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In this way, our compulsions take the form of metaphors, and those metaphors take on social meaning that we concentrate in futility, applying value to them in one way or another. By the time our compulsion has led us to its metaphor, we are already unaware of what has just happened. The code has run. We have to somehow slow down the code so we can see it. So we turn to the various technologies of human consciousness, of meditation and psychotherapy and 12-step work, of religion and so forth. All these technologies involve learning new adaptations to stress, discomfort, addiction and the like; and they involve interpreting metaphors and code, moving backward into the mechanism that preceded our awareness, stripping the metaphors of their presumed meaning, seeing how the code does its work.

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