Have a drinking problem? If other treatments haven’t worked, consider philosophical counseling…

In his essay “Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves?,” Tolstoy concludes that it is not the taste of liquor, hashish, tobacco, or other narcotics that is so appealing. People consume these substances to stupefy their brain and dull their conscience. It is true that violent crimes are often committed by the inebriated. More generally, millions of people seek to escape their everyday moral qualms, with a bottle of liquor.

Conscience is the moral dimension of consciousness. People often drink to dull the self-consciousness that is the cause of their self-doubt. Then they can do that which they normally fear — ask someone on a date, make a sale, request a raise, or enter into battle. In the film “Lost Weekend” (1945), an alcoholic writer drinks to overcome his writer’s cramp. He believes that it is his critical self-awareness that is interfering with the flow of his creative energies. He attempts to overcome that interference by dulling self-consciousness.

Is it true that consciousness interferes with creative endeavor? Tolstoy disagrees. Addressing writers who claim that they need drugs to overcome their inner-critic, he states: “It means either that you have nothing to write, or that what you wish to write has not yet matured in your consciousness but is only beginning dimly to present itself to you, and the appraising critic within, when not stupefied… tells you so.” (“Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves?” by Leo Tolstoy. Translator: Aylmer Maud. Wikisource.org.)

Our analysis of the appeal of intoxication is not, of course, just addressed to writers, but to everybody. There are a variety of cures for alcoholism, smoking, and drugs. But the most lasting cure — and the one that fosters emotional and spiritual development — is the one that gets to the root of the problem. Rather than seeking to stifle the inner-critic, and consciousness itself, we must come to terms with it. Only then can we reach new levels of consciousness. This is not a psychological problem; it is a philosophical one. Dr. Dillof can explore, with you, these deeper questions.

Dr. Dillof offers philosophical counseling, by phone and in person. For information, call him at: (607) 723-2663 (607) 723-2663 or e-mail him at mdillof@verizon.net. The telephone can allow for an intense conversation. Why, then, drive to a session — in the rain, snow, cold and dark — spending money on fuel?

No matter what part of the globe you inhabit — from New York City (NYC) to Los Angeles CA, from London to Tokyo, from Boston MA to Chicago IL, from Brooklyn to Queens, from Binghamton to Ithaca, from Scranton PA to Syracuse NY, from Vestal to Endicott, from White Plains to Westchester, from Rochester to Buffalo, from Nassau to Suffolk, from Louisville KY to Cincinnati OH, from Indianapolis IN to Hartford CT, from Hollywood CA to Miami Beach FL, from Minneapolis MN to Madison WI, from Portland OR to Washington DC, from Seattle WA to the Bronx NY, from Toronto Canada to Vancouver, from San Francisco to Houston — distance is no barrier to an illuminating counseling and life coaching session!

FREE 15 minute telephone chat with Dr. Dillof and assessment. Call today! Our telephone/office hours are 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Eastern Standard time, everyday, except Saturday.

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