Addiction is as much a reaction to one's self as it is a reaction to the world. With the explosion of addictions in the modern world, it is important for addictions treatment to look at how the world is structured and what pressures it brings to bear on the addict. Over the next few posts, I will explain how I think we can understand our modern world, and why we are experiencing the problems we are now struggling with.
No one is happy these days, even those who are on 'top' and have their way. This should tell us something about the problem.
To envision this 'structure,' we must see the various layers, like an onion. I'm no graphics expert, so it will take me a while to draw something up.
Each layer represents a person, group, or condition (in AA lingo, this is 'people, places, and things') that effects the person. There is a rough order to them in terms of how much impact they have on us, and how they naturally relate to one another. Some are actively aware, while others are merely conditions.
Here I will present the layers from the largest or 'most-meta' to the smallest, or most personal:
Family (extended version)
Yes, God is at both ends of the spectrum. We can see where His presence would flow through this entire spectrum to fill all of life... though we must confess that some of these layers fight this proposition. This is where we have trouble.
There are also times where one layer tries to supplant the others, such as a state which tries to replace religion and becomes a theocracy, or vice versa. This disorder causes its own suffering on a wide scale.
The addict's suffering comes from his alienation at any of these levels. This is most often his own doing, but I do think that an argument can be made that defects in these systems can also leave one more vulnerable to addiction than one would otherwise be.