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Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:34 PM

Addiction to the concept of "me"

I've never been an alcoholic, but I've always been a drinker to one degree or another. After several years of ramping down my alcohol consumption but never totally quitting, I recently gave up drinking alcohol entirely. At the end I was drinking about a glass of wine a week. Not a lot, but enough to say, "I drink alcohol."

In the weeks following my decision to quit I have noticed that even though I was not physically addicted to alcohol, I would periodically crave a drink. I wasn't craving the effects of the alcohol though. Rather, I craved the act of pouring a glass and raising it to my lips. It was as though an aspect of my identity, one that had been a constant companion for 45 years, had gone missing in action, and I yearned for it. As time has gone on this occasional noticing has become less and less frequent, and I am now confident that it's evaporating entirely.

About five years ago I began to dismantle the much larger part of my self-image that was built around the idea that "I" was a real thing. Two years ago the process accelerated with the discovery of Advaita and the idea that the self (as opposed to the "Self") is an imaginary construction. As I settled into this way of being, the intervals of "no-self" came more frequently and lasted longer. Now there seems to be more time of "Self" (or no-self) than there is of self.

As this process unfolded, I noticed that right before I would pop back into my egoic self there would be this feeling of craving. Not for the effects of ego, so much as the all the familiar behaviours that were associated with being "me".

This morning I noticed how similar these two sensations are - the craving for the identity-support of taking a drink and the craving for the identity-support of displaying an ego. Just as I was a drinker until I stopped entirely, I will be "me" until I stop entirely.

The example of overcoming the residual addiction to the "idea of alcohol" gives confidence that the addiction to the "idea of me" will subside as well.

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Reply Addiction to the concept of "me" (Original post)
GliderGuider Jul 2012 OP
rrneck Jul 2012 #1
GliderGuider Jul 2012 #2
rrneck Jul 2012 #3
GliderGuider Jul 2012 #4

Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:58 PM

1. "For me to from me..."

I think when we invest in something outside ourselves we give life meaning. It doesn't matter what, as long as we lose ourselves in something other than ourselves we complete a sort of "form and content" circle. We put our own ego outsede of ourselves so that we can examine it.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:19 PM

2. One of the keys seems to be fixing the "subject-object problem".

As in, "I" am not the subject - "I" is the object. Pure awareness is the only subject.

I'm not absolutely sure about the meaning of meaning any more.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:26 PM

3. Feelings used to mean something.

They would prompt us to actually do something, and by doing we could examine the product of our desires. But now, we're so rich our feelings are just entertainment because our physical survival is more or less assured. So we feed on our own emotions, and ego runs riot inside us.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:37 PM

4. Thoughts and feelings have always been actors on the stage

"Meaning" is perhaps the plot line we each write for our own play. Thoughts and feelings, meanings and actions all arise from the stillness and return to it. The play, the "Dance of Leela" is what it becomes when it's visible. It's just what Being does.

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