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Friday, June 14, 2013

Addiction: the Lotus Flower of Modernity

Modern society is manufacturing addicts at an alarming rate.  We are also seeing an explosion in addictive behaviors, far more than at any other time in history.

Addiction is the crowning achievement of the disorganization of humanity.  It is the 'flower' of all that is wrong with modern life.  Our modern commercialism delivers to us a series of messages that, once completely internalized, become addiction.

I took a 'yoga' chart to demonstrate what these messages are, starting from the foundation of Atheism:  

With Atheism and the notion that man is by himself, man's will is released from whatever Supreme Will reigns over reality.  This 'frees' man to do what he wants, so long as he can get away with it.

The first thing man does is indulge his all of his desires, natural and unnatural, without restraint.  This is Hedonism.  When man rejects God, he is often rejecting the restraints that religion teaches.  The problem is that religion does not teach these restraints for God's benefit, but for man.  No matter.  Those who reject God want to do what they want to do, foremost is the indulging of the self.

When man enters into Hedonism, the experience of its pleasures cut him off from others.  Those who know what hypnotic ecstasy is know that it is a 'solo flight.'  The sensual pleasures may involve others, but only to the extent that they are useful in one's search for pleasure.  It's not altruistic or giving.

Yes, one can experience pleasure in a giving manner, but that involves restraint.  One naturally must exercise restraint in respect of the other person.  Hedonism knows no boundaries.  It is Selfishness.

Wrapped up in his desires, man demands freedom from even the restraints of time.  He wants it all now.  He embraces Impatience as a virtue, because waiting is self-denial, which he has rejected.  There can be no waiting.

The Selfishness of the modern man, where everyone else is only either an enabler or an obstacle to his pursuit of pleasure eventually leads man hate those that inconvenience him.  He lives for his unrestrained impulses and desires, and so he hates those who deprive him of instant gratification.

So, his hatred of others and their impediment of his instant pleasures leads man to Intolerance of his fellows.  After all, other people become competing wills which resist him.  They become heirs to the God he rejected, trying to push him off of the throne that God 'vacated' in the imagination of the atheistic man.

Man then finds himself looking rather distorted and feeling deprived.  His expectations of constant pleasure are not being met despite his best efforts.  he must excuse his pitiable estate.  So, he indulges in Intellectualism and the crafting of excuses for his predicament.

Intellectualism is thought without practicality.  It is divorced from cause-and-effect.  Intellectuals like to think and work with theories, but not dirty their hands with actually testing their ideas.  They are 'half-thinkers' who weave brilliant excuses but produce nothing that endures beyond their thoughts.

Man employs his intellectual talents to excuse his depravity.  Even the wet-brained drunk has an elaborate story to explain his self-destructive behavior.  Addicts all have long, unnecessarily complex reasonings for their disease.

Modernity, through advertising and politics, has brought us these messages and blessed them.  Of course, they have always been with us, but it is only when society utterly falls apart that these messages become acceptable as they are in an unvarnished and undisguised state.

The recovery of the addict means that all of these things must go.

By cutting off the root of Atheism, the flower and its attendant conditions wither.  This is what the 12 Steps are about: by beginning with the belief in God and the exposure of these conditions as undesirable, then addiction is destroyed.

Our problem is moving from Atheism to belief is not easy.  It takes time, especially when everything opposed to it is our daily fare.  This is why the disease dies slowly, and treatment is a life-long commitment.

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