Quitting smoking: AURELIS vision



The Aurelis-method is a specific way to quit smoking. It is also a broad philosophy. Elements of this, you already encounter in the oldest philosophical systems. Its base lies in the benevolent acceptance of a natural tendency to change (growth) in response to ever-changing circumstances. This tendency is present in everything organic (what we call ‘life’). Regarding smoking cessation, this philosophy leads to a very specific method. Smoking is not the enemy. The smoking addiction itself is also not the enemy, but rather a friend who wants -in a very specific way- to be accepted. The result is that the addiction dissolves in an organic way and that the smoker regains his freedom.1306413065

(Almost) every smoker wants to quit

The answer to the question of whether someone wants to quit smoking, is very dependent on the connotations of that question. Imagine:

1) Do you want withdrawal symptoms for a very long time; deep, lifelong cravings for something that you deny yourself, always being at risk of relapse and considering yourself a failure? Do you want to lose the pleasure that you think you have from smoking and remain forever frustrated every time you see someone else smoke? Answer: a reluctant ‘no’.

2) Do you want to quit smoking by using a method in which you do not need a prolonged fight against relapse after one cigarette, etc.? Answer: a clear ‘yes’.

In 1) and 2) the question is basically the same: Do you want to stop smoking? What I just described, are the different connotations that people can have with this question. I have often experienced myself that the details of the question according to 2) changes the answer from ‘no’ to ‘yes’. My conclusion from this is that almost every smoker wants to quit smoking. Annually, 25% undertakes a serious attempt to quit. About 90% of them fail. Of the rest, there are many who suffer for years. Furthermore, there are again already more people who start smoking than smokers who quit. A pale reality...

“I can stop when I want”

If you are not a smoker, you may 'want' to have a cigarette. However, if you smoke, say more than 10 cigarettes a day, you can not just 'want'. You've lost your own choice. You are unfree. Like a brainwashing, smoking has become a master of your own free will. Without addiction, you would not 'want' to smoke so much. When you say "I want to smoke" or "I find smoking pleasurable,” you basically say the same thing as “I am addicted." The 'wanting' has itself become part of the addiction. Very many smokers want to quit but fail - or relapse immediately. Others think that it is easy... until they try it.

Where is the smoking addiction situated?

Nicotine is not a powerful drug, at least not in the dose inhaled with normal smoking. The smoking addiction is only about 10% physical. The main part is psychological addiction. Psychological but not imaginary, of course. The psychological addiction is not present in the conscious part of the psyche. Consciously many smokers 'want' to quit smoking after all, but it does not work out, because the addiction is situated in the non-conscious part of the psyche, the ‘deeper self’. The main part of nicotine in the addiction is as a leverage to the psychological addiction.

The addiction is thus present in the deeper self and does not disappear easily from there. It is firmly established. You can not just take it out of there. You can oppress it, but then you run the risk that it will remain for a long time as a smoldering fire within you, inflicting damage. Therefore, within the Aurelis philosophy the smoker turns towards the addiction, with the intention to arrive 'together' (i.e. as a whole person) at a solution that consists in solving the addiction itself.

The cycle of addiction

The cycle of addiction: cigarette - after 20-30 minutes already withdrawal symptoms - new cigarette, gives again and again the message that smoking is good and not smoking is bad. If this is repeated 20 - 30 - 40 times a day, the suggestion is very powerful. This is worth the term 'brainwashing'. As a smoker, you'll end up in a prison that, metaphorically speaking, is composed of material from your own deeper self, but that is shaped by the addiction.

The use of pure willpower

If against this, you use 'only' willpower, then that drowns in the addiction. On such a basis, you never get rid of the addiction. You may well – usually temporarily – stop cigarette smoking, but against the addiction itself you cannot win this way. You are then indeed aggressively fighting against yourself. You lose twice. This is what often happens with e.g. 'cold turkey'. Result: severe withdrawal symptoms and a lifelong smoldering of the oppressed addiction. With the Aurelis method, however, you spontaneously change into a non-smoker. The non-smoking-anymore is more than an automatic consequence of this.

So no more willpower?

'Spontaneous' and 'automatic' does not mean that you no longer have to apply any willpower anymore. Willpower is recommended, but only where it’s really effective. I like to use for this the image of the gardener. He can perform a lot of work in his garden. He creates the right conditions, giving water and fertilizer if necessary, weeding the weeds etc. There is one thing he cannot do: he can not 'grow the flowers’. Only the flowers -and other plants in the garden- can do that by themselves, spontaneously and automatically, if the conditions are right.

Very generally, you cannot obligate any change in nature. You can only give direction. The gardener can ensure that there are flowers growing here and other plants there. But he cannot ‘do’ the growth process itself. The deeper self acts and reacts like the plants in the garden. It is the most natural part of yourself. The goal now is to become a non-smoker, i.e. someone whose addiction is only minimally present. That goal may be deliberately placed. However, it can only be achieved through the deeper self in an organic way, therefore seen from outside as 'spontaneous', 'automatic'.

The only way to accomplish this, to optimally create the conditions like a good gardener, is to learn to speak the language of your deeper self, namely autosuggestion.

What is autosuggestion?

Autosuggestion is everything that has to do with a communication to your deeper self. It is the language of deeply getting touched inside, strings vibrating in concord. Not 'just knowing' is important, but being deeply convinced. Not 'just argumentation’, but deep motivation. Autosuggestion never works directly. It is a language of metaphors and symbolism. In our culture, also in medicine, symbol and symbolized are all too often confused with each other. Then you come into the domain of a placebo. A remedy that works because it is a symbol, is believed to work because it would be the symbolized, namely an active product. This is very dangerous because 1) it opens up the way for all kinds of esoteric explanations, and 2) it extracts from the patient his natural healing power and creates instead a learned helplessness.

(Auto)suggestion offers many opportunities, but also precisely because of the possibilities, many dangers. You might put the hazards under the denominator of a wrongful manipulation of your deeper self. Ultimately, a smoking addiction is also the result of suggestion. Propaganda for wrong political purposes is another example of negative suggestion. However, you don’t avoid the dangers of suggestion by ignoring them, but precisely by acquiring a better understanding. Suggestion is everywhere. Consider advertising, placebo, propaganda, addiction. Closing one’s eyes to this is no solution. You have to place the phenomenon in a proper way. Then you can reap huge positive benefits.


With the Aurelis-method you don’t just use autosuggestion. This is embedded in a wider philosophy.

Within the Aurelis philosophy, a completely different direction is followed than manipulation of the deeper self. Manipulation is absent and in its place stands a deep motivation that comes entirely from the individual. Nobody motivates someone else outside that motivated person. Deep motivation leads to a complete growth from the inside out, completely organic, with consideration of the broad whole of the human psyche.

An example technique of autosuggestion is a deep, guided imagination into a future without a cigarette. Thereby your deeper self already in advance gets confidence in seeing itself as a non-smoker. The target is no longer a change to that frightening, far, unknown future. Before you stop smoking cigarettes, you already learn to think again as a non-smoker: someone who is free from the addiction to cigarettes. This is but one of many possible applications of autosuggestion. It comes down less on what is actually done, as on the way and the attitude with which it is done.

Another example is accepting every cigarette you smoke as a symbol of your own deeper self. Each cigarette is a call to attention for your addiction and at the same time also your deeper self. By giving it your attention, you get more and more for every cigarette the choice of smoking or not smoking it. That choice is getting stronger until you just may choose never to smoke again.

The distinction between fighting and aggression

With proper application of autosuggestion, the fighting and use of willpower do not simply disappear. What does disappear is forcing yourself, the auto-aggression. A mountain climber is fighting against the mountain, but actually he is fighting against himself, against his urge to give up, against his desire to sit at home snugly in the seat and with a hot cup of tea in hand looking at a documentary about mountain climbers. He ‘conquers’ the mountain, but actually it is a self-conquest. Mountain climbing is a fight with yourself, but it's not an aggressive fight. You indeed do not want to harm the mountain. You do not want to 'cut him away'. In contrast, a fight that is directed against the smoking addiction is a battle directed against yourself, because the addiction is deeply entangled within yourself. If you could cut away the addiction, then you would be mutilating yourself very strongly. But what happens is the addiction is suppressed. It enters into the opposition with no unsubstantial amount of energy. It fights back aggressively, like most mental contents that are oppressed. Only: the addiction has a tremendous amount of energy. Within yourself, you are left with a bomb that can explode many times.

This auto-aggression is avoided with the use of the Aurelis method. You make your addiction into a friend and you benefit from its energy (which ultimately is always your own energy) to grow into someone who no longer requires the addiction.

About determining a stop date

A consequence of this philosophy is that you should not determine a quit date a long time in advance. The help that a strict quit date possibly gives you, is of the placebo type: it ‘helps’ only because you think for yourself that it helps. It helps by throwing dust into your eyes. Taken by itself, however, it does not help. On the contrary, if you're not ready for it on that day, then you go forcing something within yourself in order to stop anyway. This way, you don’t get rid of the addiction and if on that day it doesn’t work to quit, or if you relapse shortly afterwards, then you’ll be looking for a scapegoat in something like a lack of willpower. I.e. you reduce your chances of finally getting rid of smoking.

If nevertheless you want a quit date, then it’s better the smoker does not choose the date, but that the stop date chooses itself. I mean that the stop date spontaneously emerges within you, as a certainty that then (or now immediately) the time is right. The quit date is a manifestation of this certainty. The movement is fully from the inside to the outside, and not vice versa. There are very powerful autosuggestion techniques to 'work' with the stop date in this way.


AURELIS is a broad effort to bring old and new, East and West, rationality and emotion together. I think that in these turbulent times such an endeavor is worthwhile. If we do not gather the courage to undertake serious efforts at integration, the waiting is only for one thing: an increasingly ongoing disintegration and disorientation of the sick human being in our current culture. Each smoking addiction is itself an example of disintegration. Only by becoming one again with your deeper self, you can really get rid of this addiction. That starts with a well-founded acceptance of it and ends with an 'organic' solution.

(*) AURELIS® - What's in a name?

  • Autosuggestion: communication with the deeper self, e.g.: poetry, a sense of belonging that you can have when you walk in nature, but also: what is effective in advertising and - according to me and many others but not everyone - what largely represents the active power of the placebo effect of medication.
  • RELaxatie: not just some relaxation in the sense of expelling tension (stress), but closing more or less the psychological gaps within yourself, especially the dissociation between the more conscious self and the deeper self.
  • Inner Strength: sounds New Age, but it is what it is: the strength that comes from yourself to change e.g. into a stronger person, or a non-smoker.