The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you get.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you get.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

This is a discussion forum topic for the previous Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.



You don't get true happiness by fulfilling your addictions. You get it by transcending addiction.

Example: You don't get it by avoiding fear or being fearless. You get it by being brave, meaning transcending fear, meaning feeling fear but not being controlled by it and not being a slave to it. In other words, you get it by being a rebellious free-spirit in the face of the would-be tyrant that is fear. True happiness isn't fearlessness; it's (in part) bravery, which requires fear. You can't be brave unless you feel fear. I'm not happy despite feeling fear (or pain or discomfort); I'm happy in part precisely because I do feel it. I can't be brave without fear, and it's the bravery and thus also the fear that (in part) makes me happy. Bravery is just an example of the true happiness of spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline). Just as fear can be transcended (which we call bravery), so too can one transcend pain, anger, hunger, sexual urges, all addictive urges, and anything else that would make you dance like a puppet and steal your spiritual freedom.

Example Two: You don't get true happiness by never feeling hunger or hunger pain. You get it by being free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) and thus being able to honestly exercise honest free choice about whether or not to eat, despite whether or not you feel hunger. It's being happily free to not eat even when you are hungry. It's you being to hunger what a brave person is to fear. It is to transcend it and all like it. You still feel it. Transcendence isn't elimination. In fact, quite the opposite: You must feel it to transcend. It's like swimming: You can't swim without the same water in which others would drown. You can't be brave without feeling fear; you can't have have true happiness of transcendental freedom without things like discomfort, hunger, and pain to transcend.

Example Three: Happiness isn't the absence of sexual urges, nor is it being compelled to blindly fulfill them and obey their demand as if you were a puppet or a slave. True happiness is having them (and/or other loud feelings and urges) while still being happily free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) in the face of them, compelled neither to blindly do the opposite of what they demand nor to blindly do whatever it is they demand. It's to transcend compulsion itself. It's to be free. It's not to not have the feelings, bodily urges, and temptations; it's to have them as your toys instead of your master. It's like having them as fun kids in the back seat of a car you're driving, yelling "let's go to Disneyland" instead of saying "let's go to the dentist." It doesn't matter whether you drive them to Disneyland or the dentist; what matters is who is driving and who is the boss. Freedom of spirit (a.k.a. self-discipline) is when you are the boss, and you fully and honestly realize and accept that fact, rather than dishonestly blaming how you drive on the impotent yells from the proverbial backseat. It's honest self-responsibility. It's when you are your own boss, and the bodily feelings are just toys and children with which you get to play and love just as they are. Even when they are loud. Even when they really don't want to go to the dentist.

Of course, it's just as much a matter of not blindly doing the exact opposite of what fear or hunger or proverbial children are telling you to do.

Fear and hunger are just two examples of countless. Other examples include pain, anger, and sexual urges. Other examples include the urge of an alcoholic to drink alcohol, or a cigarette-smoker to smoke cigarettes. It's also the urge for an anorexic to lose another pound, or the temptation of a bulimic to make oneself puke.

Hunger and food addiction or other eating disorders are no more or less special than gambling addiction and the urge to gamble at a casino. Or infinite other examples. I choose to most often use examples of things like food, hunger, alcohol, and drinking simply because those tend to be most commonly relatable for most people. But every human has their things, and every human is on the addiction spectrum.

We all have our different props, but the underlying story of the play on the stage is the same for us all. It's a beautiful play I like to call "the beautiful struggle". It unites us all.

Back to the tiny examples: No amount of food (or lack thereof) will make a food addict happy. Not in the sense of true happiness, meaning free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) inner peace.

No amount of avoiding scary situations (or being thrown into them) will make a coward happy. Not in the sense of true happiness, meaning free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) inner peace.

The more your drink of these things, the thirstier you get.

Spiritually speaking, a food addict lacking free-spirited inner peace always starves.

Spiritually speaking, a coward always starves. No amount of desperate safety seeking or fear avoidance or death denial will save them.

A comfort addict is always miserable.

Giving a crack addict all the crack in the world doesn't make the crack addict happy. Not truly.

To say it again, in slightly different words, the more you drink comfort, the thirstier you get.

Hell is getting what you want. Hell is a lamp with a magic wish-granting genie in it.

The alcoholic wishes for the drink. The crack addict wishes for crack. The food addict orders a cheeseburger. What would you wish for?

Hell is getting your wish.

Heaven is when you transcend the wishing. It is to wish for nothing different than what actually and eternally is. In short, it is to wish for nothing. It is a form of deep spiritual radical unconditional acceptance. It is an acceptance so full and unconditional that it can be called love. It is, in a way, to simply love everything. Unconditionally.

Hell is a coward getting their wish, to their own miserable determent.

Heaven is bravery.

But that's just an example. Fear is just an example. Bravery (a.k.a. transcendence of fear) is just an example of spiritual liberation (a.k.a self-discipline) and the powerful invincible inner peace comes with it. Just as one can be happily free-spirited in the face of fear (which is called bravery), one can likewise be happily free-spirited in the face of anything and everything, from hunger, to pain, to sexual urges, to jealousy, to discomfort.

And when you know you are happily free-spirited in the face of anything and everything, that then comes with an incredible confidence and grace. You feel invincible. And in a way you are. You can walk through the valley of the shadow of death, with a playful confident smirk.

The devil is a genie in a lamp. He is laughably impotent to the liberated.





Image created with AI. The prompt: "The devil emerging from a lamp like a genie."
Image created with AI. The prompt: "The devil emerging from a lamp like a genie."
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Surabhi Rani »

I like the words 'You can walk through the valley of the shadow of death, with a playful confident smirk' in the above post. It reveals the spirit of detachment in a person. We should try to achieve a desireless state of mind. This is the right emotional diet for us. Food for thought!
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Kajori Sheryl Paul »

I agree. Happiness is "to transcend compulsion itself." Thank you for the wonderful post!
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Mcbride6841 »

Eleanor Roosevelt is reputed to have said that we need to die at least one thing every day that scares us. I believe that humans can and do continue to evolve into better beings if we stretch out of our comfort zone often. That can be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Cathy Burgin »

I wonder what self-discipline is. Is it letting go of desires so that they become the servant to the spirit? I have always seen it as requiring a huge amount of effort and denial. I have never considered it as a source of joy. What are your thoughts?
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Cathy Burgin wrote: August 13th, 2023, 10:40 am I wonder what self-discipline is. Is it letting go of desires so that they become the servant to the spirit? I have always seen it as requiring a huge amount of effort and denial. I have never considered it as a source of joy. What are your thoughts?
Hi, Cathy Burgin,

Thank you for your questions.

I think my book, In It Together, explains what self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) is. Moreover, I think my books show that it requires absolutely no effort (a.k.a. 'trying') at all. As the book says, "trying is lying".

Have you read my book, In It Together, yet?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Nqobile Mashinini Tshabalala »

"You don't get it by avoiding fear or being fearless. You get it by being brave, meaning transcending fear, meaning feeling fear but not being controlled by it and not being a slave to it." I love this statement. It reminds me of a mantra I have since adopted which was mentioned by my favorite pastor when she said "We do it trembling, we do it anyway"
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Dalia Chaouaf »

"You don't get true happiness by never feeling hunger or hunger pain. You get it by being free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) and thus being able to honestly exercise honest free choice about whether or not to eat, despite whether you not feel hunger." This resonates so much with my experience being on the fatter side my whole life and struggling with the concept of hunger. I thought my entire life that I was always hungry, and that the only way to be happy would be to eat. And yes, eating gave me happiness, but it was only temporary. It took uprooting my whole life and lifestyle to understand that and understand that the concept of "mental hunger" can be tamed if only you try hard enough
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Jennifer Coxon »

It sounds like we are saying that giving in to our desires may lead to temporary happiness but not true happiness. The want for food, comfort, sex etc are all temporary bouts of happiness. Then what of the desire for something different and wanting to step outside our comfort zone? How is that desire any different and how will the happiness generated last any longer than following any other desire?
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Jennifer Coxon wrote: August 17th, 2023, 3:05 am It sounds like we are saying that giving in to our desires may lead to temporary happiness but not true happiness.
Yes, but the left-brained logician in me must beg us to re-phrase it as follows:

"It sounds like we are saying that blindly giving in to our addictive temptations may lead to temporary pseudo-happiness but not true happiness."

Here are my reasons for the re-phrase:

1. It helps avoid the risk of accidentally committing the No True Scotsman fallacy, by referring to the untrue happiness as pseudo-happiness rather than just happiness.

2. It helps express that the pseudo-loving ups in the ups-and-downs and highs-and-lows of toxic so-called "hate-love" relationships and addictive cycles are not happiness at all.

3. It helps illustrate that an addict and/or spiritual slave paradoxically desires--or at least claims to desire--the opposite what they choose, which is often indicative of some kind of self-deceit, dishonest denial, or other misery-inducing illusion. For example, an alcoholic might say, "I want/desire to quit drinking so bad," as they lift the glass to their mouth. Thus, the re-phrasing helps include situations where the addict (or spiritual slave/prisoner) has at least enough self-awareness to say that fulfilling their temptations and/or being slave to comfort and/or a slave to their addictions is not what they want. They might describe their spiritual hell by saying (somewhat incorrectly) that they want to do the opposite of what temptation tells them to do even when they do what temptation tells them to do instead of what they claim to want to do.

Jennifer Coxon wrote: August 17th, 2023, 3:05 am what of the desire for something different and wanting to step outside our comfort zone? How is that desire any different and how will the happiness generated last any longer than following any other desire?
It isn't different, IMO. I think my book explains that in detail. May I ask if you have already read my book, In It Together, in full?

Inner peace comes from within, not physically within per se, but spiritually within. The wonderful joy of free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) comes with an invincible grace and confidence. It isn't fleeting, and it doesn't wear off like the emotional highs of comforts and of caving to temptation (i.e. pseudo-happiness).

Unlike the pseudo-happiness associated with the ups in the ups and downs of life, which is always balanced in a yin-yang-way with
equal pseudo-happiness, the true happiness of inner peace is consistent and is kept on both the ups and the downs and cannot be taken away by outer circumstance. 🙂


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Celestine Adhiambo »

Breaking free from the comfort zone can be challenging, but it often leads to personal growth and new opportunities. Comfort addiction can indeed create a metaphorical prison, hindering progress and stifling potential.
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Erikpume Victory »

Kajori Sheryl Paul wrote: August 12th, 2023, 5:50 pm I agree. Happiness is "to transcend compulsion itself." Thank you for the wonderful post!
Very straightforward statement, happiness truly should transcend compulsion itself.
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Anthony Ekemezie »

It seems that we are arguing that while giving in to our impulses may bring about enjoyment in the short term, true happiness is not attained. The desire for comfort, food, sex, and other things are merely fleeting moments of joy. What about the want to try something new and push ourselves beyond our comfort zones? What distinguishes that want from others, and how will pursuing it lead to happiness that lasts longer?
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Anthony Ekemezie wrote: January 16th, 2024, 4:19 pm What about the want to try something new and push ourselves beyond our comfort zones? What distinguishes that want from others, and how will pursuing it lead to happiness that lasts longer?
That want wouldn't be and pursuing it wouldn't give you true happiness.

Instead, true happiness does not require any pursuing. One who thinks of true happiness as something that can only be obtained in the future via pursuit, rather than in the present without pursuit, is likely making a false idol of the future and/or in a toxic codependent relationship with their selves over time. Both of those ways of voluntarily giving one's inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) are explored in much detail in my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.

In short, true happiness (a.k.a. inner peace) comes from transcending desire and transcending addiction, including the common addiction to comfort itself.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: The Prison of the Comfort Zone and the Slavery of Comfort Addiction | The more you drink comfort, the thirstier you

Post by _Rhea Jacob »

These days, most of us are typically addicted to something or the other- whether is is food, social media, video games, drugs, etc. We won't be able to stop if we keep consuming those things with no control.
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