It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
Over a 8 year period, my co-author Su Zhen and I have posted some 1871 notes on this blog, sharing observations from our spiritual journey. Most notes have been about love, the magic that we experience on occasions, and reflections of our own conditioning and biases. On accessions both of us wrote about our shadow struggles. It is the willingness to penetrate dark corners of our soul and the process of letting the light into areas that we had unwilling to look before.
I think it is more a reflection of a problems of our times than the quality of my notes that determined the success of two particular notes, J. Krishnamurti's observation on addictive patters got 1334 hits, whereas my own insights on pornography and sexual addictions got 397 hits, towering the popularity of all other notes by many hundreds. So be it, when people struggle, it is our job to be of assistance to the best of our abilities. I fear that addictive patterns will only go up in coming decades given the bombardment of electronic information on our formative brain, the loss of our connection with nature, and the ever increasing stress in our modern societies to make a comfortable living. An addiction is essentially a subconscious note to oneself, "hey, wake me up, something is not right here!"
Every spiritual traveler will tell you that an addiction is just an extreme in a spectrum that starts with fantasies, excited anticipation, compulsive habits, or the running away from inconvenient truths. We know something about addiction because we spiritual travelers are mindful of the robot inside, and thus pick up on the "be nowhere rather than now here" theme before it can develop into a life threatening affliction.
Do not ostracize addicted folks would be my observation. They can get their sanity back just as you can drop your pernicious habits once the coin has dropped what exactly is missing. Addictions may encourage the spiritual break-through. The same with shadow work more generally. We are all in the same boat and can use the stuff we don't like within as a jumping board towards spiritual, professional and personal break-throughs.
The scary monster within always has a present in hand for us when we are willing to look eye to eye with him. In my case, the message of my demon was to become more assertive, to look out for my own interests more, which is a classic shadow struggle many spiritual travelers have. Mind you, I have not become more ruthless in the process. To the contrary, I now have mended fences with people who I thought earlier were out to get me. The Bible rightly states that "lamb and lion shall lie together"; it is just that sometimes you have to embrace the lion within to manifest that blessed state.
Be proud of who you are, your strengths as well as your perceived weaknesses. Your life mission will make you whole and happy, but you have to get started to manifest your destiny and you have to be fearless. Be patient, be persistent and make friends with the monster under the bed. We have full moon today which is always an auspicious day to let go of some baggage. On the road towards the light there is no other way but to make it through the tunnel; keep going and focus on the light.
Below are the above mentioned two notes on addiction and sexual fantasies: