Just like a majority of us anymore, a large portion of my life has been governed by addiction. Most of us may see addiction as only something that is grandiose, something that ruins lives such as alcohol, tobacco or hard drugs, (although all addictions “ruin” or diminish aspects of life by definition) paying little homage to the far more prevalent ones such as caffeine, black boxes, emotions, food and ways of being.
An addiction is anything that pulls us out of our current experience by-way of its unceasing demanding of attention and gratification.
For me, it started early with video games.
The unceasing mental chatter and urge to stop or escape the present moment and jump into a fantasy world. Sometimes the desire for such things would overwhelm my nervous system, and create an emotional environment of frustration and anger in its desire to be realized.
This control over the system was only released upon satiating the demiurge; this demand for sensory satisfaction.
At the age of 18 I enlisted myself into the Marine Corp and was thus introduced to the lifestyle of alcohol. My years in this environment normalized alcohol and tobacco as THE means of relaxation into my nervous system.
Just as any learned skill is improved and becomes more “natural” with aware repetition, the same bodes true for any external doing.
Our thoughts and actions become hardwired into our nervous system with repeated satisfaction. I choose this word “satisfaction” purposefully, as sensory gratification or enjoyment only enhances and expedites this “hardwiring” effect.
If you enjoy it, you tend to want to experience more of it.
Towards the end of my military period, I was told I was to be discharged for being a designated driver. During the ensuing proceedings, I am introduced to a new form of escapism, a specific set of pills.
This mixture of medicines took the sense of escapism to new dimensions… literally.
Addiction to Escapism
Since the core drive for all addiction revolves around the escaping of oneself, and life in general, being thrust into other worlds or depths of consciousness is an allure like no other.
This is actually the peak of my addictions, as this new discovery would lead me to a Near-Death-Experience from an overdose.
This experience by no means “heals” my addictions, but it does awaken an interest into the Self, consciousness and an investigation into life/death itself. I still have the tugs of addictions to this day.
Affairs of self can not be remedied externally, it is an internal exercise of inquiry and application of discoveries into an innerstanding.
Which "You" is You?
I only write this synapsis of experiences to show an increasing intensity these things can have and the underlying themes they share. So often in these times I settled with the thoughts that this is now who I am. My mind uttering these thoughts, dictating that these desires are now a part of my identity.
All the while there was an inner sensation of remorse for these actions when taken, a deeper desire to be rid of these things that governed my way of being.
A me that wanted to satisfy these urges and a me that wanted to be free from them… What is this division?
Which “me” is the real me?
This was actually quite the pivotal observation.
The noticing of separate entities within the self, both attempting to offer guidance or dictate the direction of this biomechanical vessel. Funnily, that is also the flavoring the entities seem to take.
One guides, one dictates.
Another prudent observation.
Sovereignty or Control?
Now we are getting somewhere for how to use these observations.
Ask yourself this: when given an order, which way would you more happily listen too and carry out; a demand or a request for action?
We as Human beings, being naturally rebellious, would begrudgingly carry out the task.
The request for action would be far better received and more mirthfully accomplished.
This being so, why do we regard our own mind and its dictates differently?
But perhaps this is why we are so externally rebellious?
We feel as if we cannot rebel against who we think we are or how we act (our IDEA of identity and sense of self) and thus we aim this frustration towards an externalized authority.
All the while the desire for revolt is due to our mind and its thoughts and the dictatorship over our actions we have allowed.
Said another way,
We feel as if we are not in control of ourselves and desire for self sovereignty. Unaware of any ability or possibility to do this internally, we focus on the externalization of this inner power dynamic.
The Power of Addiction
In no other being is this more prevalent than in the mind of the addict.
The more empowered the addiction, the greater the possibility for the individual`s realization of this ultimate Truth.
The Truth that you are not your mind, nor are you the body, but the observing essence beyond all things. When the addiction comes to ultimate extremes, two paths come into view.
A path of physical death, or the path of Ego death leading to realization and empowerment. Coming to understand which “you” truly is you, control over the vessel is regained and life… life begins anew.
This is the death and resurrection spoken so much about.
Most problems in the world today have arisen due to the misidentification of self to these meat machines and its urges and desire for survival, due to fear.
Be it greed, inequality, ignorance, overindulgence, authoritarianism; all these issues are due to a misidentification of Self within the collective. (This too, is quite possibly an externalization of an internal happening. As all things are.)
What is the remedy?
Well, adequate education of Self of course.
The Addiction to Ignorance
For far too long, ignorance has been seen as a profitable commodity and TRUE education has been sidelined.
Why is it, do you think, we are not taught these things in our modern education practices? Why are we not taught emotional intelligence, the reality and ability to influence our emotional states? Why are we taught WHAT to think instead of HOW to think?
Hint, it is easier for most to remain ignorant. (ignorance is bliss…)
If we as a species are to ever live up to the potential inherent within us, we have to get our acts together and prioritize a populous that flourishes in possibility, a possibility offered by true knowledge and proper allocation of resources. What benefit do we the people, being the majority, receive from propping up and rewarding the few with such lavishness?
The people have all been bamboozled and the only successful way forward comes from understanding this one Truth and a collective identifying of who or what we are.
BUT, the reality is, we are not isolated individuals fighting for survival (at least we do not HAVE to be anymore), we are unique expressions of a communal species.
And if we are to succeed as a planetary species and beyond, it will NOT be from division and bickering, but only come about through cooperation and a shared vision.
Only through unity do we have the collective power and ability to unveil the potential of this life, and us as a species.
There is so much to look forward to.