Gaia’s Addiction Spectrum

Posted: 02/03/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, Struggle

Russell’s First Exercise led me through a useful questioning, and this morning there was a clarity about “following the path”. In a way that always had to be the answer because Gaia only offers two choices – path or addiction, and one is suffering the other is not – 4 Noble Truths. And the end of suffering, end of addiction, is Nibbana, I presume (as I have not reached it but the dogma says so).

And this addiction is addiction to conditioning or self that has to be ended. I therefore will never be able to say that I have ended addiction, no matter how much I would like to. However there will always be addictions that I can overcome, it is just recognising them.

Let me examine the last one in detail, the one that arose after Russell’s First Exercise. This is something that has always been there. I was so fortunate with my upheaval that led me onto the path so young, I have also been fortunate in the way that the path guided me through childhood without any great pain – although I am not sure what I missed out on by being middle-classed. How have I used that good fortune? I became a teacher – noble, but could I have done more? I am now a writer, could I have been a writer when younger? How much more could I have contributed to education about the path through writing – less so in education itself which is so rigidly controlled? In the end the path is all that matters, so teaching maths without contributing to awareness of the path is not that noble. Tied up with these critical considerations of path are the “happiness” I now have, and speculation as to whether I could lose this through following the path. But there is guilt, have I done enough with my good fortune? These are the questions that come from Russell’s First Exercise.

And the answers are all “be in the present moment”, forget the speculation and guilt; follow the path. Get back to focussing on meditation, be more determined and stop wasting time. The path is far more important than any consequences that might break any attachment to current “happiness”.

All of Gaia’s addictions are self, so everyone is addicted to self (the mental process of addiction) – this is 4 Noble Truths. But in society Gaia’s addictions are dodged by most people. Let us move along the spectrum of addiction. We can begin with drugs. I know little about drugs but society criminalises drug addiction. “Drug addicts have lost control, and will do anything including criminal acts for their next fix”, so this addiction is considered a crime. But there is also a huge hypocrisy concerning these drugs. It is socially acceptable to snort cocaine, ecstasy (that dates me) is taken at clubs and raves, and the police turn a blind eye to the criminality because there is some sort of control. So there is drug addiction that is criminal and drug addiction that is not – and the difference is somewhat arbitrary.

Then there is alcohol. This drug leads to much crime and domestic abuse but instead of it being seen as an addiction, and perhaps criminalised, it is associated with glamour, taxed for government profits, and there are legal social establishments for its sale. There is an arbitrary name for some of these alcohol addicts, and that is alcoholic. The arbitrariness is not based necessarily on the degree of addiction. There are plenty of alcoholics who cope financially with their addiction, so are not considered alcoholics but when you are poor and addicted – unable to easily buy the substance, you are an alcoholic even if you are drinking less than others not classified in this way. Marijuana is beginning to be legalised. It has few social crimes associated with it, it has medicinal value as yet properly investigated, and in racist societies is used to incarcerate black people for some of whom it is a drug of preference.

Then there is lust – addiction to sex. There is the illegal sex addiction of paedophilia. I have no idea about the specific nature of this addiction, but has to be illegal because it is children who are exploited. But then there is prostitution, how much crime is associated with prostitution? I will always remember Cynthia Payne and the luncheon vouchers when I was living in Streatham – never went!! Although she made money out of her fame (see wiki), she was deemed a criminal. Yet the men who paid for the services were not criminals, without their money (luncheon vouchers) the place would not have existed. I suppose it was deemed acceptable because lust is natural (addiction), and of course the place became famous because many men of power used the services. And as a further example of sex addiction there is domestic abuse in which men demand sex from wives, and yet this crime of addiction is not adequately dealt with by a patriarchic society. Men are addicted to their lust, and crime as a consequence is mostly accepted – in many cases blaming the women.

Then there is addiction to food. Gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins, “fat people” are described as an epidemic. Some women, such as the wonderful Karen Carpenter, die from anorexia, Jane Fonda the activist was a beautiful young actress who at that time suffered from eating disorders. Many people are overweight, and whilst some people are suffering from metabolic disorders others are just addicted to food. Their addiction is so strong that they make themselves ill with diseases associated with their food addiction such as diabetes II. And yet how does society respond? BigFood has additives in their food, and these additives are there because they appeal to food addiction (MSG) – food also contains preservatives to help BigFood make profits. Sufficient people doubt the health of these additives and preservatives, and yet addicted people are eating them. Protection organisations within government do not have the political strength to fight against the power of BigFood, and addicted people could be further damaging their health with these chemicals. Desires for sex and food are natural yet they can be addictions.

All of these addictions are addiction to the self but are treated vastly differently by society. The hypocrisy concerning sex addiction highlights this the most. Men, who are addicted to sex and powerless because of that addiction, manipulate the political and social (patriarchic) system so that they are not considered criminals.

Addiction to the self that focuses on the home and lifestyle leads to political delusion. Middle-classes globally are addicted to their way of life to such an extent that they ignore harm that is done through their governments in their name; to add to this problem because of this addiction and greed they accept implausible excuses made by their governments maintaining the status quo.

What I am stressing is that addiction is a mental process that pervades the lives of all in our society. Rather than empathising with the extremes of addiction those extremes are marginalised, called “addiction” by society, enabling the less extreme from facing their own addiction; in addition addiction provides revenue for governments. So much could be gained by people recognising the spectrum of addiction, offering empathy for the worse addictions. Compassion for the suffering of others because their addiction has worse impacts on some than others.

And a special word for a particularly harmful group of addicted people – the 1%. These people are addicted to greed to such an extent that it matters to them that they can increase their personal wealth even though they already have sufficient money to buy whatever they want. When those people are prepared to create war to increase their wealth, their addiction is a serious problem. Yet they are not called out for being addicted – greedy sometimes, often clever although greed and addiction are not intelligent activities, but never addicted.

Addictions has a spectrum of conditioning that most people fall into. The path is going beyond conditioning, beyond addiction, and few follow it. As we are all addicted we should show more empaythy for those who are struggling most.

<– Previous Post “Russell’s First Exercise” Next Post “Reinforcement” –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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