This is the 2nd of a three-part series. Part I- the contextual influences modern society has on mood disorders and addictions, Part II – the risks of buy-in and Part III – soul renewal via (but not limited to) therapeutic cannabis use.
Buy-in to the Addictive System at Your Own Risk
MORPHEUS: “The Matrix is everywhere; it’s all around us, here even in this room. You can see it out of your window, or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church, or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
NEO: “What truth?”
MORPHEUS: “That you are a slave, Neo. That you, like everyone else, was born into bondage. . . kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”
In the end, it’s practically impossible NOT to buy-in to the addictive system (AKA the Matrix) at some point in our lives, or in one way or another. All around us, it can hijack how we think, feel and behave.
I learned a principle in the 1970’s that has stuck with me: context generates content. In this instance, the addictive system of modern society is the overarching context generating content to perpetuate and benefit itself via the fertile field of our minds, regardless of possible negative outcomes.
External forces exert enormous influence. How we self-identify and express ourselves in the world comes not only from our family but also from adapting to and accepting what we consistently see and hear. We may lack an authentic connection to ourselves, having accepted our identity from external dictates while the cultural language and behavior of control limits real connection with others. (1)
Though the addictive system functions invisibly, you can see it for yourself. Hint: The core pillars that prop it up and hold it in place are: dualistic black or white thinking, dishonesty, the illusion of control, dependency and self-centeredness.(2) Powerlessness is its primary addiction.
From substance abuse to process addictions, i.e. spending too much time on technology, or shopping too much, these often originate from a sense of powerlessness. Mood disorders, including being consistently over-stressed, are also indicators of buy-in to the addictive system.
Those of us who live with anxiety (and PTSD) function in crisis mode when there is no crisis. This has become much more prevalent since events of 9/11 and the over-dependency on cell phones.
Those of us disabled by depression do not always know why. They might be conscientiously working out their personal issues leading them to feel depressed. However, their antidepressant medicine may not be of much help when they have not been able or willing to admit the elusive contextual factor of an addictive system and its affect on them.
Those of us who over-consume in an attempt to feel better find out how short-lived their ‘high’ actually is. No purchase and no number of ‘friends’ can ever substitute for the inner experience of wellbeing.
Kudos to those of us genuinely committed to addressing an addiction or mood disorder. I leave you with this to consider: If you address only problematic symptoms in isolation of the overall impact the addictive system has on you, you may still overcome an addiction or heal a mood disorder but fail to identify its insidious grasp for your mind.
Stay tuned for Part III: The Possibility of Soul Renewal
(1) Patricia Evans. Controlling People. Adams Media. 2002
(2) Anne Wilson Schaef. When Society Becomes an Addict. Harper and Row, Publishers Inc. 1987