before going to sleep or not, the choice is ours. We can even smoke the next morning if we want, or not. Now that we have built up resistance for the first cigarette of the morning, it might just be a relaxing afternoon cigarette. This is when the shocking realization finally hits us, smoking is not relaxing at all, it’s a terrible strain on the entire body. We gain a new experience, we see the truth about smoking and slowly we unchain ourselves from the old habit. Even the monkey will start to feel the pain of smoking. The correct associations are being established. We now correctly associate cigarettes with heightened stress and lowered energy, shortness of breath, increased heart rate and a general feeling of dis-ease. The old self is having the final death throes and desperately tries to cling to smoking and tries its hardest to feel the old feelings the smoking used to generate. The old self desperately clings to the illusion and when the illusion is shattered it will die. The new self that bases itself in reality is stronger and more adaptable. The new self is anchored in reality and cannot be fooled by illusions. We can even choose to add hours to the days we spend as non-smokers, so we can be smoke free for one day and three hours the next day. We can go on adding days and hours. The process needs to be slow and steady.

Now we can actually realize instead of theorize the 4th dimension, time. We realize it by spending equal amounts of waking time in a single day, first as a smokers and non-smokers. We start the day as non-smokers and halfway through the day we switch to being smokers. We can feel the transition of mental state and physical state between smoking and non-smoking. We put one hand in cold water and after a while we won’t feel the cold anymore, until we put the other hand in the water and realize that the water is still cold, we just got accustomed to the cold, and we didn’t even notice it happening. When the second hand enters the water, we get a perspective adjustment to the actual state of the water. The same thing happens when we switch between being smokers and non-smokers. Our lungs get enough time to adjust to a life without a constant stream of new tar and we can experience the true physical sensations that are smoking. We actually experience our breath getting shorter and we can experience the burn of the smoke in our lungs. We experience the truth beyond our illusions.

We can choose to stay awake a bit longer to smoke a cigarette or chose to postpone the cigarette to the next day. Choice is very hard for smokers, we tend to rely more on our power of giving in to impulse rather than rational choice. It is important to practice our choice muscles and accepting the consequences of our choices. The choice to smoke after a whole day of non-smoking has consequences and the choice not to smoke has consequences as well. This is groundbreaking for the smoker and a form of decision paralysis may take place, “a man, being just as hungry as thirsty, and placed in between food and drink, must necessarily remain where he is and starve to death.” — Aristotle, On the Heavens, ca.350 BCE. This is life at its best. We may want to do something that is controversial for smokers, we can opt to trust our gut feeling, we ask our gut feeling what it tells us and act on it. This choice is not final and we will get to make it again the next day when we will have more knowledge of the consequences of the choice, experience. In the material world, every cigarette is a physical lack of impulse control and at the same time, in the spiritual world, every cigarette is a choice to allow the monkey control over the human.

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