Sunday, July 4, 2010

Addiction and Spirituality

I have a hunch that spiritual path travelers struggle with addictions; at least I find it curious that many spiritual authors have a chapter on addictions, or even write books about this subject. I also recall a handful of authors that admitted to alcohol problems or other substance abuses in the past. Our community is probably prone to addictions, as we feel an emptiness inside ourselves, a missing home with little idea how to get there. Conversely, those that are seriously afflicted can only overcome it by launching their spiritual path. It is as if you send a subconscious message to your self, "Look, you better face your problem; otherwise you will be in serious trouble."

In me personally, I have experienced a change as my spiritual journey has become more intense. I feel an increased blood circulation and a much higher energy level. It is almost as if you feel a magnificent spiritual experience is in the air, a high that you can see within your reach, but then you get frustrated that you can't experience it and you look for other outlets; for some it's sex, others a power trip, or some substance abuse.

But then, these distractions cannot really fool you for long. The big problem with addictions is that something important within yourself appears to be out of control. There are things happening on the subconscious level that you simply don't understand. This feeling of helplessness changes as you wander along your spiritual path. Signposts of spiritual growth are insight and perhaps the disappearance of time. As you make your choices, the universe almost instantaneously shows you the consequences of your actions. Addictions are then nothing that can scare or bother you any longer. As you understand what is going on inside yourself, all the dirt is swept onto the carpet rather than under it. All you have to do is to get a big vacuum cleaner and everything is back in order again.

Kerry Spackman describes the case of a client in the Winner's Bible in which a woman almost lost her son as she battled a vicious chemical drug addiction. When she realized that this was her choice, all he had to do was to place a picture of her son in front of her and she dropped her deadly habit overnight. Think about your position. If you are on a serious spiritual path and the universe signals to you again and again that your addiction stands between you and experiencing your true self, how difficult do you think it will be to drop whatever it is that distracts you at the moment.

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