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Link The Suffering

book cover recommend book⇒Handbook to Higher Consciousnessto book home
by Ken Keyes Jr. 978-0-9600688-8-3 paperback
birth 1921-01-19 died:1995-12-20 at age:74 978-0-9600688-9-0 hardcover
publisher Love Line 978-0-940687-13-4 audio
published 1984-08
Ken’s classic. This is by far his best selling book. You can read part of it online.
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Ken does his deepest discussion of the Link the Suffering in Handbook to Higher Consciousness.
I teach one thing and one only: that is suffering and the end of suffering.
~ Gautama Buddha (born:563 BC died:483 BC at age:80)

Living Love Workshop leader, Steve Henderson, considers link-the-suffering a fine surgical scalpel for removing addictions quickly and painlessly. I am just beginning to learn how to use it.

The idea is, any time you feel emotional pain, you make sure you blame it on the addiction, not on the event.

So for example, let us say you asked somebody to dance and he/she put his/her finger down his/her throat to simulate vomiting. You might feel some hurt, anger or disgust.

Instead of telling yourself what an obnoxious boor this turkey is, or beating yourself up for being so repulsive as to deserve such treatment, you put 100% of the blame squarely on the shoulders of your addictive demand.

You tell yourself, "This would not hurt if I did not have an addictive demand that people decline my invitations politely. All this pain is being caused by my addiction. I wish I could get rid of the addiction, then I could laugh off events like this without any emotional injury. Other people can do it. Why must I be so ridiculously vulnerable? This sort of thing is going to happen again and again. If I don’t reprogram this now, there will be a ton more suffering from similar events in future. How long must I suffer before I give up this stupid addiction? It means nothing about me that he/she pretended to vomit, just a lot about him/her. Why should I get upset about his/her problem?"

You mentally list the advantages (payoffs) and disadvantages (ripoffs) to continuing to hold onto the addiction. These are not the advantages/disadvantages of getting what you want, but the advantages/disadvantages of making your self miserable when you don’t get it. Much of the time we are thinking like a two year old "If I get upset enough, Daddy will relent and fix it."

Most of the time the payoffs are illusory. You think you will get them by holding onto your demand, but you don’t. You only get them when you get your demand met, quite a different thing. Very often your addiction gets in the way of getting what you want. Consider the example of a man horny out of his mind trying to get laid. He is so pushy he turns off everyone he approaches. If he could make his approaches from a less desperate, more preferential frame of mind, he would have much better success.

Typical Payoffs

For each payoff, ask yourself:
  1. Does it apply?
  2. Do I actually get the payoff, or is the payoff illusory?
  3. If I actually get the payoff, is it worth it?
  4. Is this a payoff that used to work when I was a toddler, but which works no longer?
Usually you will you decide the payoffs are worth it, but sometimes you will decide they are not.

Typical Ripoffs

If you hang onto an addictive demand, sooner or later it will be triggered and you will experience separating emotions. Here are some of the penalties you pay for holding on to that demand. The theory is you must really wallow in the pain of the ripoffs to convince yourself to let go. I find this does not work for me. I just hang on all the more tightly when I’m in intense pain.

Think of a James Bond movie. Whenever a villainous underling fails, the chief villain always severely punishes him, hoping this will improve his performance. Does it work? No, it just rattles him. Why then do you persist in using this same stupid tactic on yourself?

The Shortcut

The shortcut to link the suffering is to ask yourself this one simple question:
Is getting upset helping or hindering me from taking effective action?

Think hard about that question. You may think that getting upset will motivate you, where it could simply exhaust you or distract you from doing something useful. Sometimes getting upset will help, e.g. to provide adrenalin to help you deal with an attacker. Most of the time it just gets in the way, blinding you to the most effective course of action, or alienating others who otherwise might help you. When others are grief stricken, it may be wise to put on a poker face lest people be offended, but there is no need to wallow in grief with them.

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