Friday, May 30, 2008

Smoking and breastfeeding

A great Osho insight on The World No Tobacco Day.

Osho says, " Whenever you drop something by fight, it is never dropped. You will drop smoking by fighting and then you will start doing something else which will become a substitute."
There are some things people are compelled to do even if they know that it is definitely harmful to their health. For example, smoking. No amount of statutory warnings on the cigarette packs can stop people from smoking. Intellectually they may know that it is injurious to health but emotionally they need it. The body/mind unit craves the activity of smoke coming in and going out of the body. Those who try to drop this habit by taking vows are often unsuccessful. Here is an Osho remedy to this problem.

“Whenever you drop something by fight, it is never dropped. You can drop smoking by fighting, and then you will start doing something else which will become a substitute. You may start chewing gum, it is the same; You may start chewing pan, it is the same, there is no difference. You need something to do with your mouth -- smoking, chewing, anything. When your mouth goes on working, you feel at ease because through the mouth tensions are released. So whenever a man feels tense he starts smoking. Why is it that through smoking or chewing gum or tobacco tensions are released?
Just look at a small child. Whenever he feels tense he will put his hand in his mouth, he will start chewing his own hand. This is his substitute for smoking. And why does he feel good when his thumb is in his mouth? Why does the child feel good and go to sleep? This is the way of almost all children. Whenever they feel sleep is not coming they will put the thumb inside the mouth, feel at ease, and fall asleep. Why? The thumb becomes a substitute for the mother's breast, and food is relaxing. You cannot go to sleep on a hungry stomach, it is difficult to get sleep. When the stomach is full you feel sleepy, the body needs rest. So whenever the child takes the breast in his mouth, food is flowing, warmth, love. He is relaxed, he need not worry; tensions are relaxed. The thumb is just a substitute for the breast; it is not giving milk, it is a false thing, but still it gives the feeling.
When this child grows, if he takes his thumb in public you will think he is foolish, so he takes a cigarette. A cigarette is not foolish, it is accepted. It is just the thumb, and more harmful than the thumb. It is better if you smoke your thumb, go on smoking to your grave; it is not harmful, it is better. No harm is done but then people think you are childish, juvenile, then people think what you are doing is stupid. But there is a need so it has to be substituted.
And in countries where breast-feeding has stopped, more smoking will automatically be there. That's why the West smokes more than the East -- because no mother is ready to give her breast to the child because the shape is lost. So in the West smoking is increasing more and more; even small children are smoking.
Every child has been taken away from the breast prematurely, and that remains a wound. So all civilized countries are obsessed with breasts. Even an old man, dying, is obsessed with breasts, goes on searching for breasts.
This seems mad, and it is, but the basic cause is there -- children should be given the breast otherwise they will become addicted to it, the whole life they will be in search of it.
You cannot stop smoking directly because it has many related things, implications. You are tense, and if you stop smoking you will start something else and the other may be more harmful. Don't go on escaping problems, face them. The problem is that you are tense, so the goal should be how to be non-tense, not, smoking or not smoking.
Meditate. Relax your tensions into the sky, allow catharsis to happen.”

Excerpted from A Bird on the Wing

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