This weekend, not one alcohloic drink passed my lips…
Monday to Friday, I never drink alcohol as I feel it interupts my deep sleep pattern and I like to be as responsible as possible during the week when I am seeing clients for hypnotherapy… I am not like one of those doctors or therapists who hits the crystal whiskey decater on the side as soon as I finish work and I have never been into the culture of a glass of wine every night to wind down… Of course, I opt for self-hypnosis and morning meditation to keep my mind at ease…
That said, and you regular readers know it, I enjoy having a drink or two. Every other weekend or so, I probably get a little tipsy, I love real ale, fine wine and katie and I love our bubbly! I always have enjoyed a few drinks. I probably drank to excess far too often as a younger man and these days know my limits…
Not that many years ago, having a few drinks would have landed me in jail in certain parts of the world… During Prohibition, the U.S. for example, went dry in what was yet another example of trying to pretend that humans are not really human.
The fact is, there were and there still are many people out there who enjoy having a skinful and no amount of legislation is ever going to change that simple fact of life. Let me explain my point on this Monday morning…
Indeed, there are those who contend that drinking is an especially important part of the English way of life. If you look throughout the UK and other parts of the western world, there are many expressions we have for getting tipsy… getting hammered, legless, and being three sheets to the wind.
The huge number of individual words that serve as synonyms for intoxication (such as leathered, sh@t faced, soused, inebriated, drunk, plastered, etc.) would surely convince any linguist of the significance of the concept to our culture, no?
So how is it that we have turned out to be such a bunch of boozers in the UK? The urge to go and get blotto every once in a while appears to be a perfectly usual and acceptable way to behave… Some even consider it healthy to ‘let off steam’ in this way.
Drinking has always been popular — and not just among humans. You do even find it in animals. Elephants, for example, will go out of their way to get a trunk full of fermenting fruit. And what’s funny, they then behave just like humans. Some will dance around in little circles while others will get sexy and still others will fly off the handle and start stomping the natives… Talk about your unpleasant drunk! Birds have been observed bingeing on spoiled grapes to the point where flying becomes impossible and rats will increase their level of consumption in direct proportion to their level of stress.
I am giggling to myself whilst writing this morning… Drunk elephants is the stuff of comedy gold to me…
Alcohol, it would seem, is well named as Aqua Vita (the water of life). Certainly, its origins go way back. There are even those who suggest it may be the reason Man became civilized. No kidding! Since many of the earliest human records refer to alcoholic consumption, some archeologists wonder if it might have been the need for a reliable source of grain for home brewing that lead to the development of agriculture and a more settled way of life.
In our part of the world, we limit drinking to adults. This is a terrible mistake in my opinion. Kids are keen to learn about all facets of life and Mother Nature makes them especially resilient so that they can do just that; despite the fact they are bound to make a few blunders along the way. That’s how they learn.
If you find this hard to believe, consider the following experiment: Take two children at age eight and put the first in one of those plastic bubbles they use for kids with damaged immune systems. Expose the second to alcohol, tobacco and X-rated movies. At age 21, pop the bubble and set the two young adults side by side. Which one do you think is going to be better able to handle the world? I have to scratch my head at parents who provide a refrigerator full of soft drinks (with at least a dozen teaspoons of sugar in each twelve-ounce serving) but go up the wall when they hear their teenager sneaked a beer. Personally, I think a glass of wine with dinner as is part of French family life is a whole lot more healthful than a fast food shake and doesn’t promote a dependence on the fats and sweets that contribute to our nation’s obesity epidemic.
I know I’m going to have disapprovers of various kinds emailing me today.
I do remember having too many pints as an underage drinker in a local pub once… Then the night was finished off with a pernod and black… I threw up on the walk home… To this day, I have not drunk pernod since. The thought makes me shudder. Now that is some hypnotic influence.
Whilst in Ireland recently, I joined in the irish male ritual of drinking Pocheen with a very small selection of hardened Irish country men… It was some experience, not too dissimilar to drinking absinth in Prague several years ago… Both I found enjoyable, and both times I knew when to stop…
We all have a variety of experiences that lead us in a particular direction. I think that the fact it was part of my homelife, responsibly so, and that I had experienced such a large variance of experience with alcohol, that led me to not use it to plug gaps in my life… But to enjoy responsibly. It has no role in my life today, it is no important pillar.
How about we look at it in this manner… Human beings have an inborn need to seek altered states of consciousness. These states can result from the adrenaline rush of sport parachuting, the religious ecstasy of the spiritual hallelujahs on Sunday mornings, the alpha rhythms of deep meditation, the PEA secretions of falling in love, the endorphin high of a fifteen mile run, the hallucinogenic visions of a shaman’s peyote, the five cups of strong coffee during an AA meeting, the serotonin reuptake inhibition of an antidepressant and the explosion of hormones during orgasm… Every single one of which I have experienced in some depth in my personal exploration of life…
I think because it is so readily available and accessible and part of life in the UK, it is a very redily and accessible way of relaxing for many… Especially those who do not know any other way… Some use it to numb, some use it to take a holiday from themselves and this list could go on… Alcoholic consumption is but one of many such means to an end. No more
or less dangerous, immoral, unhealthy or habit forming when used as
Have a great day today.
I enjoyed this article.
I’m not a ‘drinker’ anymore and think alcohol, like most things, can be enjoyable and even ‘healthy’ in moderation. Our society is geared up to drinking and many people are hypnotised/conditioned into it from their teen years – when it was often really good fun exploring the effects of booze.
I agree that it appears we folks desire and enjoy many altered states of consciousness during the day. There’s usually one powerful drug in any society that is acceptable and the other drugs/psychoactives are restricted. Thankfully I can still buy coffee for my morning ritual.
Looking forward to the day when they begin teaching kids in school how to access altered states like relaxation, happiness and creativity within themselves.
And thank YOU Jens, you are speaking my language… Wouldn’t it be great it kids were taught how to use their brain for more of its natural ways of how to feel good and alter their state?!
Love it. A.