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Chapter 6: Try It My Way

You may have decided again and again, and again and again you have failed - not because smoking is such a great phenomenon that you cannot get out of it, but because you are trying from the wrong end. Rather than becoming aware of the whole situation - why you smoke in the first place - rather than becoming aware of the process of smoking, you are simply trying to drop it. It is like pruning the leaves of a tree without cutting the roots.

And my whole concern here is to cut the roots, not to prune the tree. By pruning the leaves and the branches the tree will become thicker, the foliage will become thicker. You will not destroy the tree; you will be helping it, in fact. If you really want to get out of it you will have to look deeper, not into the symptoms but the roots. Where are the roots?

You must be a deeply anxiety-ridden person, otherwise chain-smoking is not possible; chain-smoking is a by-product. You must be so concerned about a thousand and one disturbances inside, you must be carrying such a big load of worries on your heart, on your chest, that you don’t even know how to forget them. You don’t know how to drop them - smoking at least helps you to forget about them. You say: “I have tried hard.”

Now one thing has to be understood. The hypnotists have discovered a fundamental law; they call it the Law of Reverse Effect. If you try hard to do something without understanding the fundamentals, just the opposite will be the result.

It is like when you are learning how to ride on a bicycle. You are on a silent road, no traffic, early in the morning, and you see a red milestone just standing there by the side of the road like Hanuman. A sixty-foot-wide road and just a small milestone, and you become afraid: you may get to the milestone, you may hit against the milestone. Now you forget about the sixty-foot-wide road. In fact, even if you go blindfolded there is not much chance of your encountering the milestone, crashing into the milestone, but with open eyes now the whole road is forgotten; you have become focused. In the first place, that redness is very focusing. And you are so much afraid! - you want to avoid it. You have forgotten that you are on a bicycle; you have forgotten everything. Now the only problem for you is how to avoid this stone; otherwise you may harm yourself, you may crash into it.

Now the crash is absolutely inevitable; you are bound to crash with the stone. And then you will be surprised: “I tried hard.” In fact it is because you tried hard that you reached the stone. And the closer you come, the harder you try to avoid it; but the harder you try to avoid it, the more focused you become on it. It becomes a hypnotic force, it hypnotizes you. It becomes like a magnet.

It is a very fundamental law in life. Many people try avoiding many things and they fall into the same things. Try to avoid anything with great effort and you are bound to fall into the same pit. You cannot avoid it; that is not the way to avoid it.

Be relaxed. Don’t try hard, because it is through relaxation that you can become aware, not by trying hard. Be calm, quiet, silent.

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