Nicotene, the “More Money, More Problems” Principle, and Bhagavad-Gita 2:62-63

by Aranyakananda

I have been finding so many times in recent weeks that conversations I have with friends/family will show me in real world experience, things that I thought I knew but it turns out I had only read them and intellectually (and jnanically?) understood them. Because of this, I feel that some of my writings are quite rudimentary level “revelations.” But I hope they will help anyone first starting to really internalize the roots and results of their actions.

A friend/co-worker and I were talking recently when he pulled out a cigarette-rolling mechanism. This naturally led to discussion of addiction. As you may have seen I tend to prattle on about my own propensity toward caffeine. A karmic knot that needs to be untied before I could ever be totally free. But it, like nicotine, is not just material-world bondage. It is more complicated than that.
Nicotine, he explained, makes you feel good, but about an hour later if you do not have the drug, you will find yourself flying off the handle at things that normally, even if they did make you angry, would have little no affect on you. Like, for example, other drivers on the road. So you must have your ball-and-chain-of-choice again and then the world is a beautiful place again and everyone in it is your brother, and all that. But the remedy is what caused the disease in the first place. It installs itself in your sensual awareness to ensure that it is repeatedly the solution to the problems that it, itself, has created. Repetition of a behavior is the fruit of Maya, but the root of Maya is the forgetfulness that there is absolutely no reason to continue this repetition.

People do the same thing with money, you may have noticed. As my friend put it, “More money, more problems.”

I am convinced that road rage is a symptom of withdrawal from such a drug as nicotine or yes, even caffeine. A lot of people say that uncivil remnants of our early evolution remain within us and they come out at tense moments such as traffic jams. But I think once we’ve evolved beyond that. One can’t “devolve” unless one’s chemistry is altered. Chemicals and withdrawal from said chemicals does this. It makes us “forget who we really are” as the great sages said about the delusive power of Maya.

And so…oh yes, Gita 2:62-63. Well this is a perfect description of one getting angry and letting it drag him away, awash in a sea of delusion.
1. Contemplation of the objects of the senses – desire to feed one’s addiction

2. development of attachment to the objects of the senses – cultivating the addiction.

3. lust develops – desire for more of said substance.

4. from lust anger comes – withdrawal.

5. bewilderment and memory loss -one forgets that last time they had the withdrawal and tried to fix it by the same means, it was temporary and led to more problems.

6. one falls down into the material pool – one gives up and decides to keep living off the temporary ups and downs, knowing he or she has the key to controlling them right in their pocket.

But Yoga offers a more permanent solution. It is definitely the harder road until you really start to weed-whack away at the roots of the problem.

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2 Responses to Nicotene, the “More Money, More Problems” Principle, and Bhagavad-Gita 2:62-63

  1. Justin says:

    Bravo. That’s it.

    Small things in your day that you overlook as a non smoker stubbing your toe, getting someones voice-mail instead of the person you mean to call, interruptions, slow drivers, a store being out a a product you were looking to buy, misplacing your keys for a minute, running late, long lines at a restaurant, are just a sample of small inconveniences that we all experience. If you are a non-smoker you deal with these in a healthy way. You are disappointed but move on and get through your day and minutes later you aren’t thinking about this past problem.

    A smoker “jones”ing for a cigarette on the other hand (or at least in my experiences) hold on to these small inconveniences. Like each misfortune is picked up, acknowledged and put into your pocket like a rock. A poisonous attitude with pulls you down which makes you aware of aaaaalllll the misfortune you have had throughout the day, and before long you feel just miserable, angry, agitated, irritable, mean, impatient, and just festering with hate inside.

    You light up a cigarette and it all melts away. All the initial problems and inconveniences fade into irrelevance, so your brain only notices the immediate relief of stress and triggers a false positive reinforcement for the act of smoking. The cigarette appears to be a useful tool and friend in dealing with the inconveniences of life, BUT IN REALITY IS THE ROOT CAUSE of the stress, agitation etc.

    It’s a cleaver little trick that nicotine plays on the mind, convincing you that everything else and everyone else is the problem. It get’s none of the blame for the bad in your life and all of the praise for the good.

    …I wonder what or who else gets all the credit for the good and none of the blame for the bad.

  2. Dhrishti says:

    Bhai,

    This is seriously very near the top on my list of fav posts by you. Very well-written, thorough, and easy to read/comprehend. I wish SOOO many people in my life would read this. Justin’s comment here is also pretty spot-on.

    Bahut accha, bhai!

    Om Shanti!

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