Thank you Joel, John, OBob, Marty, and everyone else for: a) such an insightful series of posts on this subject, and b) for such an incredible qualitative data set regarding "the smoking dream"--one from which I think we may begin to identify some correlations.
First of all, Joel's post that assures us that our dreams are not simply "repressed urges" must be taken as a given, and can serve as a "jumping off" point for further thought on the subject.
All but TWO of the posts in this thread relate to dreams in which people who have arrested their nicotine addictions "realize" they are smoking or "find" themselves smoking, or otherwise catch themselves in the act without having dreamed the conscious precursor to the act--a.k.a the "decision" to take a puff. I find this facinating, and very telling. It reminds me of the thousands of times when, as a slave to nicotine, I would unconsiously light a cigarette, smoke it, extinguish it, light another, etc. until my entire pack was in my ashtray. I know John wrote about this phenomenon in his ebook (as well as in a few of his posts on other threads).
What I am getting at is that the dream (or perhaps more aptly--the nightmare) is about reintroducing nicotine to ourselves (the addicts) without conscious thought, and thus relapsing without intending to do so. Joel teaches us that the conscious mind is the "gatekeeper" that can make sure that we never take another puff
Let me take a moment to recap my own dream. Like all but two of the dreams I have read about on this thread, my dream did not involve a conscious choice to smoke. Rather it involved me becoming aware of the fact that I was smoking, leading to the inference that I had taken that "first puff" without any intent or knowing mental state at all. Then, at the moment I looked own and realized I was smoking, I got FURIOUS with myself. While still dreaming, I thought to myself that it was not possible, and that my conscious mind was my gatekeeper and would never have allowed this to happen. While still dreaming I realized that I had blown my quit, and that I would have to quit again, immediately, so as to minimize as much as possible my future withdrawal (and maximize my chances of success-- i.e. no long drawn-out plan to quit). While still dreaming, I then thought about freedom and was instantly angrier at myself than before (if that is possible) and realized that I would never be able to post again, and that my new quit (yes I quit again in the dream within seconds of having smoked) would not involve interacting with the Freedom community. I briefly entertained a thought of lying about the slip. I thought of Joel's article regarding the Law of Addiction and the retaining of an attorney to defend a relapse. I even had an argument for my attorney! In criminal law (at least in America) crimes are made up of a series of elements. For example. Murder of the first degree is the 1)intentional 2)taking of the life 3)of another person 4)with malice aforethought. Robbery is 1)the taking 2)of property of another 3)by force or threat of force, however slight 4)with intent to permenently deprive thereof.
My point is that some of these elements are requisite mental states, know in criminal law as the mens rea. For any criime that requires a knowing or intentional act, it is a complete defense to successfully argue that the act was done, but not knowingly or intentionally. To use murder as an example, the "malice" requirement and the "intentional" requirement are why a fatal car accident is not premeditated murder for the surviving driver.
So before I get too far afield, lets tie this back into the law of addiciton, smoking, and the "smoking dream." First of all, the mens rea defense, though worthy of sympathy, must fail. In other words, the law of addiciton is not a law like the robbery law of the murder law--it does not have a mens rea element. It does not matter what an addict is thinking )or whether he/she is even conscious of) the reintroduction of the addictive substance--all that matters is that the physiological cause-and-effect that makes the law what it is set in motion, and the only options will be to cease administration again (and go through withdrawal) or continue to readminister the addictive substance (and thus become a slave again.) So my attorney (the one I retained to defend against my unintentional relapse) will lose my case.
So is the "smoking dream"actually a nightmare about faultless relapse? At least two of us since 2001 describe a conscious decision to take a puff. But for the vast majority of us, it is possible. Another very interesting thing (and I wish people had been a little more clear in their descriptions) is the "anger" and "disappointment" people recall feeling regarding the fact that they smoked. It simply is not clear to me if people are WAKING UP and feeling that anger and remorse (which would lead me to one set of conclusions) or if, like me, they were angry at themselves and felt remorse IN THE DREAM ITSELF. Upon close reading of the various descriptions of the dreams, it seems that many were like me and got mad at themselves while still dreaming.
I really want to finish this post, but I have to run to a meeting. Gonna post this (rather than risk losing it) and hopefully finish it up this evening or tomorrow.