What really is addiction?

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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

What really is addiction?

Posts: 1574 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
What say you? I like what this guy is saying about it! Well made video too! 
https://youtu.be/ys6TCO_olOc
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 1490 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Interesting, he's also the guy who wrote "In the realm of Hungry Ghosts" on addiction.
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 297 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Great video, and spot on! A not entirely similar, but compatible approach to addiction, twisting it towards mindfulness and meditation, is what Judson Brewer is working on. Here is a somewhat radomly chosen video where he explains his basic idea. emoticon
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 3770 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
He wrote a very, very good book on addiction, which I read quite some time ago. I highly recommend it.

https://drgabormate.com/book/in-the-realm-of-hungry-ghosts/
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Olivier, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Hey that's funny, I'm actually half from Vancouver and have experienced that infamous Downtown eastside firsthand... Crazy place... Filled with, well hungy-ghost-like figures... Very sad place, more than scary...

Papa Che, this book helped me to stop smoking : book

It's a best seller and all that, but it actually works... Thanks to that book, I had a really easy time quitting - and I used to smoke 20-30 cigarettes a day !

So I really recommend it.

Edit : the process in this book is basically deconditioning, changing your views, facing unconscious assumptions and fears and transforming them. In a way it's very much like an analytical meditation, but it's very thorough in its approach and guides you to examine the issue more deeply than you would have yourself... By the end of it, if you take it seriously, you've basically quit, psychologcially speaking, which is the hard part, and then what's left is just to stop the actual smoking, which is the easy part. 
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Olivier, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
To elaborate a bit...

Yeah, I've actually often thought I should really try to understand how the book I mentioned works, because it was really efficient. There's a lot of clarifying what's what in it ; that is to say, deconstructing the assumptions which connect the smoking with a function of filling up a hole. I think the most important part is to see that the smoking (the addiction) does not have the effect of helping you at all, does NOT cover anything up, and solves nothing, but only adds problems. So, stopping just leaves you better equipped to deal with whatever was there anyways...

There's a lot of faith there, that is to say, you have to come to a definitive conclusion about this.

So, the book also goes in depth into deconstructing the notions that we have about addictions - ie, that we are addicted because it helps us escape somehing. Realizing that it ADDS problems and does not make you escape at all, is a vital step, I believe... The more you believe that the addiction covers something up, the more you create fear at the idea of uncovering that covered up thing...

It's not entirely true that addiction covers something up... Although I'm not saying that there is no connection between being seriously addicted to something and having been hurt badly at an early age, and I have to admit that for myself, even though I've suffered a lot, I can say I've globally been treated very well by the people who were supposed to treat me well, and that really makes a big difference I'm sure...

But I do believe there is a lot of belief wrapped up in all this, about self, trauma, and even the effects of substances... 

So IMO the most skilfull way to approach excessive behaviors like that is to become utterly convinced and see clearly that they just add problems to existence (that's the definition of an addiction, the excessiveness and dysfunctionality - if it does add something to your life, and is not a problem... it's not an addiction... we are not addicted to oxygen emoticon) and take away the fear that you can't function without the thing. 

Because, if the thing you're addicted to, did not make your life worse - why would you want to quit it ? And if it makes your life worse, why would you keep doing it ? 

The addiction makes you less equipped to deal with whatever you have to deal with, not more ! And IMO, that inadequate belief is actually more important to addiction, than anything else. That's the key point, the nut to crack... From what I've seen, people who can't stop smoking, actually are mentally addicted in the sense that they believe they like it and that it adds something to existence, and are scared of existence without it. If all this wasn't the case on some level, they would just stop.

Might be wrong, but this fits my experience...

Hope this can be helpful.
agnostic, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 1255 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I also found with my addictions that just doing some basic research into the mechanics helped a lot - biological & psychological causes, economic structure and incentives of the addiction industry, as well as watching videos and testimonials about all the harmful and unpleasant long term consequences for yourself and others. I won't give any more details than that because you can make it as graphic as you want, but there's a lot of powerful stuff out there that can really make you think twice about what it means to drag on a cigarette or chew baccy or whatever it is.
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Olivier, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
The care and faith in this process of examination, are essential too. Care leads to precision and thoroughness, faith, I would almost say, a form of suggestability, of gullibility, allows one to fluidly morph into a different worldview. It's almost like being able to bring yourself to believe something different through intuitive and rational processes all at once, sort of like hypnosis - which seems to be a good method to help with addictions, actually. Changing beliefs changes everything. There is a non-clinging to views in all this, too, which helps.

Taking the thing too lightly can actually leave some stones unturned for people and lead to "relapses" (not actual relapse, just, unexamined assumptions and beliefs which were always there and just make you fall in the same trap as what lead you to start in the first place). Taking it to seriously leads to contraction and fear which can reinforce the latent tendencies... It's a tricky balance...

I can see this happening in my brother, who tends to discard some things I find important as irrelevent details, and sure enough, even though he wants to, he can only quit smoking for a few months and will then start again... Pretty shitty to see that happen, but his somewhat careless attitude is actually the driving force, IMO.

When you think about it, it all has a lot to do with the spiritual faculties...
agnostic, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 1255 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
That's a really nice balanced way to look at it. I particularly like your perspective on the inevitable relapses, which removes the guilt element - the relapse was "already there" in some sense and "not my fault" (although obviously if we make an addiction out of relapsing then that's worth looking at!)
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Olivier, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Yeah, deguiltying yourself is also vital, I would say this is a component of both wisdom and faith, actually. There is also resolve involved, and some effort.

It's really connected with the spiritual faculties emoticon

Faith/conviction/empowerment/trust/non-guilt/non-doubt
Enthusiasm/energy/effort/perseverance/stamina
Non-dispersion/calmness/tranquility/collectedness
Presence/clarity/vigilance
Wisdom/penetration/discernment

Developing the spiritual faculties in conjunction with working on views, is basically the recipe in Allen Carr's easy way, applied very specifically, thoroughly, carefully, to the specificities of nicotine addiction
Ernest Michael Olmos, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 217 Join Date: 5/30/14 Recent Posts
Well, here is an oversimplification.

I'm pretty sure that duality is an addiction of the mind.

There is pain in life. The body has two natural responses, fight or flight.

Fighting is hard, you take the full punch in the gut of your situation, your mortality, your pains, your doubts, etc.
Escaping avoids all that pain, but at the end of the day you get more total pain but in small doses.

It's like getting money for debt or paying full. You pay full, you pay less. You get in debt, you get relief, but in the end you pay more (interest).
Then you get more debt to pay debt, and the thing spirals out of control.

So, why get in debt, why not fight? Well, to pay full you must be able to have the full amount, to resist the full punch of all the pain all at once.

My guess is that meditation is about that, getting to the root of the pain, to the source of the spiraling debt and pain.
At some point, the mind, being really still and relaxed, quietly order all the receipts, gathers strengh (money) from every corner of the mind.
And makes the payment full.

After that, you still have to pay. There is pain for being alive, but there is no spiraling debt, no interest. There is less total pain.

Again, this is an oversimplification.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 3770 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'm pretty sure that duality is an addiction of the mind.

Simpler yet: 

Duality is a fundamental quality of the mind, endemic. It's how the mind works. You can't avoid it. It's not a bug, it's a feature. So... at least to my way of thinking, it's not an addiction.
Ernest Michael Olmos, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: What really is addiction?

Posts: 217 Join Date: 5/30/14 Recent Posts
Maybe you're right.

If duality is an addiction, after getting paths you would be able to go back to old patterns and "undo" a path, a thing that doesn't happen.

I do not know about it emoticon, but it is said that after 11-12 years of not thinking on sex, you are free of sexual desire (brahmacharya).

The mind has a lot of really strong habits that are not rational or conscious, but that doesn't mean that they are "fundamental" to it.

I do agree that they can be really strong and endemic, but so can be all addictions.

Anyway, just an opinion and oversimplifications.

Maybe this is a discussion for another thread emoticon.

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