Reinforcement, addiction is a good word

Posted: 10/03/2018 by mandtao in Freedom, Insight, Struggle

This blog is reinforcement of Gaia’s Addictive Spectrum, and the reinforcement concerns the word addiction. Nice Buddhists might feel that the word is too strong, similarly those same nice Buddhists might feel that conditioning is too Pavlovian and that how humans are conditioned has no connection to whether a dog gets his bone or a rat gets through a maze.

This is a matter of ego. There is the spectrum of addiction from self to heroin, and those addicted to self such as those with houses in suburbia might resent being described as addicted in the same way as a crack addict. I am attached to my house sounds so much nicer then being addicted, as does being attached to the 5 khandas.

But the process is the same not going beyond conditioning, not going beyond the self whether that self is attachment to cake or heroin. The social results might be very different but in terms of keeping the mind on the path the mental process is no different.

Am I being bloody-minded? Surely the harm that comes from the causes and effects of addiction to crack is far worse than the attachment of sugar-craving. Yes, the social results are very different, but the mental process is the same, addiction to sugar-craving is the same mental process as addiction to heroin. “There but for the grace of God go I” has a great deal of relevance when considering addiction, the mental process is the same and the path to go beyond the addiction is the grace of God although few interpret the phrase, grace of God, that way – as the path. At the same time if people were aware that their thinking was addicted, they might feel some shame at the way their addicted thinking contributes to the suffering in the world. When dealing with drug addicts corrective measures usually involve some reference to how much they hurt the people they love ie the suffering they cause people. Simply out addiction causes suffering, and so we are back to the 4 Noble Truths PAGELINK.

So we have many words to appease the niceness of those hearing them:- addiction, conditioning, craving, clinging, attachment; yet all are the same mental process. End the stigma attached to addiction because we are all addicted. See addiction for what it is, a mental process that has social consequences, educate that mental process, and make people aware of it.

This will not happen. For it to happen requires two changes to understanding addiction:-

The first is that the 1% are addicted to money and power as are the people who administer the 1%-system.

The second is that addiction is conditioning, and to go beyond conditioning we need to follow the path of insight and creativity.

In our current society these two are very closely linked. Those with insight and creativity (not attached to conditioning) reject addiction to money and power. The 1% would lose their status if this rejection was universal. Equally most people in our 1%-system could never face the reality that they live in a world of conditioning, and that is part of the conditioning.

The path beyond conditioning and addiction could also be called the path of compassion – as well as insight and creativity. Many addicted will be happy to hear this because they will say they are compassionate. But the path of compassion means compassion first and no addiction, poor caring Liberal there goes your house because of the compromises with addiction and the 1%-system that you have made. Liberals, why doesn’t your compassion extend to ending wars for profit? Would that mean the end of your house? We must all work for each other so why do we need to end wage-slavery? Compassion is revolutionary caring, caring first (beyond conditioning) – not addiction first then caring.

But I must be fair. Whilst the mental process of Liberal addiction is the same, the suffering they cause per se is limited. The real problem of Liberal addiction is that it does not contest the 1% and the 1%-system, their delusion avoids considering the harm and suffering that is done by their governments at the instruction of the 1%. Compassion must drive people to confront the 1%-system, their caring to a great extent is nullified by ignorance of what is actually done in their name. It is not what Liberals do per se but what is done in their name – with their power. It is responsibility that matters but an important part of the 1%-system is the mental process that takes away that responsibility. The system makes it difficult to be responsible, people take responsibility where they can, and ignore the suffering that is caused by those who have taken the rest of that responsibility away. “We can’t be that bad, look at how caring we are.” A liberal anthem, a middle-class anthem. Deep compassion requires efforts to taking back that responsibility, but we are too addicted to the easiness of life that not accepting this responsibility produces. It is easier to be ignorant or blame others, than it is to take back responsibility. Compassion means compassion for all, no suffering for all, in this globalised world where so much is done by the 1% through western governments to cause suffering in this world.

There are no strings to compassion, no addictions to self. The three attributes of the path, compassion, insight and creativity, would end addiction as they put an end to self. But they would also end the 1%-system so they cannot happen.

But it can happen for you. Follow the path of compassion, insight and creativity through the practice of meditation. If you do not follow the path, then you are addicted; if you follow the path some of the time then the rest of the time you are addicted. End your addictions.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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