I want to know the proper way to understand and deal with bodily diseases such as alcoholism as viewed thru Vedanta.

For example, if someone is part of a rehab group, they are expected to admit to this malady. However, in quest of the true self this seems much like misidentification.

The person in rehab is not their body, so why must he admit to being a drunkard?

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    you can't separate the heads from tails in a coin. If you think you're a drunkard, also think you're suffering its consequences. if you think you're not a drunkard, also think you're not suffering its consequences. we constantly tell attach ourselves with the pleasure and pain generated in our bodies, not realizing that it is a continously conscious decision, which can be detached at any time. do you care about the pleasure and pain of someone in a remote village half way around the world ? you can, but you choose not to. you can do the same thing with your body's pain & pleasure.
    – mar
    Oct 12 '18 at 19:13
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    personal advice is not allowed on this forum. Please reformat your question or it is a candidate for closing. Oct 14 '18 at 4:41
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    Please give OP a chance to edit before voting to close, particularly new OPs. Oct 14 '18 at 8:04
  • @Donald Hello again, just as a reminder, if you feel that my post successfully answered your question, please select it for the sake of future readers. If you are still waiting to see more answers, no problem. 🙏 Oct 17 '18 at 4:14
  • You've answered my question successfully.How do I "select it"?
    – Donald
    Oct 17 '18 at 18:08

It is true that the Self (ātman) cannot be a drunkard, for your true nature is one with Brahman. But if a person is drinking alcohol to excess, then surely he hasn't yet realized this true nature.

The Bhagavad Gītā says,

BG 3.17: He whose delight is only in the Self, whose satisfaction is in the Self, and whose contentment is only in the Self, for him the need to act does not exist.

BG 5.24: He who finds his happiness within, his delight within, and his light within, this yogin attains re-union with Brahman, becoming Brahman.

So it would follow that, he whose delight is in intoxicants, whose satisfaction is in intoxicants, or whose contentment is in intoxicants, for him there is work to do. If one has not become absorbed into Brahman, then he must still be inflicting himself with māyā. And, how can we remove māyā if we do not first admit its source?

BG 6.27: The yogin whose mind is perfectly peaceful, attains the highest bliss; he whose rajas has been subdued attains re-union with Brahman and is free from erring.

BG 16.23: He who—by acting under the impulse of desire—discards the scriptural injunctions, attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme goal.

To subdue our rajas (passions), we must admit what they are. To stop acting under the impulse of desire, we must know that we act so. We cannot eliminate ignorance with ignorance, only knowledge can do so. Thus, the alcoholic must first recognize his actions and how they effect himself and others around him in order to eliminate the obstacle.

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