Russell’s First Exercise

Posted: 02/03/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, Struggle

In Russell’s book Recovery (Ch1 p59 of 444) on the first of the 12 steps, he wrote a series of questions on addiction; these are my answers to Russell’s first exercise:-

What do I want to change? Addiction to self.

What pain or fear do I associate with change in this area? There is no pain or fear, I don’t understand why I don’t have more determination not to be addicted to self. After all it is only comfort, and there is a lot more pleasure to be gained by presence. I suppose I don’t really believe that I can live in presence longer.

What pleasure am I getting out of not changing? I really don’t know. I certainly know that if I were not doing the good stuff (meditation, study, writing and beach) I would be very unhappy. But why am I not more determined to do more good stuff?

Recognition, my ego wants recognition. After all it is true that there are many charlatans who know far less. But I also know recognition doesn’t matter, after all I enjoy what I do, I give back and if no-one wants it that is just the natural order. This is an ego problem, but determination should not be an ego problem.

I really do not know why I am not changing more. There is so much to learn. Whilst I read often it is a long time since I have read a book, and I know reading books is far deeper than any clip. I give up and watch clips, and then watch crap …. for way too long.

What will it cost me if I don’t change? I don’t know. If I don’t follow my path as far as it will go, what will I miss? The further along the path I go, the happier I am, the more I am at peace, so if I stay addicted to self I will miss out on potential happiness. This peace is great so why aren’t I more motivated to get more peace?

I am not contributing to Gaia’s path, and I feel guilty. But what can I do? Old age is not the time to start on a new path, old age is for reflecting and imparting wisdom. If I have any, imparting is what I am already doing. If the wisdom is not wanted that is not for me to choose.

What are the benefits I could gain by having this changed? Peace, more peace.

There is a feeling of untapped potential – greater clarity, if I go deeper into my mind. I have had clarity, I have had insights, and I have had cloudy minds; I don’t want the third – and the third is caused by addiction to self.

Has this problem caused any type of illness? Not illness but lack of controlled sleep.

Do I turn to the type of person that enables me to practise this behaviour or to companions who enable me? There is only meditation and books/clips. People I am acquainted with are not interested in the path, I do not keep them close to me. I am isolated because I am following the path, this is only a problem in terms of recognition – and that is ego I can usually deal with. There is nothing wrong with the isolation, except for ego and recognition occasionally. I would not admit to the ego and recognition if I wasn’t trying to bear all. If I don’t question deeply the exercise is meaningless, but this ego about recognition is not a big problem – just there, and mostly accepted.

What have I done in the past to fix, change or control this are of life? Meditation. Last year I began bhavana, several meditations in a day. I need more of that. Ideal meditation twice a day and bhavana on Sundays. Actual practice – mostly once a day, sometimes not at all, last bhavana 3 months ago.

What are the feeling emotions or conditions I have tried to alter and control with this problem? I am not trying to control or alter with this addiction, but I am avoiding. I am avoiding the full potential of my path.

Am I afraid of who I could become on the path? That is a fear. I am afraid of who I could become, and I don’t want aspects of recognition that could bring. I want my isolation, I want the life I have, and I don’t want disruption if my path takes me there. This is the source of my addiction, I don’t want more in case ….

That is shameful. Coward.

I have retired. I don’t want all that fighting any more so I don’t want to place myself in the position of having to fight. Shameful, so selfish.

If this is such an important area of your life why haven’t you changed? I haven’t changed because I don’t want the possible discomfort that could come from change.

Am I willing to do whatever it takes to have this changed healed or transformed? Doesn’t look like it.

These questions I didn’t answer, added for completeness:-
How has this problem placed my important relationships in jeopardy?
Have I lost respect/reputation due to this problem?
Has this problem made my home life unhappy?

Excellent questions!! I really don’t like the conclusion. I am avoiding the path because of the responsibility that might come with getting rid of my addiction. Yet I should.

Solution:- Follow the path – Gaia’s addiction spectrum.

<– Previous Post “conditions” Next Post “Gaia’s Addiction spectrum” –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

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