The powerlessness of the middle-classed

Posted: 10/03/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, Struggle
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To end addiction you need power. In the Christian 12 Steps you get that power from God, here is where Russell [Recovery p 68 of 444] got his power to overcome addiction:-

I became an alcoholic because being middle-classed I had no power. Equally I was fortunate with my addiction because of my middle-class powerlessness, that needs explaining. The essence of being middle-classed is that you have no power to make decisions, decisions are made for you by the culture you are in. The nature of this culture is conformism, you are expected to confirm to the decisions the culture makes for you. These decisions are primarily education – to get qualifications to get a job (not real education). There is no freedom to make different decisions as is evidenced by the family uproar caused if someone chooses not to follow education.

I remained middle-classed until I hit bottom. University was a sense of freedom for me as evidenced by the first night where I was completely drunk, puking and unaware of anything by 8.00pm. University followed the course of few lectures, exam resits, return to the parents during vacation where I became completely middle-classed again. At the end of 4 years – I did one year of a two-year M Sc course, I got on the required middle-class rung.

At this point being middle-classed (hetero) ought to mean that I had played at university, I’d got a job, would find a woman in the office, get married and procreate within the culture – create a new generation of middle-classed. But the conditioning was failing me, I am not sure why – it was not a failure process I was conscious of. In part it was the drink, it could also have been the discipline of having to work all day long at something I didn’t want to do. At uni I never wanted to do the maths but being middle-classed I wanted the degree so worked for the exams. In the job what was there to work for? Personally I had never made any decisions. I went to school – not my decision, I went to uni – I chose which one not whether I went; it never crossed my mind not to go. Going to uni and getting a degree was the totality of being middle-classed – the only ambitions I had. By the time I was sitting my finals I was a well-disciplined student. I was in a hall of residence – a good place to get middle-classed. There were varying levels of playing throughout the 3 years but the ethos was pass your finals. Starting as a complete drunk I emerged as a well-conditioned member of the middle-class with sufficient control of the drink to get a degree. The next year, postgrad year at uni, was more of the same although I met social studies people who thought and we discussed a lot – I can’t remember about what. Maybe this was the beginning of the upheaval.

When I started work there was the usual pub-oriented work culture that I was well trained to join in. But I did not have discipline. Once the discipline of the exams had gone I had nothing. Exams had been the motivation, I did not know how to hold down a job. But in my first job there were interesting people, and for some reason the interesting people liked me. At work there were the careerists and the people who had a life outside the career. The careerists soon lost interest in me, and the others took me under their wing. But I only played, they played and knew how to hold down a job. At the end of the year the firm pushed me out, giving me a token wage increase – I was lucky I wasn’t sacked.

Someone introduced me to the second job. He played up the job as having all the things I thought I wanted – all the things a good middle-classed would have wanted (I had that in the first job). But the job paled in comparison as did the people. And I drifted to the bottom in 3 months.

When I got sacked I ran home, it seemed the natural thing to do. But I didn’t run home to the warmth and comfort of a loving family, I ran home to the repression – to a place where all the decisions were taken away from me. A place of powerlessness.

Of that time (3-4 weeks) I remember only one day. It was just before Xmas and I was walking the streets of Manchester – it was not unusual for people of middle-class Sale to go into Manchester (I have had many conscious days doing that since). I just wandered around as one does, and I passed a pub in which there was an office party. I listened to the enjoyment, and just thought “that’s not for me”. I cannot remember any of the other decision making processes that were going on then, but early January I went back to London. Thinking back I am amazed at the craziness of my plan. I had nowhere to live. I got off the coach, went into a job agency, and they sent me to a boring cobol programming job in Hounslow. I went there, got the job, found a B and B in Hounslow, the next day got a room in Chiswick – a room that became important to me. Considering how weak I was at the time I am amazed at my fortitude. But I had made a decision and it was the end of being middle-classed.

At Chiswick I empowered myself although I never thought of it as that. That empowering was concerned with the experiences, and was so helped by the wonderful people I got to know. If any of this means anything to you, if you are lost like I was, find good people – or even write to me; without finding people for whom the path means something you might not have the strength or power to stay on the path. And you will regret that all your life.

Overcoming being middle-classed was essential to what happened with my alcohol addiction. Following the path I had become empowered even though I was foolish enough to waste that power in the booze for so long. I teetered along a way of life which included the path and addiction for 12 years until I eventually stopped.

I keep saying I was fortunate with my addiction. I was an alcoholic by the time I stopped but because I had been on the path part of the time I was sufficiently empowered to stop. The decision to stop wasn’t mega-tortuous. I had been going to an acupuncturist for migraines, and he told me that the treatments were helping, I was then getting drunk and drinking away the healing. He told me to make a decision and I did. I can remember withdrawal symptoms, on Fridays I was mentally weakest and had to be careful. I was doing Tai Chi, and my route to the practice passed a pub, and I remember it being difficult not to go in. Until it wasn’t, I felt certain after 6 months.

I had the ability to stop because being on the path some of the time had given me sufficient power. If I had still been middle-classed I don’t know where the power would have come from.

It is the power of the path that enables you to overcome the addiction to conditioning, whatever the conditioning, whatever the substance I presume. There are very interesting questions as to how we connect to our path that need to be examined, but it is the power of the path that enables people to overcome addiction. And that power had to be enabled individually, it is not belief but power, strength, and it is the individual who acts wherever they consider the power comes from.

I was fortunate that the conditions that led to the path and alcoholism were middle-class repression. I was fortunate that I had found the path during my fight with the addiction of alcohol so that I had sufficient power to overcome that addiction. But I have not overcome addiction, and need to make more effort to follow the path.

But please remember, the greatest fortune was not that I found the path so that I could overcome addiction. The greatest fortune was that I found the path, and the joy that the path has brought me in life. I don’t question the way the path has taken me because it has given me that joy. I have great joy now in writing retrospectively about the way the path took me. The critic in me says why didn’t I embrace the path 100% throughout my life rather than indulging the weakness of alcohol. But I accept the critic, I learn from the critic, but I enjoyed the path.

Maybe I had two childhoods, maybe there were times that careerism and profiteering wore me down whilst teaching, maybe I could have done more to help others about the path, but the path brought me joy. That can never be forgotten. The path beyond conditioning, the path that overcomes addiction, the path of compassion, insight and creativity has great joy. Always remember that when considering the path, it has great joy. The path is what Gaia gives us to overcome suffering. Natural joy.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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