Friday, September 22nd 2017

Post-modern mystics on addiction

Contrast the highly Cartesian approach of the medical experts in HBO’s Addiction with, say, the non-dualistic diagnosis of addiction offered by three spiritual teachers we’ve posted about during the past couple of weeks. HBO probably deemed this kind of examination too challenging for its mainstream audience:

Don’t misinterpret stillness with going off to sleep, or the kind of stillness you might have after a few drinks. You might drift off a bit, you can’t remember your problems so you might feel a little bit better. People sometimes drink to get rid of, for a little while, the torture of their mind telling them what their problems are. So they drink, and for a moment they don’t remember their problems. But of course there’s a price to pay because there’s a lowering of consciousness. So you go lower towards the vegetable realm.


There is no such thing as an addiction to an object; there is only attachment to the uninvestigated 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. And eventually there’s no fun in it — only a hangover.

When people think of addictions they think of substance abuse, food, gambling, alcohol. But I stretch that definition. Become very open-minded and recognize that it’s impossible to recognize all of your addictions. For the average person, he or she holds together the very fiber of life through a complex of addictive patterns.

Let me define it this way: it is a behavior that either consciously or unconsciously controls the flow of creative life-force through your system. An addiction allows you to be irresponsible for a percentage of the energy that runs through you. We are born addicts. It’s just a matter of time before you find out what you’re addicted to. You can be addicted to a person, an attitude, self-critism, judging others . . .

Of all the many challenges of the human experience, becoming congruent is the greatest. When all of you lines up behind every choice you make, and every perception you have, that’s congruent. If you are not congruent, you will be an addict.

In the absence of congruency you look like this: your mind will represent one part of you, and your heart will be another. . . When the head and the heart are not united, who is minding the will? Will is an energy. Every thought is a choice. Every word in your head is a choice. You don’t realize how many choices you make all the time.

Without a unified or congruent energy your will will find something to give it stability. And addiction is a form of stability, a regular infusion. It’s like a surrogate parent. So long as the husband and wife, your mind and your heart, argue this child called the will has to find a substitute parent that gives it consistency – and that’s an addiction.

What an addiction does is serves the purpose of making the same choice over and over and over again. And in making this choice over and over again, it’s an effort to slow down your growth so that your life does not change. One of the reasons it’s so hard to break an addiction is because from an energetic point of view you are withdrawing your spirit from a continuity, and you’re allowing your head and heart to make contact with each other perhaps for the first time ever.


- Caroline Myss, session 7, Advanced Energy Anatomy

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3 Comments on “Post-modern mystics on addiction”

  1. [...] You had me at, “cathexis” Post-modern mystics on addiction [...]

  2. [...] written about addiction too. Post-modern mystics have a lot to say on the subject. Or check out what we had to say about HBO’s doccumentary, [...]

  3. [...] If you can see addiction as an energetic dissociative disorder, no one describes it better than Caroline Myss: [...]

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