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Collective Beast-Fact or Fact?

Old 07-06-2014, 06:46 AM
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Collective Beast-Fact or Fact?

I am very intrigued by the concept of a "Collective Beast." In AVRT, we learn to recognize our Beast and its Addictive Voice; learn to separate our highest, best selves from our lower, primal selves. Is it possible to do the same for the "collective?"

In my opinion, the "Collective Beast" is everywhere! One has only to watch television (an activity I am ashamed to admit I have done a great deal of in the last month or so, LOL) to notice quite a bit.

The number of commercials for alcoholic beverages is staggering. The number of advertisements for rehabilitation services is also disturbing. I have actually seen one follow the other! Not to mention the way alcohol consumption is portrayed (even when the negative consequences are displayed; it is usually done in a very chic way, IMO.)

Are there other examples, SR folks? How do you think the "collective beast" affects you? What can be done to counteract these effects?
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:07 AM
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When you started talking about a collective beast, what came to mind wasn't related to advertising. What my mind went to was groups of people with "irrefutable" dogma.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:33 AM
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The collective beast has zero effect on my sobriety. I recognize it, separate from it, and accept it, just as I do with my particular beast. It has even less ability to make me drink than does my own. It is saddening though.

One aspect of the collective beast I have noticed is within a group of people that are assembled for any other reason than alcohol. Look at the reaction when someone mentions stopping at a bar afterwards, or the effects of tequila, or mimosas for breakfast, the pros and cons of swim-up bars, or meeting for drinks before the next gathering. There is a purring awakening within the group that happens as the collective beast perks up. From the AVRT point of view, it's kinda creepy.

Here I try to be steadfast in my message that we do, each of us, have the power within us to quit drinking, and to quit drinking for good.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:04 AM
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Boudicca,

Have you read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth?

If not, you might want to read his fascinating description of the "pain body." Tolle has come up with a pretty good description of the Beast, in my opinion.

Tolle also talks about the collective "pain body":

"The pain body, however, is not just individual in nature. It also partakes of the pain suffered by countless humans throughout the history of humanity, which is a history of continuous tribal warfare, of enslavement, pillage, rape, torture, and other forms of violence. This pain still lives in the collective psyche of humanity and is being added to on a daily basis, as you can verify when you watch the news tonight or look at the drama in people's relationships. The collective pain body is probably encoded within every human's DNA, although we haven't discovered it there yet."

I agree with freshstart57's view of the collective beast having zero effect on her sobriety, and the collective beast, or "pain body" as the case may be, similarly has none on mine. However, just take a step back and look at the collective beast at work when congregations of drinkers cluster at various events and venues. The collective breakdown of inhibitions is startling at times, to say the least, which is a big reason why I dislike being present in crowds of "celebrants."

Reading this thread caused me to open my Tolle book and read through Chapter 5 on "The Pain Body" again. I would highly recommend it.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:32 AM
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Compartmentalizing

Back in the Stone Age, we played 'Dodge Ball' on the Elementary School Playground at Recess. Kids stand in a circle. Some 'lucky' Sap stands in the center while a soft, red Rubber Ball is thrown in an effort to nail said Sap. I used to love that Game. I'm not in Therapy, but perhaps right there is a Topic for investigation.

I'm watching Wimbledon, being a former 'Wussy' Tennis Player. Another word was used in HS, but that word is close enough. One TV Ad is for a 'new', jacked-up, spicier version of Jagermeister. Another Ad has some total Babe being happy with getting a 'Stella' to drink vs. some Bauble from the Jewelry Store just passed on the Sidewalk. With the TV Sound down, there's some Gent in a snappy Outfit sitting at this massive Bar while some Babe at the end checks him out. I used to just hate when that would happen. *Guffaw*. Turns out that Ad is for Hotels.com. I couldn't figger out WTH they were shilling in that Ad until the end. All these Ads are in the midst of World Class Athletes playing their best to triumph and win. Betcha Roger Federer didn't throw down a few Shots of 'spicier' Jager last night before the epic Match he's in right now. TV Ads for Rolex starring Roger. Ads for hot chit Mercedes. An Ad for Jacob's Creek Wine with 3 top notch former Tennis Players.

My point - and I do have one - is that I face these challenges one at a time. Just as in the old Dodgeball Game. Turn and face, or lean into, the 'Threat'. The entire Circle of Kids doesn't throw the Ball at you [as with multiple Ads]. It's really only 1 Kid at a time. I can 'compartmentalize' that and deal with it. Indeed, if you didn't focus and face only the Kid with the Ball, you'd get nailed. Hard. Just as when you're not focused and your Collective or Singular AV seizes the moment and tries to nail you. I pound it down like the old Arcade Game 'Whac-A-Mole'.

Yah, Groups are tougher. I'm an 'Observer' type, so I tend to just trip on what Folks are doing, and watch 'em slide downhill in Behavior while seeking out someone to BS with. Boy, now who on Earth would opt for behaving like those Folks over there? No, wait, I did. OK, never mind...

My answer: via Mental Focus, try to embrace multiple Threats and shove them aside. Focus on one. Process it. Dismiss it. Rinse and repeat. ~Six months in, it really doesn't come up much anymore.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:47 AM
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When I read collective beast on that other thread my heart sang YES.

Understanding that helps me see what is happening for what it really is, as in sometimes people are responding to THEIR beast, but they aim it at me. They see me as a threat to their beast, and they maybe need that fear somehow.

so they make me (and maybe you too, into something to fight. And someone mentioned how others sometimes seem to want a nother person to fail because it will prove something. People only want that if they have made the other the enemy.

Today I read someone had another person in recovery tell them to drink some more! Some people like to be the beast and like to be part of the group that is the beast.

I like the big decision that I won't drink again ever. Then I see someone say 'yes you will because you didn't do this." that is exactly the beast. Now I can see that and go on my own way.

I just had this happen, and wasn't going to come back here, but I read your thread yesterday and it all changed my mind.

thank you so much
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:36 AM
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Everything the beast tells me is bullspit.

Not all the bullspit I hear is from the beast.

Either way, I don't want it on my shoes.

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Old 07-06-2014, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Archelon View Post
When I read collective beast on that other thread my heart sang YES.

Understanding that helps me see what is happening for what it really is, as in sometimes people are responding to THEIR beast, but they aim it at me. They see me as a threat to their beast, and they maybe need that fear somehow.

so they make me (and maybe you too, into something to fight. And someone mentioned how others sometimes seem to want a nother person to fail because it will prove something. People only want that if they have made the other the enemy.

Today I read someone had another person in recovery tell them to drink some more! Some people like to be the beast and like to be part of the group that is the beast.

I like the big decision that I won't drink again ever. Then I see someone say 'yes you will because you didn't do this." that is exactly the beast. Now I can see that and go on my own way.

I just had this happen, and wasn't going to come back here, but I read your thread yesterday and it all changed my mind.

thank you so much
Just curious where the other thread is? Thanks
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:33 PM
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http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...nsitivity.html
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FT View Post
Have you read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth?

If not, you might want to read his fascinating description of the "pain body." Tolle has come up with a pretty good description of the Beast, in my opinion.
I am reading it right now, coincidentally. Still on Chapter 3 and the "ego" concept, very interesting and helpful.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:53 AM
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Another analogy that makes sense to me:

Many years ago I lived in Florida and I took my young family to a park for a cookout. Not far from where we were picnicking I spotted a 7-8 foot alligator laying in the reeds down an embankment. This alligator was a problem for me as I was concerned for the safety of my children if that alligator should decide to come up the embankment.

A little while later some folks near us also discovered the alligator. They started tossing food from their grill down to it because they thought it was fun to watch it eat. I saw this as adding to my alligator problem, but I did not see these other people as alligators. They were just ill-informed and didn't know they were making it more likely that alligator was going to become a real problem.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post

What can be done to counteract these effects?
if we stay in God's Word it helps

there is a battle between the two sides

realizing this is of the most importance

for yes the liquid devil wants us to stay drunk

God has much better plans for us

MM
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:37 AM
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No more reported posts please

Like I said in another thread I think it's respectful to confine discussion to secular recovery in this forum.

I'm sure Bob posted without realising the forum

Lets get back to the topic now, thanks.

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Old 07-07-2014, 06:09 AM
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When we were children I think my brothers and sisters would collective beast up on my mother.

play on guilt and insecurity.

So true that we need to not listen to the beast of other people any more than our own. "pfhhhht", one cartoon character says.

This is what I notice in me. Sometimes when my confidence falls in other subjects in my life then I feel weak against the addiction beast.

That opens a door. Over the weekend I made a fool of myself at a picnic, and those nerves woke up the beast of insecurity. Have another piece of cake, it's a picnic, have a beer.

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.

OK, I confess, I had a second piece of cake.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by melki View Post
I am reading it right now, coincidentally. Still on Chapter 3 and the "ego" concept, very interesting and helpful.
My room mate and I read some every morning to start our day.

We have a little book that goes with it too, excercises.

So many days we say "well, I think we need to go back and read that again!"

It is very helpful to understand what we do to ourselves, torture ourselves. There are also short videos of him speaking on you tube and his facebook.

those are a good way to start the day too.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:41 AM
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Cake Walk

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.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical
A little while later some folks near us also discovered the alligator. They started tossing food from their grill down to it because they thought it was fun to watch it eat. I saw this as adding to my alligator problem, but I did not see these other people as alligators. They were just ill-informed and didn't know they were making it more likely that alligator was going to become a real problem.
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.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FT View Post
Boudicca,

Have you read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth?

If not, you might want to read his fascinating description of the "pain body." Tolle has come up with a pretty good description of the Beast, in my opinion.

Tolle also talks about the collective "pain body":

"The pain body, however, is not just individual in nature. It also partakes of the pain suffered by countless humans throughout the history of humanity, which is a history of continuous tribal warfare, of enslavement, pillage, rape, torture, and other forms of violence. This pain still lives in the collective psyche of humanity and is being added to on a daily basis, as you can verify when you watch the news tonight or look at the drama in people's relationships. The collective pain body is probably encoded within every human's DNA, although we haven't discovered it there yet."

I agree with freshstart57's view of the collective beast having zero effect on her sobriety, and the collective beast, or "pain body" as the case may be, similarly has none on mine. However, just take a step back and look at the collective beast at work when congregations of drinkers cluster at various events and venues. The collective breakdown of inhibitions is startling at times, to say the least, which is a big reason why I dislike being present in crowds of "celebrants."

Reading this thread caused me to open my Tolle book and read through Chapter 5 on "The Pain Body" again. I would highly recommend it.
I have not read any of Tolles work. I have copies of both New Earth and Mindfulness on reserve at the library and cannot wait to read them. The ideas you describe remind me of the ideas of C. Jung re: the collective unconscious. Been years since I read Psychology of the Unconscious. It might be time for a re-read.
Thank you for the book recommendation. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
When you started talking about a collective beast, what came to mind wasn't related to advertising. What my mind went to was groups of people with "irrefutable" dogma.
Absolutely, T. When I first decided to take action re: my drinking, like any intellectual I tried to do my research. I just could not wrap my mind around some of the treatment models out there. That was how I "stumbled" into AVRT and something just clicked.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Archelon View Post
When I read collective beast on that other thread my heart sang YES.

Understanding that helps me see what is happening for what it really is, as in sometimes people are responding to THEIR beast, but they aim it at me. They see me as a threat to their beast, and they maybe need that fear somehow.

so they make me (and maybe you too, into something to fight. And someone mentioned how others sometimes seem to want a nother person to fail because it will prove something. People only want that if they have made the other the enemy.

Today I read someone had another person in recovery tell them to drink some more! Some people like to be the beast and like to be part of the group that is the beast.

I like the big decision that I won't drink again ever. Then I see someone say 'yes you will because you didn't do this." that is exactly the beast. Now I can see that and go on my own way.

I just had this happen, and wasn't going to come back here, but I read your thread yesterday and it all changed my mind.

thank you so much
You are welcome, but all I did was ask a sincere question The true power in this thread is in the unbelievably astute responses. Some really great thinking going on around here, LOL!
It was a real epiphany for me to realize that my Beast is responding to the Beast activity of others. I have some work to do in this area but I believe sincere examination will help me do that. Keep coming back to this forum, there are fine minds from which we can learn.
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