Addiction – How it works

A few things that created a deep impression from the Inner Gold video that I watched earlier:

Pornography/ sexual addiction is a chemical addiction. It’s like a heroin addiction, only much stronger as it is so easily accessible.

We have a two part brain: the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex.

The lymbic system, our instinctive brain – you have no control over it. Need for air, water, food, sexuality.

Not logical, rational. It is the childish part of the brain. It is the part of the brain that is largely functional in animals.

What makes us different is the other part of the brain- prefrontal cortex: cognition, higher reasoning capacities, feels guilt, logical, rational.

Certain situations in our life create a ‘feel good’ feeling. For example when you study really hard and get an ‘A’ on your test paper, you feel really good. This is because of the release of dopamine in your brain. Nature’s design is such that you work hard and when we experience success there is release of dopamine and you feel good. Such experiences of feeling good is stored in the lymbic system as a memory that can be accessed in future.

Viewing porn also causes release of dopamine, and it is much more powerful because it is a much easier way to get the ‘good feeling’ rather than the hard work. And it is also very reliable- due to easy access to the internet. Also the release of dopamine while watching porn is much higher. Hence more pleasure in shorter time and lesser effort.

This is the reason why when a person is faced with a challenging situation, or there is some crisis, and if he/she has viewed porn before, there is a great chance of them going back to it again.

The lymbic part of the brain is just so spontaneous that we have no control over it. No matter how many times we have resolved not to indulge in porn or masturbation, when situations arise we are simply driven to it.____

It helped so much to know that the whole thing is just chemical reaction due to the childish/ animalistic part of the brain. And that the same ‘good feling’ can be felt by doing things the right way, through hard work, rather than childishly going by the primitive animalistic lymbic brain.

Of course I am saying that using my logical prefrontal cortex. Distressing situations are most surely going to trigger off the animalistic cravings in the future. According to Inner Gold, they say that the way out of it is to develop a new language for the brain. I haven’t yet read or heard much about that. I’ll wait and go through the course to see what it is about.

Devotee X wrote:

And yes, I’ll surely send you the notes from the course too.

Devotee X wrote:

Here are a few things that created an impression on me from Harvey A.’s talk (in my own words). The highlighted one was most impressive:

We have been focusing so much on ‘acting out’, but we miss the point that what really matters is how we are ‘acting in’. Acting out is only the consequence of the real sickness which is within. Masturbation is not the sickness, it is only the result of the sickness, the real sickness is what goes on in our minds. If you sit in front of the computer watching porn for hours and think that you haven’t crossed that line yet, and you can go on a little more, it is harmless… good luck to you! There’s no way you won’t act out after watching porn for hours.

When you are urinating, have you tried stopping the flow midstream? It is not only painful when you hold it back, but it is also not possible to stop it all together. Same way once you stimulate your mind sexually and it is set on craving for sexual pleasure; you cannot stop it mid stream, you have to act out. Sexual sobriety is about where your mind is at. Once you’re already stimulated and are craving for it, even God Himself cannot stop you.

Maybe some people can watch porn and not act out, but I am so critically sick that I cannot allow my mind to wander into such a dangerous place. My mind is so sick that if I even think about last night’s encounter with my wife I will act out. My mind is so sick that I cannot be in the same room when my wife is changing. She does not have the same problem, she is not so sick. But I am. I am so sick that I cannot watch myself naked in the mirror, I will start imagining things. That’s how sick I am. And thank you God, for letting me know that I am so sick.

When I see a woman’s butt I think ‘O Lord please let me find in you whatever is that pleasure I find in that woman’s butt’.

______

I have attached ‘Language of Recovery’ that Inner Gold had me download. There is also a daily manual which for some reason I am unable to download. I’ll send it to you when I figure out how to do that.

Thank you!

On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 8:16 PM, <Mahatma Das> wrote:

I would appreciate it if you could take notes on the online course and send them to me as I teach a course on sexual purity and this would really help.

Devotee X wrote:

I have not spoken to the Ayurvedic doctor yet. We go to different temples and there are very less chances of us meeting again in the near future, so I thought it may not be practical to try to get treatment from her. Maybe she can just tell me the name of the medicine over the phone and I could pick it up at an Ayurvedic pharma, but I am pregnant right now so travelling by myself is not an option.

Also I don’t know her so well so I am not mentally prepared yet to talk to her about my problem.

But here are a few things I did do:

I listened to one talk on a Sexaholics Anonymous forum by a speaker named Harvey A.

http://youtu.be/7EUGGLwnIXw

This was so helpful. I heard the talk the day before yesterday and since then my mind has been clean. I know I can never say I am over it, and I need to be on guard all my life. But it’s just such a relief for the past couple of days that I am able to concentrate on my work. Even my mother in law is surprised that I am so alert, and I’m remembering things.

I did not get any new information in his talk, but something about the way he put it seems to have clicked in my brain.

I also listened to a talk by someone whose name I do not remember. It’s the same person who is in the video below:

http://youtu.be/4tl7NAwOSgA

I watched a different video which I cannot find now. He made a lot of sense and he scientifically explained why we get addicted to masturbation/ sex/ porn. He is part of a group called Inner Gold and they offer an online course to overcome sex addiction/ porn addiction. I checked out their website and their course costs over $600. There was no way I could afford that, but I filled out the application in any case and requested for a full scholarship.

I got a mail from them today, and they were kind enough to give me a full scholarship for one year for their online course. I will soon fill in required details and start the course.

Thank you so much for your support, well wishes and prayers. I’ll keep you informed of how it’s going.

On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 9:10 PM, <Mahatma Das> wrote:

Let me know if the ayurvedic medicine helps. Also, there may be a devotee counselor who can help or perhaps you do counseling online. Perhaps Sexaholics can help you find a counselor.

Devotee X wrote:

Thank you for praying to Radharani.

Whatever you wrote in your last mail about the pettiness of our own personal desires makes full sense, I’ll have to pray to be able to think like that naturally.

In one class you mentioned how just praying won’t help and that we must also do our bit. You gave the example that if I ask you to help me to lift a table and when you come to help me, if I just just walk away and expect you to lift the table yourself it just won’t work (not your exact words of course). When I pray sincerely for help I can see that They are helping, but I always have been failing to do my bit. I know there’s no use going on and on about the same thing I just have to snap out of it.

I’ll see if I can download the white book.

I met an old devotee friend of mine yesterday and she is an ayurvedic doctor. Maybe it was Krishna’s way of helping me out. I am thinking of asking her for some medicine that might help.

At least at this point in time going to a psychologist is not an option as I am financially dependent on my husband and he pretty much knows my whereabouts during the day.

Thank you very much.

On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 2:23 AM, <Mahatma Das> wrote:

Devotee X wrote:

I did read ‘sexual addicts anonymous’. Since they wrote that it would be very difficult to overcome this without speaking to one’s partner about it, I gave it up.

It is called Sexaholics Anonymous. they have a book called the white book. I suggest you get it and I don’t agree that your husband needs to know.

I used to visit a psychologist for a different reason though, and when I mentioned this to him he told me not  to worry so much about it.

Because he is not a devotee it is not a problem from his perspective, so he wrote you off. Find someone else who understands your concerns who might be able to get to the deeper root causes of this problem.

Ayurveda may be a good idea but again I will need to speak to my husband in that case.

Maybe the christian sites on sexual purity would be an option for me, I check it out.

I am tired of making a commitment to myself to improve, yet I continue to commit to myself every time I break my vow.

Try to understand what the essential problem is. We are so concerned about our sensual pleasure, what feels good to our body or mind, but our likes and dislikes are not important. What is important is to use our body in a way that is pleasing to guru and Krsna. We exist for this reason. We do not exist as a unit of energy meant to gratify itself. As we advance further in devotional life, our personal pleasure will not be important, or even a concern at all. Guru and Krsna’s pleasure will be our concern. The more you make this your concern, and the  more you understand the pettiness and uselessness of focusing attention on self gratification, the more chance you’ll have of get objectivity on futility of sense gratification. It serves no function in our advancement since ultimately we only exist as a unit of energy for Krsna to enjoy.

Pray to Radharani to help you.

Thank you for all your suggestions. I request you to please say a small prayer for me to Srimati Radharani on Radhashtami.

On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 1:28 AM, <Mahatma Das> wrote:

Start by googling sexual addicts anonymous. It is the same 12 step program they used for alcohol addiction but applied to sexual addiction. It has a spiritual basis.

Also, I suggest you get therapy because you have started this so early in life. There also may be ayurvedic treatments that balance dosha that relief the urges. Why not look into this.

And as a foundation, make a commitment to improve.

Also, there are many christians who teach about sexual purity, you can find them online and also on itunes.

Let me know if any of this helps.

Devotee X wrote:

I live in Hyderabad, India.

My problem is that I have been addicted to masturbation since a very young age. I can’t even remember since when, may be since I was about 5 or 6 years old. I came in touch with the devotees in 1998, and I was told that if I simply chant sincerely it will go away. Obviously I haven’t managed to chant sincerely.

I really don’t know how to stop this bad habit.

Thank you for your time and concern.

On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 8:45 PM, <Mahatma Das> wrote:

you can write me. if it at any time becomes inappropriate, which I doubt it will be, then I’ll let you know.

Where do you live?

Devotee X wrote:

Thank you for your reply. I already feel much stronger in determination after I wrote to you.

I would prefer to write to you about my problem rather than talk on skype. However before I start, I admit that I have not revealed to you my identity. I am a woman, so if you think it’s inappropriate for me to be writing to you about my personal problems then I won’t. I am married, my husband is initiated too and is a wonderful devotee. But he is unwilling to even hear me out. Though in the beginning I started off by being frank with him about my problem, when he saw that I was unable to overcome it after several attempts he became very frustrated and angry. So I just started telling him that I am over it. So obviously he does not know that I have written to you.

Thank you for your time, and I am sorry if I have acted inappropriately by seeking your help.

On Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 5:57 AM, <Mahatma Das> wrote:

sometime we can talk on skype or you can write me about your problem and when I have time I will address it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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