A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force
|Sir Issac Newton|
We often learn Newton's first law of motion in the context of billiard balls on pool tables. But the same law is readily observed in "man as machine". I tend to react to men in the same, limited manner in which I tended to react to my own father. I will continue to do so until something awakens me to what I am doing, enables me to see alternatives, and assists me in establishing those alternatives as part of a new, less restrictive pattern.
But human beings are rather more complex than billiard balls; much is required to overcome the force of habit or the trend of history. Consider dieting as one example of attempting to overcome an addiction (or any other deep pattern) via self-improvement. The mind idealistically embraces the idea of losing weight, usually rallying itself around some new technique for doing that; but the body remains a distinct voice and force all the while. The mind may rule for a period; but, come that moment in front of the chocolate shop, when the delicious smell comes wafting out — the body instantly initiates a coup d'etat, seizing the throne and commencing a food binge that may last days, weeks, or months. When the mind "comes to", it generally is perplexed about the failure of its program. It vastly underestimated (and never was actually in a position to overcome) the force and depth of the pattern it was attempting to address.
A more apt metaphor for "man as machine" than the passive billiard ball is "man as homeostatic system": a pattern of activity which, even when acted on by an outside force, will exert a counter-force, in order to perpetuate the present pattern. It's as though the billiard ball had developed little "legs" that dug into the pool table surface when it sees another pool ball coming, in order to resist the oncoming "hit"; or as though the ball could dodge the oncoming ball. Not so easy to knock that ball in a desired direction any longer, even with an outside force!
Get out and RUN!