READER REPORT:

Changing the Kiwi booze culture: Right motive, wrong method

ANTHONY DE VILLIERS
Last updated 05:00 14/01/2013

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Changing the Kiwi booze culture

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The desire to feel mild relaxation or heady intoxication is sound, since it is based on humanity's longing to experience altered states of consciousness.

We inherently believe we can feel better about ourselves, our associates, our world, and sample many and varied substances to reach this sweet spot.

Unfortunately the best ways involve hard yards, not uncorking a bottle.

Many will attest to the exhilaration of extreme sports, inspired work or play, spiritual upliftment, meditation bliss. All of these are uncomfortable bed-fellows with liquor, for the latter's physiological effects are incompatible with a body geared for action or a mind tuned to contemplation.

A friend and I, after a night's particularly heavy drinking, were spending our last day of the holiday in a wild spot on a remote piece of coast. The weather was perfect, the sea calm and inviting, - everything just right.

"What a waste" my friend observed, nursing a fogged brain and a booze-stricken body. Perhaps the expression 'wasted' comes from here.

Perhaps the secret to defusing our drinking culture lies in self-love; not the soppy self-indulgent type, but rather a growing appreciation of our depth as sentient beings; a belief that a clear mind and attuned body can tap into unexpected perceptions of our world, our environment, one another, and bring insights of joy and excitement, requiring no ingestion of harmful substances.

Like all worthwhile things, work is involved.


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