"Understanding and operating within the system of life"Life on life's terms, how it applies to addiction recovery. What is life? Does life have a plan? What does - nothing happens in God's world by mistake mean? How can we sort all this out?
Life on life's terms. Another often misunderstood phrase. The key word here is "Life". Is it possible the author meant to say something else? You know, like those folks who wrote the constitution or the original scrolls we call the bible. They're always having to have their works amended. They didn't write what they meant. Right?
I choose to look at things the way they are written and then if I don't like it or it doesn't work for me I just set it aside and look for something else.
The general translation most people make concerning this quote, boils down to, "Living Life on Societies terms". I don't see the word society in there. It says we "Live Life on Life's Terms". Life and society are often fused in to one fuzzy thought ball. I heard a commercial about some guy doing a job and getting these offered advantages to help him do his job better and at the end they said, "after all, your job is your life". Really? I didn't know that. There is another commercial with a mom talking in the background saying how she can't be at school to look out for her daughter but she can make sure that her daughter "feels good about herself" by buying her a certain brand of clothes. According to these ads, as a society, we're nuts. What has a job, clothes, or societies got to do with life? If any thing this is all anti-life: don't think about life; think about how you look.
Another common re-writing is, "Life on gods terms". I don't see the word god in there either.
Let's consider the societal aspect of living life on life's terms. The confusion that exists for most people, in dealing with problems that arise, is they think the problems are a natural occurrence, stemming from life. That life has naturally brought forth both societies and troubles. It's often summed up during a trying time when someone responds to the totality of events with, "Oh well, that's life...". Why is it assumed that suffering, or just downright stupidity, is a natural product of life?
It may a probability for people. Put people on a planet and leave them there without any instructions and all sorts of nonsense will come out it. But by no means is it inevitable, and not a natural phenomena of life. The naturally occurring difficulties of life are almost exclusively - The Weather. What else is life throwing at us?
People constantly seek to establish their identity in reference to their society. This is really, really the hardest role to play. Very few people understand what shapes there society. Why do we have societies? Where do they come from? I'd say societies usually stem from trouble, which stem from people, who are living inside a not so good life-story. We had a pretty good start in the U.S. with the founding fathers trying everything they could think of to protect themselves from the reach of tyrants. The reality of tyranny was fresh in their minds and nothing was of more importance. It wasn't about religion or love your neighbor or the creation of a shining example of a democratic nation. In fact it is a Republic. It was simply-cover as many loop holes as they could think of-to keep them and, by default, the rest of us safe. Keep in mind these guys thought of other people as their property. Some of them were on the side of the tyrants. This is a pretty good set up as societies go but it won't last forever. It's already a lot different than it was a few years ago and soon it will be even more different. Then it will be gone. All societies change, they die, through self destruction, destruction from outside intervention or natural disaster: there is no permanency to hold on too. So any identity based on societal elements has no permanent qualities to it. Its just a minor role in a short play.
On the other hand life has been going on a long time and there is no end in sight. Figuring out everything we can about it and how we are part of it will provide a clearer picture of ourselves. If we want to be part of life and truly live life on life's terms we need to relinquish our current roles. We really can't live life on life's terms and have our minds continuously occupied with something else. One of the concepts that constantly interferes with any chance of connecting with life is the idea of division. Life isn't a system of division. We have divided it and classified it for communication purposes. We make boundaries between global regions and life sciences. We cut nature up into sections and give the sections names. We separate ourselves from each other as races, colors, ages, money classes. Life has no such boundaries so our whole mind set, our thought world never comes into contact with the reality of life. In short we don't know it. So we cannot live on it's terms. We don't know what they are. Do we? What are they? What are life's terms? It would take a great big book for me to write out the individual aspects of life. That is assuming that I even knew what they were. I can however give some sort of guidance towards self discovery. I'll use my favorite qualifier for an aid: Is it real and does it work. We can say without question that life is as real as we can conceive reality to be. You know...it's there. Isn't it? So we can say it's real. The second criteria we could look for is does it work? One thing you'll notice if you choose to look at life is this: it works. It works really well.
If something isn't working really well it's not in harmony with life. So it isn't part of life. Life is never not in harmony with itself. It is in such harmony that the entire world can be written out as music. Everything has a resonance. What do we have within our observable range that we can look at and say that works, or that doesn't? How much are we involved in the stuff that works? This will tell us to what degree we are living life on life's terms. Do our schools work? Does our government work? Does the monetary system work? As far as I know the only thing that man does that really works well is that which copies or makes use of nature. Nature is in harmony and we can get all we need to live and work really well from it. Without depleting it or opposing it in any way. If this was not true then it would mean that either (1) life does not work well or (2) we are not part of life. Both of these ideas lack an ounce of evidence. That leaves us with-we are life-but we don't realize it. We have been taught something different and have fallen asleep to the reality of our own existence. We don't know what life is so we don't know what we are. The clearer this picture is, the better our chances of becoming ourselves, the better our chance of being really, really happy.All addiction is a form of escape. You could say all addiction is the attempt to escape life. But that's not true. No one wants to escape from life. But, if their was nothing to run from, no one would be running. The question we need to ask is what has us so scared? I wanted out of the frustration and confusion. I didn't understand what people were doing. That's not really accurate, I knew what they were doing, I didn't know why they were doing it. Today I have a real clear picture of the cause and motive in all the activities taking place around me. I still get frustrated but armed with the knowledge of cause I don't feel an overwhelming need to be gone. In fact I never feel like escaping. I want to make this as clear as possible. People don't form these escape habits because they are in fear of real things, like being eaten by saber tooth tigers. It's not that kind of tangible event that causes the neurotic fear that leads to addiction. The fear I'm talking about is that which drives peoples need to just make everything stop. It's a deep gnawing anxiety that seeps in to the bones. It's the spirit killer. It will suck the joy from you until nothing else matters but relief at any cost. Suicide and addiction are sister symptoms of the same spiritual disease.
Example of "Works Well"Only plants produce enough new oxygen to support life on Earth. In one year, an average tree inhales 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of CO2 and exhales enough O2 to keep a family of four breathing for a year.
There is nothing tiresome or grueling or scary about life on life's terms. Life on peoples terms, societies terms, is a different story. In fact it's a multitude of stories. In order to be free of the past and its stories we must become open minded investigators. We must be willing to not know anything. Before we can learn anything we must be willing to be wrong. I was wrong about a ton of stuff. At one point I knew that I could discard all the ideas that had somehow gotten inside my head, with no ill effect. There was really nothing in there that couldn't go. At that point I was ready to start really getting better. Up until then all I had done was quit using drugs. That was good, but I doubt I could have survived what I thought for long. Certainly not for the rest of my life on this planet.