Fore wrote: If N was an arahant he would have looked at it all and come out of craving completely, so my question, why smoke?
So, this is your opinion, thank you. That's all I was asking for with what you were saying. By saying, "If he was... he would have ..." this is essentially judging and saying you don't believe he was a sage or enlightened based on the fact that he smoked. I disagree with you, but I don't need to debate about it further. I think he was, you think he wasn't.
This is why I don't care for the term enlightenment or one stating they are/were enlightened. There are so many people making this claim and then you get the megalomaniacs such as Adi Da who claimed such nonsense as being 7th level enlightened while Ramana was only 6th level. Or Osho claiming being fully enlightened while behaving in materialistic, hedonistic, and sometimes even sadistic ways.
Why did N.M. smoke? Because he was addicted. To clarify an earlier statement, even though it doesn't intoxicate like other drugs or alcohol may, smoking is not simply a bad habit like leaving the toilet seat up. This "craving" was due to a physical need for nicotine and the physical addiction creates psychological beliefs.
Nicotine addiction works on the negative reinforcement principle, meaning that people continue to smoke not to feel intoxicated, but merely to stave off the withdrawal symptoms and feel "normal". For example, it's like having a bad headache and then taking an aspirin and the aspirin gets rid of the headache, but with nicotine addiction, the so called aspirin is the problem that seems to be the solution. Smoking a cigarette is only relieving withdrawal symptoms that the previous cigarette created, and on and on it goes.
People talk about nicotine releasing dopamine, which it does. Yet the brain cannot handle this, so it tries to find a solution to keep a balance. Being that nicotine is a foreign poison, the brain cannot regulate this, so the alternative is to turn down the brain's sensitivity to naturally release dopamine. The smoker then needs to smoke in order to artificially stimulate the release of dopamine. In essence, nicotine hijacked the brains neurotransmitters and fools the smoker into thinking that they feel better by smoking, when it was smoking that created the whole problem in the first place!
Smoking also activates the fight or flight response, as the effects of nicotine wear off, the smoker is then left with a feeling of being anxious, empty, and having a crave or desire for another cigarette. Two of the biggest triggers for smokers are stress and alcohol. The reason is, is that nicotine is a fast acting alkoloid. Stress and alcohol cause an acidic producing event within the bloodstream that washes away the alkoloid much quicker, causing nicotine withdrawal to accelerate. Both of these triggers create psychological beliefs though the beliefs are not the same in form. With stress, the smoker may believe that smoking relieves stress, when in actuality, it simply relieves the withdrawal symptoms which exacerbated the initial stress the smoker was experiencing. With drinking alcohol, the smoker may believe that smoking adds to the experience of intoxication, when it again is relieving withdrawal symptoms.
The "craving" that N.M. experienced from smoking wasn't necessarily the same psychological craving of wanting to become more, the crave was more of simply wanting to feel normal and the only way to do that was to continue to ingest nicotine to stave off withdrawal symptoms. Though the addiction definitely creates psychological beliefs based off of a fallacy.
I do think there is a correlation here, because before I found spirituality, I would speak about nicotine addiction as a belief in illusion that keeps the person within a prison.
N.M. was human, and look at the culture and time in within he lived. Back then it was considered quite normal to smoke and especially in the countries of Asia such as India, China and Japan for example. My wife being originally from Japan and having travelled their quite a few times, it was the last time I was there when I noticed that Japan had really started changing it's attitude towards smoking.
And look at the times that N.M. live in. Back then people smoked in gorcery stores, in hospitals, at the movies, in planes, etc. Smoking was considered to be a normal thing to do. There were ads from doctors on which brand they preferred. The Flintstones used to smoke Winston in commercials, etc.
In my opinion, N.M. was simply human and product of his culture and times in which he fell into the trap of nicotine addiction through smoking that created a psychological addiction as well as a physical one.