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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion Part 4

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion Part 4

Old 05-26-2012, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
I am reading "The Art of AVRT," since it has a section on smoking. Chapter 7 in the book is called "The Big Gun," and it deals with the morality of drinking/using. The "big gun" is moral judgment.

Without judging anyone else, it asks two big questions:
  1. Considering all of your experience with alcohol and other drugs, is it right or wrong for you to drink/use in the moral sense?

  2. How would you rate your drinking/using on a scale of immorality? Way down on the bottom? Near the top?
I don't think it's absolutely necessary to regard drinking/using as morally wrong in order to use AVRT to quit, although it is a very strong motivating factor if you do happen to find it morally wrong.

I quit drinking for increased health and happiness and to be free of dependence on the drug.

Luckily, my drinking didn't have any negative effects on others, so I never regarded it as morally wrong.

(BTW, Wouldn't it be unnecessary to use the moral arguments as motivators after a Big Plan has been made? If the option to drink/use has been removed no motivators are required.)
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:13 PM
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Identify and apply all motivations towards self-directed recovery.

Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
I don't think it's absolutely necessary to regard drinking/using as morally wrong in order to use AVRT to quit, although it is a very strong motivating factor if you do happen to find it morally wrong.
Correct.

Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
I quit drinking for increased health and happiness and to be free of dependence on the drug.

Luckily, my drinking didn't have any negative effects on others, so I never regarded it as morally wrong.
By saying "Luckily,..." it seems you do have a morality regarding drinking and that more drinking might have ventured into the harming others territory. It is common for a serious health scare to cause a person to finally end an addiction, but moral reasons can certainly also play a major role. That's what happened with me quitting smoking.

For various reasons, some religious doctrines include maintaining personal health within the scope of their moral codes. With AVRT, it makes sense to identify and apply all motivations towards self-directed recovery.

Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
(BTW, Wouldn't it be unnecessary to use the moral arguments as motivators after a Big Plan has been made? If the option to drink/use has been removed no motivators are required.)
Correct. After the Big Plan is instituted, the motivators take a back seat, and some (or even all, I suppose) can eventually be jettisoned. If I were to experience a catastrophic change in my moral belief system, I still knew what the Big Plan meant when I made it, and I still would NOT be able to drink again. That's really what makes an AVRT-type recovery so easy so quickly.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
I don't think it's absolutely necessary to regard drinking/using as morally wrong in order to use AVRT to quit, although it is a very strong motivating factor if you do happen to find it morally wrong.
No, it isn't strictly necessary, and you could certainly quit for entirely unwholesome reasons. For example, if the wife paid you a lump sum to quit for good, you could certainly base your Big Plan on that alone. It does, however, make AV recognition so much easier, at least for me. Is wanting AV recognition to be easy itself AV? Probably.

Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
I quit drinking for increased health and happiness and to be free of dependence on the drug.
People sometimes equate morality with religion, but people make moral decisions all the time regardless, based entirely on their own values. What you have done is simply decided that active addiction, and the lifestyle it entails, does not fit your idea of good, decent living. The decision that such a lifestyle is not appropriate for you is, in effect, a moral decision.

Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
(BTW, Wouldn't it be unnecessary to use the moral arguments as motivators after a Big Plan has been made? If the option to drink/use has been removed no motivators are required.)
I was wondering if anyone would ask that. Good catch.

You are absolutely correct, though. Once the Big Plan has been made, it can replace all other reasons for abstaining. Trying to motivate yourself or build up confidence after the Big Plan is in effect implies self-doubt, or that the Big Plan isn't for real, which is addictive voice.

My previous 'no smoking' plan is obviously null and void by default, at least as an AVRT-style Big Plan. Since I had more pressing matters to consider (my job) when I made this Big Plan, though, and didn't put much thought into it beyond that, I'm just churning some thoughts over in my head. I'm aware that this may be an unnecessary, AV-laden academic exercise.

I'm impressed by the responses so far, though. Some solid AVRT in this thread!
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
My previous 'no smoking' plan is obviously null and void by default, at least as an AVRT-style Big Plan. Since I had more pressing matters to consider (my job) when I made this Big Plan, though, and didn't put much thought into it beyond that, I'm just churning some thoughts over in my head. I'm aware that this may be an unnecessary, AV-laden academic exercise.
Is it possible to be unaware whether or not you are really making a Big Plan?
Have you made your Big Plan for ciggies?
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
My previous 'no smoking' plan is obviously null and void by default, at least as an AVRT-style Big Plan. Since I had more pressing matters to consider (my job) when I made this Big Plan, though, and didn't put much thought into it beyond that, I'm just churning some thoughts over in my head. I'm aware that this may be an unnecessary, AV-laden academic exercise.

So, I take it you're still smoking.

As an ex-smoker I know that now never seems like a good time to quit; there's always something happening or about to happen that makes it the "wrong" time to stop.

You seem very well versed in AVRT but can't, at the moment, commit to a Big Plan because the perceived benefits of smoking outweigh the disadvantages. Maybe you could reverse the balance and build up the necessary motivation by reading some good books on quitting smoking. Something in them might resonate with you and allow you to make a Big Plan you believe in.

Have you read Allen Carr's "Easy Way To Stop Smoking"?
He also has a longer and more comprehensive one called "The Only Way To Stop Smoking Permanently".

There's one by Gillian Riley called "How To Stop Smoking And Stay Stopped For Good" which has good reviews on amazon.co.uk
I haven't read this book but it seems to have similarities to AVRT.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Is it possible to be unaware whether or not you are really making a Big Plan?
Well, we don't do "denial" in AVRT, so, no, I don't believe it is possible to be unaware of whether or not I am really making a Big Plan. This was covered earlier in this thread, I think, but it is covered in the book. I can't really lie to myself. I could certainly lie to others, but intuitively, I do know if I intend to actually quit for good, as opposed to merely taking yet another break.

The AV says that I am lying to myself, pulling out the classic "you've said that before" line, but that is to be expected. The Beast will always try to use past "evidence" of incompetence at quitting to prevent me from taking decisive action, but I know that all self-doubt is AV, and that previous unsuccessful attempts have no bearing on the present.

It does make me wonder what the heck went wrong, though. Did I not intend to actually quit the last time, or did I just simply change my mind? I wouldn't dare suggest that I was on 'autopilot' or that there was some 'strange mental blank spot'.

Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Have you made your Big Plan for ciggies?
Yes, but I made it for nicotine as opposed to just cigarettes. This takes care of all tobacco products, as well as nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes, etc. No wiggle room for the Beast, which has lots of help trying to sneak in some nicotine under the pretense of treatment.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:52 PM
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Dalek, if you need to you could sign up for the one month subscription on the Rational Recovery site. It's only $29.00 and Mr Trimpey and Deborah will sort you out.

I know they are certainly giving me some things to think about over there.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:03 PM
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Making a Big Plan is the Epitome of Deliberateness

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
... intuitively, I do know if I intend to actually quit for good, as opposed to merely taking yet another break.
Reasons leading up to making the Big Plan can certainly include an intuitive sense of the Big Plan's usefulness as an extreme action of absolute severity against the time ignorant Beast. (see last paragraph, p.133, RR:TNC).

But the actual making of the Big Plan and one's conscious awareness about what the Big Plan truly means must be the opposite of intuitive. Making a Big Plan is the epitome of deliberateness.

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
...previous unsuccessful attempts have no bearing on the present...
I believe incorporating what has happened in the past can help produce better results for the future, just so it doesn't diminish the truth of the human capacity to make the Big Plan.

I'll now mention something I personally choose not to do regarding the Big Plan. I do not tack insurance phrases on the end of it such as "and I will never change my mind", or "for better or worse". I guess it's my science background, because I do not need any further definition of NEVER in my Big Plan. Those extra terms in the equation are unnecessary to me, almost to the point of their suggesting the term NEVER might not mean NEVER all by itself.

100 years from now, imagine how many insurance phrases there could be in the average Big Plan? I think NEVER is wonderfully clean, complete, and powerfully pure all by itself. If one looks back at the history of the pledge of abstinence, there are thousands of documented pledges with differing phraseology. The more lengthy they became, the more conditional the abstinence became. I suppose it is even possible to consider the complete written 12 steps as a sort of indirect abstinence pledge - indirect because they don't actually state - I won't drink any more.

But this is all my logic. Putting some insurance phrases on the end of the Big Plan may be just what's needed to help some people get traction following previous smaller plans.

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
It does make me wonder what the heck went wrong, though.
Working out the "Lapse/Relapse Reconstruction Spreadsheet" on p. 178 of RR:TNC can dispel your "wonder" and solidify the answer for you.

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
Did I not intend to actually quit the last time,...
Your smoking again gives the answer.

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
or did I just simply change my mind?
Not "or did I", I think you mean "and did I", unless you figured out how to cancel a Big Plan.

If you really did make a Big Plan, knew you would never smoke again, with all your understanding of human existence, your understanding of what never means, and your knowledge that you were permanently removing the ability to choose to smoke from your future existence; then you would not have been able to smoke again.

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
...I made it for nicotine as opposed to just cigarettes.
I see you are saying you have now made your Big Plan for nicotine. FANTASTIC!!! Well, now all the above can eventually be forgotten - except for that once in a lifetime plan regarding nicotine getting inside your body. Sometimes I wish the Big Plan had been called the Biggest Plan. It really is that wonderfully and simply absolute.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I do not tack insurance phrases on the end of my Big Plan such as "and I will never change my mind", or "for better or worse". I guess it's my science background, because I do not need any further definition of NEVER in my Big Plan. Those extra terms in the equation are unnecessary to me, almost to the point of their suggesting the term NEVER might not mean NEVER all by itself.
You are correct, and "I will never drink/use again" is, by itself, entirely sufficient for a Big Plan. The "I will never change my mind" part is common, and "for better or for worse" is obviously just an adaptation of the anti bargain/payoff thinking which is already a part of AVRT ("Illusion 12" on Pg. 81-83 of TNC). Both are redundant, but both are also implied by the "short" Big Plan.

Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Not "or did I", I think you mean "and did I", unless you figured out how to cancel a Big Plan.
"I didn't intend to quit and I changed my mind."

That certainly simplifies things!

Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Well, now all the above can eventually be forgotten - except for that once in a lifetime plan regarding nicotine getting inside your body.
That is the obvious conclusion. If I'm never going to smoke again, none of this actually matters. All this analysis of what "went wrong" is just the addictive voice trying to make it seem like there are hidden reasons for smoking, and trying to inject doubt by suggesting I need to figure out what went wrong in order to prevent it from happening again.

Still, all of this could be useful for someone else, and there are two ways of looking at this incident. The first is that I "failed" to not smoke, or that something happened to "make me" smoke, but the second is that I succeeded at doing exactly what I wanted to do at that moment, which was getting that nicotine kick. Time to get back to AVRT basics here.

Smoking is neither a symptom nor a failure. It is purposeful, voluntary behavior, and I know exactly what happened. I decided I wanted to smoke, I had a purpose in doing so, and I did it. I'm certainly not downplaying the fact that I didn't keep to an earlier decision, but it is better to take responsibility for what I did do, and not what I didn't do. I know AVRT well enough to have done otherwise, after all.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:53 AM
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Dalek, read what you said again. You said "I succeeded at doing what I wanted to do at that moment" and that "I decided I wanted to smoke". You are looking at it all as "I" when it should be "IT"! The beast wanted to smoke and won!!

Today my beast decided IT wanted a drink and at first I was thinking it was me that wanted a couple of bottles of wine then I realised "I" didn't but "IT" did and that stopped the craving straight away.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
I decided I wanted to smoke, I had a purpose in doing so, and I did it.
After a Big Plan has been broken and in trying to explain why it happened, what is there to distinguish between

a) the Beast, IT, taking over the personal pronoun I and pretending to be I in order to smoke and

b) the real "I" actually changing its mind and deciding to smoke?


Can scenario b) ever be true in the context of AVRT and a Big Plan? I don't think it can be.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:56 AM
  # 312 (permalink)  
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The Big Plan

I'll try to point out the discrepancy more clearly with two segments of your post with some added highlighting.

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
...I don't believe it is possible to be unaware of whether or not I am really making a Big Plan.
...
It does make me wonder what the heck went wrong, though. Did I not intend to actually quit the last time, or did I just simply change my mind? I wouldn't dare suggest that I was on 'autopilot' or that there was some 'strange mental blank spot'.
It is impossible to be aware that you swore to never smoke again and also to be unsure whether or not you had intended to swear to never smoke again.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
After a Big Plan has been broken ...
A Big Plan cannot be broken.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:40 AM
  # 314 (permalink)  
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Permanently remove your ability to choose to use

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
...I decided I wanted to smoke, I had a purpose in doing so, and I did it. I'm certainly not downplaying the fact that I didn't keep to an earlier decision, but it is better to take responsibility for what I did do, and not what I didn't do. I know AVRT well enough to have done otherwise, after all.
Here's what I see as the truth, Dalek, which I believe you will understand as you fathom the depths of your ultimate intentions. Since you cannot lie to yourself, and you cannot be unaware whether or not you made a Big Plan., there is no other possibility except that you knew all along that your "earlier decision" was NOT a Big Plan, it was "merely taking yet another break" as you put it.

You now say you have made your Big Plan for nicotine since then, and I congratulate you for that because I believe you know your human capacity to permanently remove the ability to even CHOOSE to smoke from your future existence.

When you recognize the desire to smoke, your Big Plan autopilot will immediately intervene - "I actually removed my ability to CHOOSE to smoke back when I made my Big Plan! HAH! Oh, well. So much for that!" There is absolutely nothing else you could possibly do in that situation. Do you believe it? I do.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
So, I take it you're still smoking.

As an ex-smoker I know that now never seems like a good time to quit; there's always something happening or about to happen that makes it the "wrong" time to stop.

You seem very well versed in AVRT but can't, at the moment, commit to a Big Plan because the perceived benefits of smoking outweigh the disadvantages. Maybe you could reverse the balance and build up the necessary motivation by reading some good books on quitting smoking. Something in them might resonate with you and allow you to make a Big Plan you believe in.

Have you read Allen Carr's "Easy Way To Stop Smoking"?
He also has a longer and more comprehensive one called "The Only Way To Stop Smoking Permanently".

There's one by Gillian Riley called "How To Stop Smoking And Stay Stopped For Good" which has good reviews on amazon.co.uk
I haven't read this book but it seems to have similarities to AVRT.
I read the Gillian Riley book and I think it's a cross between the Easy Way method and AVRT. What I found really interesting in the book is how she really stresses not to be afraid or try to suppress the AV. The desire (or AV) is inevitable and it's not your fault when it comes up. Repression does not work. Do not try to rid yourself of the desire. Do not substitute other compulsive behaviors. Do not get mad at the voice. Dont be terrified of it. Learn to manage the voice, dont fight it and dont hope for it to go away. Just recognize it, seperate it and remember that you no longer smoke.

She also talks about bringing up the desire purposely. (the shifting excersize) it's important to help you learn how to manage the desire instead of trying to kill it.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:16 PM
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Knowing you had your last drink does not have to be a haphazard hope.

Here are the last two sentences in the meaty section of learning AVRT in Part II of RR: TNC, on p. 210.

"If you have made a Big Plan, try getting out of it, and discover the meaning of the word never.
"Tomorrow, your Beast will be busy at work, trying to salvage a foothold in your thinking. Will you be ready? I bet you will be."

By definition, a Big Plan stays in place and is followed by its maker for the rest of her/his life. Otherwise, it must have been some other sort of plan, even from the moment of conception, and the planner must know that. From this it's clear that the Big Plan can only be made once for quitting any given substance.

Here's another way I understand the Big Plan. Basic human competency is all that's needed to succeed at both "I never drink alcohol" as well as "I never drink Drano". Then, why is it that some people seem to think they don't know if they've truly succeeded at the first plan when they clearly know they've succeeded at the second? The very deliberate, complex in-your-face voluntary movements and actions involved in violating each plan are identical.

Well, the difference is The Beast, and only The Beast; and that's where the Structural Model and AVRT come in - not because the Big Plan requires AVRT, (because people have been quitting for good all on their own for centuries without AVRT) - it's just that AVRT makes living with the Big Plan a heck of a lot easier. AVRT was developed from studying how self-recovery works.

So, my conclusion is that I can have just as much confidence at succeeding with "I never drink alcohol." as I have confidence at succeeding with "I never drink Drano." And I DO know ABSOLUTELY, whether or not I really did make a Big Plan when I made it. There are no two ways about it.

So, I repeat, AVRT is not an "insurance policy" for The Big Plan. There are no "insurance policies" needed for the Big Plan. AVRT just makes living with the Big Plan a lot easier.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
...what is there to distinguish between

a) the Beast, IT, taking over the personal pronoun I and pretending to be I in order to smoke and

b) the real "I" actually changing its mind and deciding to smoke?
That's easy. The Beast can't control the extremities, and it can't light a match, or a cigarette. You are describing the illusion of powerlessness that characterizes addiction. It may appear that the Beast is the one lighting the cigarette ("autopilot"), but it just isn't so. We can blame the Beast for the idea to smoke, and all the planning required, but only up until that pivotal moment when the conscious "I" decides to act on the plan and engages the voluntary muscles.

Originally Posted by harry101 View Post
Can scenario b) ever be true in the context of AVRT and a Big Plan? I don't think it can be.
The Big Plan is permanent and irreversible by definition, so if we go by that, then no. Someone can certainly say "to heck with my Big Plan," but then, it becomes (or always was) not-quite-a-big-plan, since it doesn't fit the definition of a Big Plan. I think this is what GerandTwine was trying to say, but with fewer words.

In the context of a Big Plan, where the "I" never smokes, and doesn't even have the option of choosing to smoke, then I cannot recognize all of the addictive voice and still smoke. Voluntary action such as lighting a cigarette requires the implicit use of the pronoun "I" in order to execute will, because "IT" will not, and cannot, move my arms and hands.

I may recognize lots of AV, and then still decide to smoke, but only if the part that does the smoking is not recognized, or objectified as "IT", if you prefer. In order for me to smoke, either recognition did not occur, or I consciously decided not to objectify the AV, essentially becoming one with the Beast ("all Beast").

It is not possible that I didn't recognize the desire to smoke. It was too conspicuous not to recognize, and I am adept at recognition. Rather, I chose not to objectify that desire as IT, and chose to not maintain the separation. As I was about to buy the pack of cigarettes, I heard the AV clearly say "you know what would go well with those cigarettes? Some Beer! Why not get a six pack as well?"

In contrast to the smoking thoughts, though, I did objectify the drinking thoughts as the Beast. This gives some weight to what GerandTwine concluded, which is that my original plan to stop smoking, in contrast to my plan for drinking, was not actually a Big Plan. If this were simply a failure of AV recognition (scenario a), then I would have picked up that six pack of beer right along with the pack of cigarettes, but I did not.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Aussiebutterfly View Post
Dalek, read what you said again. You said "I succeeded at doing what I wanted to do at that moment" and that "I decided I wanted to smoke". You are looking at it all as "I" when it should be "IT"! The beast wanted to smoke and won!!
Yes, except that I consciously decided not to maintain that separation in order to smoke. There is no other way that I could have smoked, because the Beast can't actually do anything. It can't really win or lose, only I can do that.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
In the context of a Big Plan, where the "I" never smokes, and doesn't even have the option of choosing to smoke, then I cannot recognize all of the addictive voice and still smoke.
What if you don't "recognize all of the addictive voice"? Then what?
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
What if you don't "recognize all of the addictive voice"? Then what?
I can see why you would ask that, since it suggests that recognition is a precondition for abstinence, but AVRT = separation. If the AV is not recognized and objectified, then there is no separation, and I am one with the Beast (I=IT). At that point, I am liable to smoke. The separation needs to be maintained, and for that, I need recognition (and a Big Plan).

Originally Posted by The Art of AVRT, Page 79
Anything you objectively recognize is logically not you, because you are the observer and not the observed. As long as the Beast remains an "it," you are safe from it. However, if it gains possession of the pronoun "I," then you are free to drink/use, and very likely will. (Get it? Free will!)
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