What is addiction?
It is a behavior or action that if you don’t do it, you will feel terrible that you are missing something. But, if you do it you won’t feel any joy, it will only be mechanical. Addiction means believing that joy or ecstasy happens due to some object, person, or situation.
Understand that this is the definition of addiction: trying to elongate the joy shaft by recreating it. You bring the same persons, situations, incidents, or happenings into your life again and again, knowing that the same joy is not going to happen. Some people are addicted to partying, some to smoking, and some to drinking and there are so many addictions.
Remember that anything you bring to your life again and again will not give you the same excitement as it gave you the first time. It can only lead to addiction, not happiness. The first time you enjoy a sweet, it is a wonderful experience. The excitement is totally different. But if you keep eating more of the same sweet, the same experience is not there anymore. Eventually if you eat enough sweets, you will not even like the sight of them. You will look at them and say, ‘Oh no, not more sweets. They make me feel terrible.’ In the same way, when meeting a person for the first time, the excitement is totally different. Later on, the excitement falls off.
People come and ask me, ‘How can I break my habits?’
See, habit is a beautiful word.
If you remove ‘h’, ‘a bit’ will remain.
If you remove ‘b’, ‘it’ will remain.
Only when you remove the ‘I’, the shaft ‘it’ will die.
Only when you remove ‘I’, only when you throw ‘I’ away, will it completely die.
Your smoking two days ago, ten years ago, and twenty years ago, all these three incidents are completely independent. They are not connected. Mentally, when you start connecting, when you start believing that you have the habit of smoking and that you are addicted to it, the belief creates a shaft. Then you start fighting with it. That is what I mean when I say the ‘I’ has to be dropped. It is your belief that makes it a habit. If you drop the belief, the habit drops.
If you believe it is a joyful experience, you continue to smoke more and more. If you believe it is a painful experience you start fighting with the shaft. Either way you don’t win. Even if you believe that smoking is joyful, try to smoke without restraint and see for yourself how you feel. When you smoke and inhale, it can never be a pleasurable experience. It is never really joyful.
When you smoke, in that moment, just see what is happening in your inner space. You are not enjoying anything. You are just trying to escape from something. You merely believe that smoking is joyful. Even if you don’t feel joyful when you are smoking, you try to squeeze joy out of it.
If you deeply scan your life and see, you will understand that whether it is smoking, or sex, or money, or any other pleasure, even if you don’t feel the same joy as you felt the first time, you try to squeeze joy out of it. You try to console yourself, ‘No, this is joy. What else is joy?’ You try to cover the frustration by believing it is joy. You want to believe it is joy.
Try your best to drop some addiction. You can never be successful. Even if you drop it you may be dropping it out of some fear or greed, which is a much bigger addiction. If you drop smoking out of some fear or greed, you are not doing anything good to your consciousness, to your inner space. You are only damaging yourself more. You might have dropped smoking, but the fear or greed that made you drop it will be added to your inner space. At least with smoking, you will destroy only this body. With fear or greed you will destroy your whole being, life after life! In the next body, you will carry over the fear and greed. The smoking habit may not carry over to the next body but the emotions of fear and greed will be carried with you to the next body.
So the best way is to drop the idea that you have an addiction, and it will drop.
source: Living Enlightenment