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Collective Beast-Fact or Fact?

Old 07-07-2014, 07:33 AM
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It shook me for awhile, then I said "nope", I recognized that it's not reality just insecurity. No one around me even remembered my mess up, only me. My brain was looking for a way to escape, but no one wanted me to leave, just my insecure self.

Not reality, just insecurity. I recognize this in myself as well. Particularly now the veil of alcoholic haze has been lifted; I am experiencing feelings full force and in real time. I need to get better at it. Sounds like you are practicing mindfulness!
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:34 AM
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OK, I confess, I had a second piece of cake.

I ate four HUGE rice krispie treats on the Fourth, LOL!
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
It was a real epiphany for me to realize that my Beast is responding to the Beast activity of others.
Like a well behaved dog sometimes starts misbehaving when it gets around an untrained dog. Or as it's called mass hysteria
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
This is mega-huge...

'It shook me for awhile, then I said "nope", I recognized that it's not reality just insecurity. No one around me even remembered my mess up, only me. My brain was looking for a way to escape, but no one wanted me to leave, just my insecure self.'

To realize that difference between the Objective Reality of the situation - that no one wanted you to leave - vs. you [or any one of us] internally reading the situation differently is no small achievement. Isolate it. Evaluate it. Deal with it. Survive it. No Cakes were harmed in the making of this Story. Or, Livers.

I used to give some pretty high level Presentations in front of High Tech Customers with Company names we'd all recognize. Early on, I'd be paranoid that I'd mucked up this-or-that detail and get all self-conscious. I could expect to get grilled on details by some seriously-smart and experienced Tech Heads or Physics types. Just like on this Forum, some Folks just had to prove how much they knew. There's one in every Crowd. Yawn. My Sales Account Pals in the Audience would tell me the opposite - that I'd nailed my Presentation - and Customers liked my 'schtick'. So, I got over it. As the old saying goes: 'Don't ever let them see you sweat'.

You're right. Your sort of confident experience positively carries into other aspects of Life.
Awesome analysis, MM. My husband calls it "conducting a useless post-mortem" in business as in personal life it's usually an exercise in futility.

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Old 07-07-2014, 07:36 AM
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Archelon and mesaman,
What you are describing closely parallels the Buddhist concept of fearlessness. It is not running from fear, or ignoring fear, or in any way trying to make fear disappear. Fearlessness is NOT about creating distance from my fears, but rather becoming intimate with my fear.
I thought this was a good article about it.

When the beast comes to visit I can invite her in for tea. She will get bored and leave soon enough.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I would definitely agree that many well meaning people don't realize that they are feeding the collective beast. That doesn't make it any less dangerous, does it? The bite will feel the same.
That was my first point regarding bullspit, and exactly why I don't want it on my shoes.

However, I perceive a difference between feeding a beast and being part of a collective beast. That was my second story.

The beast living in my head has intent. In fact, that's pretty much it's entire raison d'etre. I see very few external forces with the same intent that the beast living in my head has. They might stimulate my beast, but I don't see that as making them beasts. Still a problem, for sure, I just describe it in different terms than collective beast.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:33 AM
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i wouldn't call it a beast really..just culture..culture can be a wonderful thing too..but is very powerfull
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by caboblanco View Post
i wouldn't call it a beast really..just culture..culture can be a wonderful thing too..but is very powerfull
Yes, and also silent and almost invisible. Takes determination to see it.

When I moved away from hometown for some years then went back. WOW.

then I could see what my culture was and where many of my ideas had formed, but when I was in it, I was blind to it.

Remembering that helped when I got sober. I knew that yes, I could change how I see and think.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
The beast living in my head has intent. In fact, that's pretty much it's entire raison d'etre. I see very few external forces with the same intent that the beast living in my head has.
I realize we all conceptualize our Beast in whatever way works for us, but my take on the Beast is that it is incapable of intent.

To my perspective, Beast activity is pure basal human urges, the underlying human need to achieve homeostasis. The Beast is mindless, incapable of thought, but with powerful resources to drive intent. The AV acts as the intention, the means by which to satisfy the basal urges. It is the concept of homeostasis that becomes warped, and the drives abnormal. The AV becomes its spokesperson.

I mentioned before the concept of "PICA," the compulsion for humans to consume inedible and even poisonous substances. It does not derive from intention at all -- oftentimes there is underlying anemia or other pathologic processes that drive the abnormal urge to eat stuff like tar, clay, dirt, and the like. Sometimes I wonder if a few alcoholics have something akin to pica that drives an insatiable drinking habit.

Pica may be an extreme example of basal urges, but other urges -- i.e. sex drive, actual hunger, etc. -- serve other survival needs, and those urges lack actual intention as well. Abnormal or pathologic basal urges can and do sometimes to lead to unspeakably horrific behaviors such as rape, violence, etc. Normal humans may think about doing such things but never do them.

The collective Beast (or collective Pain Body) is cumulative as more Beasts cluster in the same vicinity. The basal urges are multiplied, and intention gathers strength with numbers. It therefore makes sense to me why recovery centers advise people in recovery NOT to become romantically involved with others still in recovery. And yet, they are deliberately gathered together all the time, in HUGE Beast clusters.

Interesting to me is how the Beast may grow in strength with other Beasts around, but why does the AV? Does it?

Also interesting to me is how my Beast really abhors others' Beasts. Or, perhaps better said, since my Beast is incapable of intent, my rational mind supersedes Beast activity. So, at least for me, the collective Beast has the opposite effect. I just want to get farther away.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:03 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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FT, that's sort of what I was referring to. Groups of people reinforcing in each other irrational behavior. A church group, a recovery group, or the old gang at the bar are the same. Their collective beast wants your beast to join in. When you deny your beast and reject their beast, well...they can get a little hostile, each in their own way.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
Groups of people reinforcing in each other irrational behavior.
It's only irrational from an individual perspective. If a group of people gets together and helps keep each other sober, that seems like rather rational behavior to me.

Extrapolating that to believe their group method will work for everyone - maybe not so rational.

But I see that phenomenon with RR/AVRT people as well. It works for some of us and it is extrapolated to a belief that it will work for everyone. If they don't understand it or believe it, they are called irrational. I disagree.

Some people have been frustrated by me not understanding what they understand. They couldn't explain why I don't understand so they would tell me I am in denial, or incapable of self-honesty, or not ready yet. I disagree.

No one's sobriety plan has to be wrong for mine to be right.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:01 PM
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Interesting to me is how the Beast may grow in strength with other Beasts around, but why does the AV? Does it?
The AV is simply the voice of the Beast.

Non, no ones sobriety plan has to wrong for mine to be right either. I do, however, believe that it is indisputable that certain thinking leaves the door open for future drinking. Call it whatever you want, but leaving the door open even a tiny crack for future drinking can lead to...you guessed it...future drinking. There are many that are a part of the fellowship that will say the same thing.

It matters not to me what others do. But if they are going to ask me, I'm going to tell them what I think.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:19 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
It's only irrational from an individual perspective. If a group of people gets together and helps keep each other sober, that seems like rather rational behavior to me.

Extrapolating that to believe their group method will work for everyone - maybe not so rational.
That's essentially what I said, or intended to mean.

But I see that phenomenon with RR/AVRT people as well. It works for some of us and it is extrapolated to a belief that it will work for everyone. If they don't understand it or believe it, they are called irrational. I disagree.
I am under no illusion that RR/AVRT will work for more than a small percentage of people.

Some people have been frustrated by me not understanding what they understand. They couldn't explain why I don't understand so they would tell me I am in denial, or incapable of self-honesty, or not ready yet. I disagree.
I think RR/AVRT is the least in denial, most self-honest thing I've seen since true Objectivism(not the Randian kind). You most certainly have to be ready, though.

No one's sobriety plan has to be wrong for mine to be right.
Amen, brother. Mine certainly wouldn't work for anyone but me.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
I am under no illusion that RR/AVRT will work for more than a small percentage of people.
Remember that those who make the most noise are not always the biggest group.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:15 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
The AV is simply the voice of the Beast.

Non, no ones sobriety plan has to wrong for mine to be right either. I do, however, believe that it is indisputable that certain thinking leaves the door open for future drinking. Call it whatever you want, but leaving the door open even a tiny crack for future drinking can lead to...you guessed it...future drinking. There are many that are a part of the fellowship that will say the same thing.

It matters not to me what others do. But if they are going to ask me, I'm going to tell them what I think.
This hits the nail firmly on the head! Since I have joined SR there are members who have relapsed repeatedly. Repeatedly! Just in the short time I have been reading. Even people with years and years of "sobriety." This must be the result of a treatment methodology/world view that, as you said, "leaves the door open for future drinking."

I just don't understand this at all. I continued to drink for years; knowing that I had a problem. I never even tried to stop. Not once. I was convinced that I was a poor little victim; a hopeless alcoholic and would be for the rest of my life. It was a wonderful excuse to continue drinking, BTW. I stayed far away from anything resembling "recovery"....It didn't ring true then and it doesn't now. When I first read about AVRT, however, something just clicked....I made my Final Decision. It worked...I stopped. SUCCESS!

AVRT does not. There is no option for failure. It isn't even built into the methodology. In addition, the individual must truly WANT to stop. If the desire isn't there, success isn't possible.

Thanks for the post.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Non, no ones sobriety plan has to wrong for mine to be right either. I do, however, believe that it is indisputable that certain thinking leaves the door open for future drinking. Call it whatever you want, but leaving the door open even a tiny crack for future drinking can lead to...you guessed it...future drinking. There are many that are a part of the fellowship that will say the same thing.

It matters not to me what others do. But if they are going to ask me, I'm going to tell them what I think.
I am not singling anyone out, but many members post harsh criticisms of other recovery programs here. They scoff and demean the mindset of anyone following that program. That is vastly different than contemplating an individual's thinking.

Some of it comes from frustration, and I understand the frustration. I was told this will work. Then I was told it would work if you were doing it right. It wasn't true, and it made me feel like a failure. It depleted my hope.

When I was presented with a totally different option - one that made sense and gave me hope - I was a little irritated for a while about all the ineffective advice I had been given, promises made, judgments passed.

But looking back, I never encountered anyone who I thought was trying to do me wrong. They were giving me advice that worked for them. It just didn't work for me.

Now I give people advice on what worked for me. If it doesn't work for them I encourage them to find something that does. I don't want to deplete their hope. I want them to find a happy sober life.

When my BP #1 was washed away on a bender I came back here and received admonishments that I wasn't doing it right. It will work if you do it right. It sounded shockingly familiar. It made me feel like a failure. It depleted my hope. So we are not all that different after all.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:09 PM
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Well, if I state that I believe certain methods create learned helplessness, then I will have someone PM me to tell me I am harshly critical of others' methods. In fact, I am not trying to be harshly critical. I don't know how else to state my opinion other than just stating it.

I had a member recently tell me that I am a backslapper and that I "coddle" newcomers by telling them I believe in their capabilities to make positive change.

So there it is. I'm a harsh coddler.

I frequently share what has worked for me (it was not AVRT btw), only to be told that I only have "inexperience". Just today I was admonished for laughing about something that another member "did not find anything 'haha' about it". Last week I shared about a recent bout of crippling depression whereby I took to my bed for 16 hours before forcing myself to get up. The next day a member here said I play my cards close to my chest and never reveal anything about myself. Some days I feel like I can't win for losing. My point in all this is...it doesn't matter. No one here, or IRL, owes me anything. I have to be myself the best I know how. The truth is, I will offend some, some will relate, and most will be indifferent.

I don't scoff or demean any path. There are individuals I hold in high regard that all follow different paths, and there are individuals that I do not respect who all follow different paths.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:30 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I don't scoff or demean any path. There are individuals I hold in high regard that all follow different paths, and there are individuals that I do not respect who all follow different paths.
I wasn't addressing any particular individual's behavior, certainly not yours. Just providing food for thought for some people to consider. Or, at least, trying.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:14 AM
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I know, Non. My point was that the exact same words written can be perceived completely differently depending on the reader, and it's especially hard online where there is zero intonation or body language.

Anyway, I hear you. I, too, have experienced feeling diminished by others. This is going to sound trite, but "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." (The amazing Eleanor) I've had to adopt this as a mantra because my need for acceptance was as damaging as my addiction. It was killing me. While I value others' opinions, I no longer let them determine my value. So if someone scoffs or demeans my methods or my failures or my successes or tells me I'm doing it wrong...yes, it's unfortunate and it's uncomfortable, but that's all it is. I will say that the times others have really challenged my thinking have been the most beneficial for me. And by beneficial, I don't mean fun. I've grown the most by being wrong, by making mistakes, by failing.

Did not mean to make this about me. Many of you know I do tend to be rather self indulgent though.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:20 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
So if someone scoffs or demeans my methods or my failures or my successes or tells me I'm doing it wrong...yes, it's unfortunate and it's uncomfortable, but that's all it is.
I believe you, but you are mentally and emotionally healthy. That is not true for everyone who reads here, and the people who aren't yet healthy need information much more than you do.

I suppose we can continue to throw people in the deep water and assume they'll learn how to swim. You did. Others have, too. Perhaps I coddle too much, but I think the message is a gift to be laid on the table. Some treat it like a club to be swung at the head. Never cared for that approach.
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