First Chapter: The Smoker’s Prayer

Here’s the first brief chapter  of my latest book:  The Smoker’s Prayer: The Spiritual Healing of Tobacco Addiction with or without Chantix, Nicotine Patches, Hypnosis, Jail Time or Duct Tape.  It took me 30 years to have the gonads to write this book. It was a fun, inspiring and necessary book for me to write. Would love to hear your stories.

Chapter 1
Why You Should Read This Book,
Even If You’re an Atheist or Agnostic

I oscillate between agnosticism and atheism.”
— Brad Pitt

This book presents a much lighter, brighter, less fearful view of smokers and the smoking habit than you can find anywhere else in the world. If you’re a smoker wishing to quit, just reading this book will help you get free more quickly, more easily, more completely than any other approach. Guaranteed!
Here’s why: The various approaches for quitting which you find in almost every stop smoking program and website are all well-intentioned. (Well, most of them are well-intentioned). But most of them are often funded, designed and reliant upon a very old-fashioned, medical-materialist view of smoking. The people behind them are mostly very good and sincere people, very educated people, trained people, confident people, who truly do want to help. And their approach does help, but, unfortunately, only 10-20% of the time.
I know this because I myself was one of these people. I was trained by some of the best people and organizations in the country, including the in-depth medical training to be a “certified tobacco treatment specialist.” I worked for over twenty years in the stop-smoking business, most of the time in government-funded programs. So I am deeply conversant with and respectful of the various medical-materialist approaches offered in such programs.
But this book is different. This book is written with a metaphysical, as well as a physical understanding of smoking behaviors. I don’t deny the physical understanding — the scientific research and clinical evidence. But this book puts this scientific research and evidence into its necessary broader context: the context of we ourselves, as beautiful, magical multi-dimensional human beings living our lives as best we know how.
Curiously, and sadly, although the “medical-materialist” approach to quitting smoking is bluntly secular, non-spiritual, and avowedly scientific, there is a hidden, essentially fearful, old-fashioned puritanism involved at its base. This old approach is almost inevitably a dualistic “good vs evil” approach. In that approach, smoking is obviously and always evil; not smoking is obviously and always good. It’s black and white. If you don’t smoke that’s good. If you do smoke, that’s bad. That’s the medical-materialist dualist world view.
Such a view, in my experience, is a somewhat shallow, simplistic, and in the end mostly unworkable understanding, as most smokers have already discovered. And it is just not true!
Whether consciously or subconsciously, openly or tacitly, the medical-materialist view almost always starts with a subtle “no-no-shame-on you” view of your smoking behavior. From there, it proceeds to, “here, let me show you where you went wrong, how you went bad, and how you need to change yourself to be right again, to be good again.”
Such a simplistic, materialist, black-and-white approach to quitting smoking is like the conversation that starts, “The problem with you is . . .”
Uggh. How much fun is that conversation? And how well does it work?
In this book you will find a much more holistic, and thus more realistic, more evidence-based, more loving, and in the end more workable approach. You don’t have to go to church. You don’t have to pray to Jesus. (Though of course, you can go to church and pray to Jesus if you want). Rather, you just need to allow yourself to love again, laugh again, walk free on the earth again. Isn’t that what we all want, whether atheist, agnostic, or church going?
Such free and easy living can happen, does happen, quite easily, because that’s how we were designed to be. I would encourage you to stop doubting such a possibility for just a minute. Relax your old view of how tough quitting is supposed to be. Just love the slight chance that you have stumbled onto a new approach here that will actually work to bring you new freedom. And then just zoom out from such heavy thinking, in the same way the camera at the football game zooms out to give you the “view from the blimp,” the bird’s eye view of what’s going on.
By the way, it is okay to do that. To simply zoom out and away from heavy thinking. It’s actually quite healthy. But that’s a discussion for a later chapter. For now, even if you’re an atheist or agnostic, just read on. You’re about to learn secrets about smoking that hardly anyone ever whispers. The pilgrimage begins . . . .
The pilgrimage begins now.

 

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