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Addiction

And Compulsivity

diazipamAs a species we get addicted to so many things from money and power to sugar, sex and other behaviours, various drugs and alcohol. All of these addictions or compulsions arise through a combination of deep-seated unhappiness and improper education.

Western civilisation believes that it is built on a rational foundation, it is all about what is around us and evolving practical solutions to make our lives more pleasant. Unfortunately this patriarchal view of life where we are separate from nature is creating our undoing.

Conversely, Eastern civilisation and here I speak more of India as the world's first and most enduring civilisation where there is a balance between outward expression and material comfort balanced against internal observation and an attempt to live as part of life.

Patriarchal society is authoritarian and divisive which leads to all manner of psychological problems whereas the eastern blend where the matriarchal or feminine and introspective element is valued actually creates a more stable civilisation with less psychological trauma.

Horrible boss stories

Image courtesy of Horrible boss stories

In Western culture, someone who in the estimation of those who know them is saying and normal may have a slight disagreement with someone and go away with a chip on their shoulder. Instead of inward reflection than a become angry and destructive which is another compulsive and addictive behaviour whereas some introspection and wise counsel would be more appropriate.

Any bad behaviour creates a biochemical unease within the body mind and this may be managed through bad behaviours, alcohol or other drugs.

Some people are simply seeking happiness beyond what they already know or they are simply conforming to social pressure to imbibe in a particular drug. Of course everything is a drug, coffee, sugar, tea and the food we eat because everything is chemical and everything that goes on inside the body is chemical.

Our bodies also contain large quantities of bacteria, and like our own minds, they can become addicted to a particular chemical combination the person is ingesting. Many women find a growing fetus in their womb messes with their normal dietary behaviour which is similar to the bacteria in our bodies.

For the most part, we are fairly blind to the nature of life and the nature of existence. If we look up into the starry night sky, there is no way of knowing which way is up, how far is it to the edge of the universe and in fact we don't even know if there is an edge.

Yet in Western patriarchal society we believe that we know everything and many of us even believe that we are completely invincible. Yet we have created a civilisation, a hierarchical based society that has more to do with power and manipulation without regard for life.

Unless people have looked within themselves and made peace with their internal Demons, compulsivity will be a dominant factor in life surpassing reason and common sense.

The most prevalent addictive substances in the world are sugar, animal protein, alcohol and prescription drugs. These are all legal in every society and even seen as a necessity for life. But in most countries the opiates, the cannabis and a host of new synthetic drugs which are illegal are the main concern of government and social organisations.

gmoSome people say that cannabis is addictive, but most users disagree and mess they using it as a temporary crush to hide some emotional disaster in their lives. But the opiates and the synthetic drugs are highly addictive and they have a negative impact on society.

Prescription drugs and alcohol probably do the most harm in the world because all drug use impairs mental function and people under the influence of these drugs quickly become dependent and then anything untoward that happens becomes someone else's fault because they are unable to be responsive to life.

Unfortunately we have reached a stage in our evolution where our very existence is under threat because of our compulsive nature. Over the past few thousand years we have become addicted to so many things that continue to undermine our lives and we have reached a point where we are becoming incapable of taking responsibility for even our own thoughts let alone our behaviour.

Are there any solutions?

When one becomes more spiritual, will the urge for
compulsive acts such as sex become less.

Because we live in an authoritarian world were personal freedom is limited, solutions are also limited. Typically where a person is addicted to one kind of drug, the medical profession will prescribe an alternative drug which is likely to be just as addictive. Yet society is doing nothing about the social injustice and the living conditions that lead to addictive behaviour.

There needs to be a recognition that the world's social and economic policies are forcing entire populations into positions of extreme discomfort and deprivation. In the West while there is plenty of food the quality of the food is very poor and that food is also laden with chemicals that is aggravating the situation.

Broadly speaking, under the current social model there is no hope because people are totally lost and disconnected from life. But in specific places where there is a more enlightened intelligence at work, those who are addicted to substances or behaviours may be able to relax and face up to themselves.

The person who stops and becomes a responsible citizen can only continue to be responsible when they have a supportive environment. Typically in addiction treatment programs, people are treated and then tossed back out onto the street without sufficient life skills, so is it surprising that they succumb again to addictions and compulsive behaviours?

Addictions and compulsive behaviours signal that
we are not able to properly make use of our mind
and bodies.

One of the most effective and successful programs to break compulsive behaviour and addictions is through yoga and meditation. The physical exercises of yoga involve people in the mechanics and physicality of their bodies which gets them out of their heads and the chaos of their own mind.

Moving people to an organic and chemical free diet begins a process of unloading toxins from the body which also reduces pressure on the mind. But even here, the successful abandonment of compulsive behaviours and addictions is only completed when the individuals can freely participate in life which is something that in most western countries is strongly opposed because governments don't want people who are capable of free thought.

This is evidenced by the use of fluoride in public water supplies, this neurotoxin effectively makes people stupid although the Germans found it to be a useful tool in helping to wean a large portion of their population off heroin back in the 1930s. But this was simply replacing one drug with another.

The great rat experiment

Addiction researchers put rats into cages by themselves and gave them two sources of water. One source was normal freshwater but the other was laced with heroine. In these experiments the rats almost always preferred the drug water and they died quickly.

In the second experiment in groups of rats were put into large cages which had been designed to be very pleasant for the rats. They had good food, good company and mind engaging activities. In this experiment the rats ignored the drugged water and simply got on with their lives.

This experiment shows that substance addiction is an adaptation to environment and the modern environment isolates people from each other and puts them into soul destroying occupations and lifestyles.

Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always prefer the drugged water and almost always kill itself very quickly, right, within a couple of weeks. So there you go. It’s our theory of addiction.

"We’ve created a society where significant numbers of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives without being drugged, right? We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for a lot of people, much more like that first cage than it is like the bonded, connected cages that we need.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. And our whole society, the engine of our society, is geared towards making us connect with things not people. If you are not a good consumer capitalist citizen, if you’re spending your time bonding with the people around you and not buying stuff—in fact, we are trained from a very young age to focus our hopes and our dreams and our ambitions on things we can buy and consume. And drug addiction is really a subset of that." ~ Johann Hari

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