Addiction And Sanity - "Getting Sober In The 21st Century"

The Environment of the Self

For all of us who are or have been addicted, there is never the surety of our own sanity. Addiction is the attempt to escape a "Society" that we intuitively see as insane. Is the world around us insane? For the most part I'd say if we're talking about the world of people, then yes. The problem with escaping what we see as insane with drugs or other addictions is that the addiction leads to our own insanity. In the end, instead of escaping, we end up becoming part of society's problem. This is especially if we escape through drugs.

For addiction to occur the brain must be chemically altered. Drugs themselves chemically alter our brain further leading to greater brain dysfunction which, at best, is a mild form of insanity. I'm convinced our happiness is directly related to our sanity. Until we stop the addiction we we can't know if we're getting a true read on our environment. I'll admit a lot of addicts appear to have a better read on their environment than a lot of non-addicts. But we'll still suffer the chance of being dimwitted and the dimming can only increase with continued drug use.

Addiction is a condition that becomes possible over time as a person with a chemically altered brain attempts to escape from an environment. The tricky part is we, our brains, our ideas, belief and reckoning are all part of that environment we want to get away from. No matter how far we think we've travelled away from a reality we always wind up back at reality. Reality cannot be left behind for good. At the same time true reality is best and no one in reality wants out. What people are running from is a mistake.

The Environment Of The Self

The generally accepted notion is that the environment begins at the edge of our skin. Everything "out there" is what we think of as the environment. Like everything else this mistake has been taught to us. A more productive way to see environment includes that which you have always thought of as you. You are really that which notices all you notice. You may notice a pain in your leg. The pain in your leg is not you. It is what it is: a happening, an event. The environment starts where you are. The real environment is not that which extends from. A confusing concept in the practice of some Buddhist meditation is "to become nothingness". Look at nothing as two words. Because it is two words. Like apart. When they talk about becoming nothingness I think they mean becoming awareness.

This is very helpful when we are attempting to gain control over our thoughts. Thoughts are what makes life what it is to us. Thoughts are the environment people may seek to escape. We can see this now with a different idea of our environment. We notice thought, therefore it is not us. It is part of the environment. It is not the Awareness. There is only that which notices and that which is noticed. You and the environment. Now we can look at thought from a new perspective. Is it easier to pay attention this way? Certainly: it is where paying attention begins. It is where finding oneself begins. You simply eliminate all that is not you. You are whatever is left. What about memory? Are we aware of memory? Do we notice it? So we know it's not part of us. Memory too is environment.

The only thing of importance for addicts is that we become able to live happily without being addicted. All that is not reality stands in the way of happiness. If we addicts want to be happy the addiction should be arrested. If you have a serious drug addiction you can go to a chemical detox facility. Come back when you are drug free. If you have other addictions join with those who share those addictions. Sop practising the addictions and start paying attention.

The more we pay attention to what is (reality) the better we'll get at it. As we practice we will progress to fuller awareness This awareness will free us from the mistakes. Freedom and happiness go hand in hand. It was never meant that we be bound. What allows us to be bound is our (and others) ideas. But ideas are not unchangeable.

(some audio for your brain).

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