Friday, October 20th 2017

Addiction: 9 Causes and Cures


M. Scott Peck, the top trans-personal self-help author of the 1970s, famously called addiction “the sacred disease.” He argued that alcoholics and addicts are often the most inherently spiritual people because they’re seeking to escape the confines of a personal story and tap into something larger than themselves. It’s one reason that addiction shows up so often in artists. Poet Samuel T. Coleridge was a heavy opium user 200 years ago, and 19th-century painter Vincent Van Gogh was an alcoholic who favored absinthe. Throw a dart at a board full of modern music icons from Bob Dylan and Keith Richards to Ray Charles and Johnny Cash — all drug addicts.

The most famous example of a spiritual teacher who was an addict is Byron Katie. A hardcore alcoholic — and mother of two boys and a teen-aged girl in Bakersfield, CA — Katie ended up in a local halfway house. Katie was miraculously cured when she awoke one morning to find a cockroach crawling up her foot, and had an out-of-nowhere epiphany. “All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, was gone,” she recalls. “The only thing that existed was awareness.”

After Katie became a post-modern mystic with an international following, she reflected on the roots of addiction:

There is no such thing as an addiction to an object; there is only attachment to the un-investigated concept arising in the moment.

If you think alcohol makes you sick or confused or angry, then when you drink it, it’s as if you’re drinking your own disease. You’re meeting alcohol where it is, and it does exactly what you know it will do. And if you believe that you really want to keep drinking, just notice what it does to you. There’s no pity in it. There’s no victim in it.

Next: The Supernatural Quality of Your Energy Anatomy

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One Comment on “Addiction: 9 Causes and Cures”

  1. [...] Next: Addicts + Artists = The Most Spiritual Beings [...]

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