Archive | Addiction & Recovery RSS feed for this section
Addiction: 9 Causes and Cures

Addiction: 9 Causes and Cures

THE SUPERNATURAL QUALITY OF YOUR ENERGY ANATOMY

If you believe that consciousness, as opposed to physical objects, is the seat of reality and this thing we call life then at the deepest level an addiction represents an energetic imbalance in your system. It’s as if your sixth chakra (mind) and fourth chakra (heart) are out of alignment.

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

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.

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.

In The Language of Archetypes, Myss doesn’t recommend asking, What would Jesus or the Buddha do? in this or that situation. Her prescription is . . .

Read more
A Book that Changed Me: How to be an Adult in Relationships

A Book that Changed Me: How to be an Adult in Relationships

David Richo has a simple test for the question, ‘Should you stay or should you go?’ What you should ask, ‘Am I codependent’?

BY ALEX HAISLIP — There’s nothing more debilitating than staying stuck in an unfulfilling relationship. The need to have somebody, anybody — even an other who is just plain wrong for you — is essentially an addiction. David Richo has a prescription for curing that addiction.

His framework:

Here are the words of a codependent: “Because you please me sexually, because we have been together so long, because I don’t know whether I will ever find someone else, I CAN’T LET YOU GO — even though you do not meet me at my soul/adult level.”

Here are the words of an adult: “Even though you please me sexually, even though we have been together so long, even though I don’t know whether I will ever find someone else, I HAVE TO LET YOU GO because you do not meet me at my soul/adult level.”

Call it Richo’s brand of tough-love, or spiritual medicine. His penetrating — indeed, devastating — insights make this book both hard to get through, and hard to put down.

Richo’s work isn’t just for emotional adolescents. The book is a great guide for those who want to deepen and improve even the most enduring and loving relationship.

His five operative words have a distinctly Buddhist ring: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. It’s a recipe is guaranteed to tune-up any relationship, at any stage.

More than anything, the book is a call to conscious action. It implores us to take full responsibility for our own thoughts and emotional states, and rise to the challenge of unconditional love. Rather than just falling in love and losing control, embrace a clarity of will and sense of Self — or as Jung might say, allow God or the Force to love an other through you.

Check it out for yourself: How to be an Adult in Relationships

[Image from FarHorizons.org]

Read more
Barry Bonds: a steroid addiction costs him an indictment

Barry Bonds: a steroid addiction costs him an indictment

Bonds: Before and After steroids

‘Tis the season of the famous falling down, drunk — Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kiefer Sutherland, and last week, (surprise!) Mickey Rourke — all busted for DUI.

But this morning’s headlines stem from a different seed of celebrity addiction: superstar athletes and steroids.

A San Francisco grand jury indicted Barry Bonds, the Giants slugger who broke the most coveted home-run record this summer, for perjury and obstruction of justice because of his attempts to cover-up years of heavy steroid use that powered his hitting surge. The mainstream media calls it “steroid abuse,” we call it addiction.

Steroids are derived from the male sex hormone testosterone, and they boost production of opioids in the brain, as well as bulk up muscle. Guys on steroids are a lot like cocaine addicts: alongside euphoria and amped-up egos, they experience heightened anxiety and irritability, paranoid delusions and impotence.

Steroids really hurt when they’re put in the hands — or the butt — of a clinical narcissist like Bonds.

Read more
The New Female Mystics and the Anti-Me Generation

The New Female Mystics and the Anti-Me Generation

A vanguard of self-schooled female mystics are doing an end-run around the mainstream self-help and New Age movements — and are advancing a radical, 21st century spirituality. Call it the ‘Anti-Me Generation’

For two years, Byron Katie was so maniacally depressed she rarely got out of bed. A mother of two boys and a teen-aged girl in Bakersfield, CA and an alcoholic, she ended up in a local halfway house. When Katie awoke one morning to find a cockroach crawling up her foot, she 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. I was seeing without concepts, without thoughts or a story. There was no me. The foot and the cockroach weren’t outside me. There was no outside or inside.”

During the two decades since that halfway-house psychic makeover, Katie has drawn audiences in the thousands to lectures and workshops, for which she typically charges no fee, offering others the same experience. To both experts and lay people alike she appears to live in an elevated psychological state utterly free of internal conflict, akin to a yogi or a lama. Katie herself claims that she does not even see herself as a spiritual person. “I don’t know anything about that,” says Katie. “I’m just someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn’t.”

POST-MODERN MYSTICS

Across the centuries, spiritual seekers have invariably been women and the teachers men; From Jesus to Gurdjieff and Rumi to Ramana Maharshi, enlightenment has been a male-dominated business. But Katie, now 63, is in the vanguard of an astonishing advent in the mystical tradition she is a leading light in a scattered coterie of women who have propounded a radical, new esoteric spirituality and seem to have leap-frogged ahead of male counterparts in the pursuit of the sacred. Their work, if you want to call it that, isn’t wholey cribbed from Indian gurus or apprenticeships in Asian monasteries but forged in a homegrown fashion in the crucible of contemporary America – sometimes as a result of frustration with oriental traditions. Alongside Katie, these self-schooled spiritual masters include Oregon-based Catherine Ingram (pictured above), Santa Fe’s Pamela Wilson (below), and Calgary, Alberta-based Karen McPhee.

They represent an implicit indictment of the legion of vendors from the human potential movement who appear on Oprah’s show, or who fill the pages of Common Ground. Those services are New Age brands that explicitly pitch self-improvement, and promise to fill in the ego’s deficits. But Katie, Ingram and the others undermine the very notion of self-enhancement through spiritual seeking. In fact, they take direct aim at the personality’s hegemony over reality, and advance a counter-intuitive proposition that the act of thinking itself is an inherently contaminating phenomenon. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, the age-old adage goes. To the new female mystics, the mind is simply a terrible thing.

Read more
soprano_poster_season6b.jpg

Why The Sopranos was the most spiritual show on TV

Drawing on ideas and idioms from mysticism and transpersonal psychology, HBO’s The Sopranos was the most Soul’s Code show on television — until LOST took over

BY PAUL KAIHLA — “Read for the rapture” was a signature phrase in the penultimate episode of The Sopranos, which aired during the second week of June, 2007. We’ve come to love and learn those epiphanic flourishes of dialogue — and this one came from an FBI agent, of all characters.

Could we agree that the greatest series, ever, in television history is The Sopranos? Or could we at least agree that it ranks as the most spiritual show on TV? Here’s why:

1. You’ve heard homeless people ranting on the street. Step a bit outside of your own head, and realize that they’re simply voicing aloud the kind of thought-strings that race through most of our minds every minute. Since the homeless have little left to lose, they are less defended — and to put a generous spin on it, feel liberated to share their ‘inner voice’. The Reflections promo for the homestretch of The Sopranos channels that dynamic through Tony — overlapping, Altman-esque tracks of internal dialogue looping through the mob boss’s head. Ramana Maharshi himself couldn’t have showcased the mental noise of a neurotic mind more poignantly.

Read more

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.

Read more
Soul’s Code Link-Love: Addiction

Soul’s Code Link-Love: Addiction

Simone Hudson posts this picture.

Aaron Rowe of Wired.com writes about scientists who are trying to create a cocaine that gives you the same high, but doesn’t have the nasty side-effect of death associated with an overdose.

The blogger behind Know a New Freedom writes about switching addictions from food to other, more dangerous substances. The author is a recovering addict and has good advice on where to go for help.

John Grohol blogs about withdrawl from SSRI anti-depressants, advocating that doctors and drug companies list out all the potential side effects and then ask for the “informed consent” of patients. He doesn’t tackle the subject of whether a clinically depressed person can adequately evaluate the decision at the time of starting the drug.

Check out the Soul’s Code slideshow, Addiction: 9 Causes and Cures. As well, here is what post-modern mystics have to say on the subject. And here’s what we had to say about HBO’s doccumentary, Addiction.

RAGE Media writes about pornography addiction and . . .

Read more
hbo-addiction

Addiction, the HBO version

HBO called on documentary stars Barbara Koppel, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles to create the most ambitious series ever about addiction. But the slant is more science than spiritual

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Our friends at Entertainment Weekly invited us to the premiere of the HBO documentary mega-project, Addiction. It’s anchored by a 90-minute feature, which kicked off the series on HBO on March 15, followed by 13 half-hour episodes. HBO recruited some of the top documentary talent in American history for this effort:

Read more

Britney Spears gets real?

They call it ”terrible.” Others say Brit’s got “issues.” Her fans claim they’re “crushed” by the way her life is unfolding.

Over the past few days Britney Spears has:

*Shaved her head;
*Reportedly spent a 24-hours stint in rehab;
*Gotten inked at random tattoo parlors.

It’s tempting to judge this, call it a train-wreck, etc. But maybe playing the game of presenting a false image of sanity as a success to the world is the wreck. Maybe this is something she needs to do to hack her soul’s code.

Or maybe she should just read this, the Soul’s Code series on Causes and Cures of Addiction.

Read more
Codependency

Decoding Codependency

Read more