Plato's Allegory of the Cave and Porn Cravings

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by brainrenewal, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. brainrenewal

    brainrenewal Fapstronaut

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    Maybe this analogy only makes sense in my own mind, but it's helping me with cravings, so I thought I would share it.

    Day 8. My ego/resistance/lower self/reptile brain, whatever you want to call it, is realizing that it's not getting its porn fix and is breaking out the big guns. It's getting desperate, so it's putting up a fight. What it's doing is projecting powerful visual memories of the most extreme porn I have seen across hundreds of wasted hours viewing porn onto my consciousness. This is not light stuff, it's the worst of the worst I have squandered time viewing. It doesn't even make breaks for "lighter/softer" fare - it's bringing out the most powerful triggers. And each of those triggers is promising that if I view them "just one more time" they will be expiated and the craving will go away.

    One way I've found helpful to handle these cravings is to think about them like Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Short version: There's a bunch of people confined to a cave, facing forward, with shadow puppets being projected onto the wall in front of them, backlit from a fire behind them. Because the people have never seen anything other than the cave, they think that the shadow puppets are real. Now if they break free and turn around and see the fire behind them, they're still in the cave. They see that fire and think it's the sun, but it's still not real. It's only when they get outside the cave and see the sun, that they realize that they would never want to go back into the cave again.

    Here's the way I apply Plato to this situation.

    The memories of extreme scenes I've seen in porn are like those shadows projected on the wall. They are there in my memory because they were intense and have an emotion attached to them. But they are not real - and even moreso, they are *doubly* not real, because they are mental images of a screen projection. They're just shadows. They don't exist. They have no power over me, only because I think they are real. They are just old shadows replaying themselves in my mind.

    The porn itself is like the fire. It looks like it warms. It looks like the sun, but it's not. It's just another level of illusion.

    Real authentic love with a real human being is like the sun outside the cave, and I would never want to go back into the porn cave once I know how good love can be.

    So when I am craving porn, and old scenes unwillingly replay themselves in my mind, I can think that these are just replaying shadows. I can watch them detachedly, let them play themselves out as old programs in my mind, realizing they are just shadows. I wouldn't want to look at the "fire" (porn) because it's not real any more.

    That way when the images come I can just let them pass detachedly, just old shadow puppets being projected.
     
  2. Jungle Bill

    Jungle Bill Fapstronaut

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    Mad stuff very helpful to me right at this very moment. Thanks
     
    Spark5 likes this.
  3. thenewbeginning

    thenewbeginning Fapstronaut

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    I totally loved the analogy, thanks!
     
  4. Spark5

    Spark5 New Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. 1DayAtaTime

    1DayAtaTime Fapstronaut

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    Prety cool way of thinking about it &&
     
  6. RndyBm

    RndyBm Fapstronaut

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    This has helped me so much. I am going through the exact same thing. Thank you. I will try really hard to remember this!!
     

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