~ Revealing the Self
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The Spiritual Quest of Addiction

Addiction is a threefold dis~ease. It is mental physical and spiritual. As an addict in recovery I have had the fortune to see the Spiritual side of addictions. I have spent most of my life searching for the deeper meanings of life. And I have spent my whole life in the pursuit of a better reality. Mine is a story of angst and ecstasy! And it is not unique. And as a practicing 12 stepper, I see that most addictions are fear and shame based. It is all even more profoundly, a symptom of lacking an understanding of certain Spiritual Principals. It is that lack of understanding which perpetuates the escape mechanisms that results in addiction.

Looking back at my life I am sure that there are certain areas that are common to most addicts. I am 52 years old. I was raised in a dysfunctional family, a dysfunctional society and an equally dysfunctional religion. At an early age I came to see the discrepancies of a society that promised that all men were created equally, yet allowed and championed inequality economically and socially. The discrepancies were blatantly obvious, even in elementary school. Everywhere I looked people were struggling .War and atomic annihilation were a constant threat. I was able to feel and see the suffering that permeated a world that equated materialism with happiness. Those who had were unhappy and strove to get more, and those that didn't suffered poverty in addition to lacking the basic 'creature comforts'. I was saddened by both prospects of life in capitalism. And the only explanations that were proffered to my immature eyes was that which were found in the doubletalk of Catholicism. It spoke of the penalties of 'sin' and the promise for rewards in the afterlife. In the fifties Catholicism was laced with the cold war propaganda of anti communism. We were drilled in catechism to run to the alter and eat all the Eucharist's in the event of a communist invasion. After all , we were told the communists were servants of Satan. Even at the tender age 7 years old I understood that God in all his glory could not possibly hate people who were born in other cultures. After all it wasn't their fault I reasoned. And then as I understood the inherent concepts of being victimized, I began to look around. I saw a world that had some living the good life of being born into families with material wealth and those being born into third world countries.( That term hadn't been invented yet). It made no sense. And the more I questioned the more I saw only a lack of viable answers. This led to a total contempt of all the status quo.

It was the sixties. I was in good company when I started a total rejection of ALL the standard mores that society had to offer. there was the Vietnam war , the Beatles being censored for claiming they were God. Abbey Hoffman , the Panther Party. Anarchy was in the air. I "turned on ,tuned in, and dropped out". I took psychedelics. Smoked pot and sensed other realities. But before I ever found or understood these things, heroin came into my life. Looking back I now understand that the heroin induced 'nods' were sooo very close to a meditative state. But at the time I just knew it felt good. These experiences were to be replaced by dependency. I became dependant on drugs to affect the natural states of a mind that only functioned in the 12% cognitive capacity. I used speed to act and feel immortal and omnipotent. I used pot and psychedelics to approach the clairvoyance.

After many years of living artificially I became aware that the problems with drugs was that I always crashed and burned afterwards. It was temporary and always ended with a deep despondence. And in a period of lucidity that I refer to as faster then the light of speed, I began to wonder if that harnessing the remaining 88% of the brain could result in the natural ability to induce those states of altered reality that I was chasing. I had read much about the life of Edgar Cayce. I had studied the philosophy of religions in college. I had seen the world through the altered consciousness of drugs. I was ready for the next step.

Having been totally subjugated to drugs as the means for enlightenment was becoming old. I had seen and experienced other realities but always ?came down?. I remembered the promise of bliss that Baba Ram Das and others proffered and knew that it was where I wanted to go next. I sought out an old friend of mine. We had traveled and tripped through Central America together and hadn?t seen him in awhile. He lived in Sacramento . Leslie was a quadriplegic. And while he was physically crippled, emotionally he remains one of the sanest people I had ever met.

I found Leslie and was astounded by the fact that he had taken initiation in an Eastern Path. At the helm of the path was Charan Singh. The path is called Sat Mat. It is a stringent path that requires two and a half hours of meditation daily. It requires a clean moral life and a lacto vegetarian diet. At the heart of it is the listening to the Sound current. I was intrigued. I quickly devoured all the literature . I was intellectually satisfied by the theories of karma. I was enthralled by the concept and promise of travel in the inner planes. This was what drugs did ! I decided to give it a try. I was initiated in Guadalajara , Mexico in August of ?81. I remained on that path until ?94. I struggled with the disciplines required and found that a life of drug use and anarchy was not the background needed for the rigid practices of this path. In all the years of Sat Mat I could not get away from the lure and addiction of drugs. I would do my best but could not sit for the required two and a half hours of meditating. I went to Delhi and met my master and at an interview I asked for his help. He replied that I should ask God for help. I had been dong that for years. In fact I always asked God to let me turn the car around while going to cop. I cried at the onset of the urge, literally cried for help. And I cried and prayed at the end of each high for help.

In 1990 my Master left the mortal coil. I felt abandoned. I had truly tried to follow the path after his death. But the river of life carried me to other places. I had had many inner experiences. I had learned to live with some degree of morality. But I couldn?t relate to the successor of the path. He was not my master. I was now in a spiritual limbo. But my knowledge that there was more to life than materialism and mundane functions never faltered. Nor did my belief that I had ?someone? out watching over me. I was living in Mexico and was relatively drug free.

In ?94 I returned to the hedonism of the states. And the insanity of drugs became my reality once again. I despaired and prayed and used for the next four years. Always with the knowledge that I could not carry on much longer and the confidence in a higher power that would miraculously rescue me some day. I lived in this confusion for a long time.In 98 I was at the lowest point in my life. It is said that addiction is a three fold disease, spiritual mental and physical. I had finally hit a bottom that left no room for more bottoms. But that year I had finally acquired a computer. And it literally saved my life. I got online and started to find sites that dealt with what I have since learned is New Age Spirituality. I remember doing a web search on the Akash records. The results blew my mind. And then I punched in a search for Castenada, and then I searched out the sites for every thing Spiritual that I could think of. I was no longer isolated. Hope had been rekindled. All of the thoughts that I had developed over the years were out ?there? in the cyber~world. And the more I read the more I understood. I was like a man who had been starved and then finds himself at a an all you can eat smorgasboard! And slowly the hope of leaving behind the drugs became a burning desire. I arranged to go to the first the rehab in my life. I was tired of unmanageability. I needed to grow. I decided to give myself the gift of Freedom for my fiftieth birthday. And here as I look back I see the sense of cosmic humor with which Spirit works. I found a program called Turning Point. It was in a town called Beacon! It was run by the Catholic Church ! It was 12 miles from where I had grown up! And I was scared! In the process of being online I had found a few message boards that had a ring of truth and hope to them. At first I posted some short introductions. And whenever I found the means to email the sites owner/operators I did. Of all the emails and posts I placed only a few were acknowledged. At one site, Odyssey of The Soul , I received responses at the board and by email. I wanted to know why , having arrived at such profound knowledge of the workings of the soul and the world I couldn?t live with any degree of sanity. It was here that I was reminded that spirituality is a journey , not a destination!

As I gained confidence at the board, I talked about my going into a rehab program. And I was so surprised by the support I got. Someone took up my cause and posted it at other boards. Before I knew it I was receiving emails from strangers telling me of the prayers and angels that they were sending my way. And the best part about it was I believed them , and that I could do it!

I am now into my second year of a drug free life. I smile often. I feel that the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. I work the twelve steps. I take the message of hope into institutions and I tell everyone that they are blessed!

And I live for the 12th step!

?Having Had a Spiritual Awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to addicts and practice these principles in all our affairs .?

And as I mature in my understanding of Spirit I come to see that Spirit exists in all of us. And I see that the twelve steps and the other paths are methods of removing all the debris of self. This includes all the resentments and all the conditioning of Mother Culture. I understand that inherent in the suffering and the quest is the idea that things could be better if___ . It is only when we understand that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be that we can eliminate the ego. And when the little ?i? is eliminated then all that is left is Spirit. And all that I have been through is the spiritual awakening. There is nowhere that I need to go (except inside) and no one I need to find (except self). And when I finally can go inside and find Self, and take that into the world I will be here , exactly where I am supposed to be!


(c) 2001-2007 Frank - All rights reserved.

About the Author:

Frank can be reached c/o editor@pathwayswithin.com


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