Sunday, December 11, 2016

Addiction

I have not forsworn booze yet--at least since the last time I did--so I have decided to get drunk tonight, because it is raining.  Rain always makes me want to drink.  Perhaps so I dissolve in one of the streams.  When the drunk Russian in Nostalghia says the flooded church feels like Russia, I feel Russian too.

And it hit me, sitting on my couch, that the core malady of addicts of all sorts is the inability to find genuine deep solace, comfort and sense of safety in any other human being.  Your drug is your friend.  Your drug is reliable.  Your drug won't let you down.  I've said this before, but perhaps not this way.  Or perhaps exactly this way, and I"m mimicking the drunken O'Malley brothers (the one about the two men at a bar finding all the things they share in common)

I will add I had an unpleasant truth intrusion tonight, something which I recognized immediately as absolutely valid and relevant, but which hurt me.  And it occurred to me that in a healthy person the ego expands and contracts regularly.  Not even that: the sense of self expands and contracts.  Sometimes you are acutely aware of being you--and fine with that fact, in a healthy system--and sometimes your sense of self fades completely as you partake in larger wholes.  It is an organic, natural, adaptive process.

When spiritual teachers speak of eradicating the ego, the intelligent, sane, useful ones (a minority in my view among those who aspire to claim your mind and allegiance) intend learning to loosen what amount to spasms in the emotional and perceptual body.  What came to me was a spasm, a holding, a clinging which held on in no small measure because it was unseen, unrecognized.

It came to me too that the "shadow" self has no need to hide.  It is always there, influencing your thoughts, your decisions, your actions.  What can happen, with diligence, commitment, and honesty, is that you learn to see it standing behind patterns you know intimately, and which you have to learn, once you have seen this goblin, to see differently.  Perhaps you are not the saint you thought you were.  Perhaps you are not innocent of bigotry and hate.  Perhaps some part of you wants to set fire to everything you see, but your smile at everything and everyone has blinded you to this fact.

I am a cynic in many ways, but under that cynicism, I see why people go mad, why most people stay mad, and on some level what it means to be human, living in the "human condition".

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