Addiction and the Unknown
by Ruwan Meepagala Jun 12, 2014
I've never considered myself to be an addict of any sort.
I spent a lot of time exposed to hard drugs and it never became a habit. I had girlfriend who was addicted to drugs and who'd meet drug dealers all over the city at ungodly hours and I'd think "Gosh, I can't believe she goes to such ridiculous lengths for her habit."
I didn't see the irony in that I was the one driving her.
Addiction isn't about the substance, it's how you relate to it.
In the last OneTaste Mastery Intensive, the class learned about BDSM from expert Om Rupani. Om did a live demonstration of a D/S scene on stage and concluded his section with a discussion on the purpose of BDSM: to dissolve the boundaries of our limiting beliefs by exploring taboos, the subconscious, and the unknown.
One of the students, a young man from France, was concerned about the danger of constantly pushing edges and asked "Won't I get addicted?"
"Exploring your boundaries is the opposite of addiction" said Om. "Addicts don't change while they're addicts. They want nothing more than to stay the same. If you're putting you attention on the unknown, that's the opposite of addiction."
An addictive cycle, be that a from a substance or activity, is any pattern that numbs out our desire. It keeps us satiated in the realm of what is known, unconscious of the realm of unknown we would want to grow into and explore.
I am, in fact, an addict. I'm an addict of the most common addiction of out society, comfort.
Really, all addictions are a method of comfort-seeking. My version tends to play out in the form of codependency. Perhaps the reason I could never get addicted to drugs was because my drug was the addicts themselves. From the pit of her substance addiction, my aforementioned girlfriend would call me her "guardian angel." It was easier to play into my delusion of being her savior, rather than confront my own life.
More recently I've caught myself in a addictive cycle towards health practices. Just when I'm being sought out for the work I've always wanted to do, I start thinking, "Well, I really don't have time for any more projects. It's important for me to get in my daily yoga, meditation, tai chi, chai tea, breakfast, lunch, brunch, linner, and finger painting before I start work."
An addiction is any pattern that blocks you from your desire.
Relationships, food, activities, groups, love, sex; Anything that diverts your attention from what you want can be an addiction.
When you're in an addiction phase, you're living in a limited reality where there is nothing more important maintaining it. For a substance addict, this means getting the next hit. For codependents like me, it means making sure the relationship stays intact as it is.
Since life is naturally dynamic, the only way to preserve life as static is to disconnect--from other people, from the source, from anything that threatens the delusion that things can stay the same.
A few hours after Om Rupani concludes his demo, Nicole Daedone takes the stage and says "Addiction at it's root is isolation, what you're isolating is your hunger, your beast, your passion. You see it as dangerous so you must anesthetize it."
I love Walker Barnard's perspective on how cancer is when a cell forgets it's role in the greater organism and acts destructively. A person who isolates is essentially a cancer. Unable to express oneself in connection to the whole, neuroses and delusions develop and the person becomes out of whack with the natural flow of life--demonstrated by our desire, our beast.
Sobriety on the other hand, is the the ability to see and reconnect with the truth.
It's when you wake up a realize that your old reality was a dream. It's when you see the conditioning that was running you unconsciously and now can make a conscious choice about it.
To get sober is to release the fears that keep you in a finite reality by developing the faith to step into what hasn't yet been experienced yet, the unknown.
It's no coincidence that both creativity and 12 step programs both follow the same theme of giving yourself to a higher power--the Tao, God' will, the flow of the Universe, whatever you want to call it. Living sober and living creatively are essentially in the same in that they require a level of faith in that which is unknown and outside of our control.
Addiction ultimately isn't a "bad" thing.
All of my major life lessons have come after a period of being immersed in some sort of isolating reality. From the compression of such reality, we learn about ourselves and the world in a way we would have never otherwise. Some of the most powerful, insightful, and magical people I know are recovered addicts.
It's my understanding that an addict, in the commonly used sense, is someone who learns to follow the flow of nature with a very small margin for error. We all have addictions because we all have fear, and stasis gives us a false sense of security. Freedom is the process of continually seeing your addictive patterns, disrupting them, and stepping back into the unknown.