VII. HEALTH AND HAZARDS
1. Bad health habits result, as much as anything, from the unquestioned assumption that one must feel good, or at ease, every minute of every day, and from false values about how to attain this.
2. Feelings of relaxation and well being can be achieved with a combination of muscle tensing, productive exercise, controlled breathing, drinking cold water, right thinking, meditation, and visualization. It is better to be intuitive and experiment with these things than to read endless books without practice. Mastery comes most easily to those who are bold.
3. The subconscious mind controls the autonomic nervous system which regulates involuntary body functions. This technician within obeys the messages sent to it by the conscious mind. It is however, prelingual, and more universal in nature than the conscious. It understands strongly-held emotions and pictures, not language, and must be programmed with fervent goal-oriented visualization using archetypal images, not words.
4. Early humans were hunter-gatherers who got a great deal of exercise and confronted danger on a daily basis. The human mind today still craves excitement, and will create excitement even in the non-physical situations which predominate in our modern sedentary lifestyle. This unfortunately pushes up the blood pressure even when it is not useful to the body from a physical standpoint. When hypertension becomes chronic there is damage to the heart and arteries. Over-reaction to a present situation will produce a tense "fight or flight" reaction. So will unnecessary brooding about past situations, or wasteful contemplation of situations which have not or may not even occur. A corollary here is to bravely put worrisome tasks behind oneself as quickly as possible.
5. Excess weight is merely a function of eating too much for the amount of exercise that one gets. Moderate exercise for thirty minutes at a time, three times a week, is all that is necessary for good heart and muscle tone and sends the same message to the brain, via seratonin, that eating does about feeling physically satisfied. It actually helps nourish by transporting nutrients to the body tissues that need sustenance.
6. During man's evolutionary development the craving for sugar, salt, and fat had survival value because these components were scarce in the available diet. In today's world this situation is reversed. Natural selection however, will not rid us of these cravings because the mortality from them comes after the reproducting years. In this instance we must will our own destiny by consciously adjusting our dietary choices.
7. Food should be seen as fuel and despised as such. If you would not put non-fuel substances into your automobile's fuel tank, then you should not put harmful or non-fuel edibles into your stomach. Learn about cholesterol. It can give you a stroke long before it stops your heart.
8. One should create on paper an ideal daily program of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, amino acids. etc. Such program should be strictly adhered to and modified in accordance with advancing knowledge.
9. Proper breathing is like the proper regulation of air intake on an automobile engine. Oxygen combusts with chemicals dissolved in the blood from food intake. The study of Pranayama Yoga can profitably be undertaken here.
10. Quick bursts of energy from rapid food oxidation can be gained by controlled hyperventilation. This can be useful in stressful or dangerous situations and is, when combined with constructive visualization, what the people of India call Prana, what the Chinese call Chi.
11. The chant, "AUGHM" can be vibrated at different frequencies and directed to different parts of the body to relieve tension or pain and to invigorate or promote healing.
1. Every society has some drugs which are legal, usually those produced by wealthy influential people and are never referred to as drugs in that society. Everything said herein applies every bit as much to alcohol and tobacco as to anything else.
2. Almost all drugs, including medicinal ones, have some undesirable side effects and all drugs create dependency of one kind or another.
3. Drugs will often relieve in the short term, the pain caused by some damage they do in the longer term. This is the basis for addiction. Pathological interpersonal relationships often work in the same way. Often the two will augment each other.
4. If one uses drugs to escape personal problems, it becomes easier each day to do this, and harder each day to stop. The problems always get worse because they are not being addressed.
5. What a drug will seem to do for a person will depend upon what the person is lacking. The one characteristic that all psychoactive drugs have in common is that they insidiously rob the user of his ability to gain the same effect by normal means. Pretentious 1960s-style rationalization about physiological verses psychological dependence misses the main point and is mere hair splitting.
6. Any drug which gives false feelings of self esteem will slowly replace the user's true self esteem with illusion (21).
7. Pleasure drug experiences are, like other dreams, very fleeting and usually not remembered very clearly, especially after a few days. This also applies to actual experiences while under the influence of drugs. The long term effect is to leave the user with a lot of empty or vaguely colored pages. It is a far better investment for the future to systematically build up a backlog of splendid memories based on going real places and doing real things. In this, quality is more important than quantity.
8. Thoughts and emotions are implemented by chemical processes in our brains and feel normal to us. The effects of drugs on thoughts and emotions are implemented in the same way and also feel normal. Herein lies one of the paramount danger in the use of any drug. They make the user feel unnaturally good in a way which seems perfectly normal. This gives the user an unlimited capacity for rationalization about what the drug is doing to him.
9. Drug use subtly enhances some emotions and appetites, while suppressing others. This, when the use is chronic, makes the user feel that he is someone he is not. Such a person is little more than a meat puppet animated by the drug. The longer the individual uses a drug, the further he gets from the true self, from the person he would have been without the drug. False belief works the same way. The drug user however, who speaks about character weakness in the ongoing false belief of others, is being obtuse and hypocritical, even though his observations are perfectly correct.
10. Most people cannot use any drug without detriment to themselves. There are no exceptions to this. The user, we note, will always see himself as an exception because drug induced thinking feels normal. He will say "I can work behind it". Over time, the user who drugs away his normal emotions will come to see normal people as "un-cool" and will ridicule them for their normalcy. He will seldom understand the way healthy people feel and will become extremely disrespectful of their feelings. As the years pass, the person who has thrown away his life on drug induced "good times" and false sensations will grow increasingly envious and angry with drug-free people who have had the courage to better themselves and who are prospering accordingly.
11. There are two effects that a pleasure a drug can have, the subjective and the objective. Subjectively the user may feel cozy with flights of happy imagination, while objectively he is observed to be shuddering, throwing up, or raving incoherently. The prospective or current user should contemplate these differences. Videotape your next big high, stay straight for a week, and then look at the tape. Is this low-down, puking slave on the floor who you really want to be?
12. Drug related problems can be very difficult to address because the drug can produce a separate mental life which has it's continuity only in the drug. It is only truly remembered when the user is again under the influence of the drug. Wanting to return to this state will usually be experienced as an intense general craving for the drug. The reason for the craving may seem vague. Sometimes the drug use is accompanied by other destructive or even criminal behavior which may not be remembered later. We can refer to this as J & H Syndrome - Jekyll and Hyde.
13. Drug dependent individuals often display a strange ethic based upon the idea that dysfunctional behavior occurring in the drug state somehow more clearly reflects the true person. Such individuals will suggest that one should not quit getting high or "blame the drug" because if the tendency toward destructive behavior were not "there in the first place" the drug could never bring it out. The fact that the behavior has never occured when the person is straight doesn't even seem to matter. The drug is seen as a "reality trip." This leads the user to believe that he is more "tuned in" than non-users.
14. There is simply no courage, personal integrity, or self loyalty in using drugs to induce feelings of calm, confidence, or elation. People who live this way are phony, but usually think that everyone else is phony. Pleasant feelings are worthwhile only if they are based on actualities. It is better to be miserable for awhile and to address the reasons why.
15. The drinker may worry that he becomes nasty when drinking. What he must learn is to become nasty when not drinking. The next step is to find out and eliminate the true cause for the desire to be nasty. Three ounces of alcoholic beverage each day helps to break up cholesterol in the blood and will allow the individual to live longer than otherwise and will give him a medicinal excuse for a little buzz at lunch time.
16. Tobacco is in common use and the effects are very subtle. Nicotine triggers the release of endorphins, organic morphine, in the brain. The tobacco user is essentially a junky. Continuing use has a very degenerative effect upon the character. The user will usually not become fully aware of what has been lost until several years after quitting. This is especially true of those who start in youth. Part of quitting tobacco is to develop more genuine values regarding the false bravado that accrues to the artificial alpha wave brain euphoria induced by tobacco. The problem involved here, as with all pleasure drugs, is that since "the cool is not you" the real "you" gets lost somwhere along the way.
17. Almost every allegedly desirable or "mind expanding" effect of psychoactive chemicals can be induced with some type of physical or mental discipline. Every pleasant physical effect can be induced by exercise or massage. Both can be utilized without any degenerative side effects.
18. Anything which keeps the individual from reading voraciously will have a negative impact upon the expansion of his consciousness. This includes drug use or a lot of silly ego competitive socializing with going nowhere "friends." The only thing that ever makes any activity exciting is when one is learning something new. In youth, endless parties seem exciting until one begins to learn about deeper things.
19. Drugs can give the user a strange and exciting mental life, but the cost is too great. The heroic pursuit of truth will give the user a far stranger and more exciting mental life than drugs ever can. Books are much less money and far stranger than drugs. The amount of truth to be uncovered is virtually limitless, since most human societies are based primarily upon lies. We must seek arcane and "forbidden" sources for this however, not just the local newspaper.
20. Drug use has been referred to as "hip." Hipness is simply having enough knowledge and courage to be open to, and hungry for, more knowledge. There is nothing "hip" about using a substance which can interfere with one's ability to think clearly and participate in the actualization of evolutionary destiny.
21. There is a particular phenomenon we may call "the greater burden of hipness." Fortunately not all people are afflicted. Those who are, seem to think that doing what is good for oneself is somehow terribly phony. These more genuine individuals believe that anyone healthy and happy couldn't possibly be nearly as insightful or as sensitive as they are. There is an underlying notion that those who are not all mixed up and depressed are not quite properly masochistic and self-effacing enough to be really as moral as the truly hip. This more profound ethic finds expression in television programming representing an increasingly lower element. We see short "consciousness raising" segments which ridicule as "losers" people who are drug free and part of happy families where there is love. Those who are serious and studious, with a future plan for their lives are portrayed as being "nerds." People who believe that young people should be drug free and gainfully employed are portrayed as ignorant, domineering, and violent. All this is touted as "uninhibited self-expression". How is it that this greater coolness never seems to manifest in doing anything constructive? Why does it always seem to go lower and lower? Why, in certain cartoon shows, is there so much emphasis on excrement? Why has vileness become so fashionable? Are we un-hip to question whether this very special "in your face" way of things might actually be an symptom of social decay, rather than some higher type of consciousness?
Just for the fun of it, try a little psychological house cleaning. Answer these questions when you get two hours alone. You may want to write down the answers for future reference. Sit in front of a mirror so you can look into your own eyes. Tighten all your muscles, breath deeply, then relax. Be goal oriented, and forget about everybody else. Think deeply about each answer. Don't feel that you have to discuss this later with anyone else. Make this just between you and the person within:
Do smart motivated people kill time with pretentious role playing and silly specialized lingo?
Remember the nice people you talked with the day you went to the museum alone?
Do relationships with others have any positive value if they are not uplifting?
Do you have friends who try to act "arresting" or domineering with you?
Do drugs make you happy in your heart, or is there a deep growing sadness underneath?
Is there personal integrity in associating with people you don't really respect?
Do endless hours firing up your emotions listening to music accomplish anything of enduring value?
Be courageous. Sit down and make a secret life plan on paper. Then begin to enact this plan. Make the path upwards as steep as your courage and capabilities will allow. It's actually quite easy to systematically phase bad people out of your life over a period of a few weeks without making them into enemies, or even hurting their feelings much at all. You can even salvage what is left and keep them as "old" friends. It's best to begin this immediately, because the longer you wait, the more you'll end up despising them and yourself for wasting even more of your time.
21. A theory here. Since the "will to live" is often connected with self esteem and itself helps to keep immune systems working, the use of such a drug might eventually injure the user's physical health purely by psychological means, apart from any actual physical effect of the drug itself.