A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Power & Powerlessness

All addicts must admit to their illness and to their powerlessness over their illness if they are to heal.  But how many using addicts are there in high places, in positions of power over others? And isn’t the thirst for power an addiction in itself?  People rise to wealth and fame through competition within a closed system.  Motivation is fueled by ambition to rise to the top of the chosen system.  The goal is to get the material reward - the money, the attention and the power to influence others in order to continue getting the money and attention and to maintain the power to influence others.  It is a system that must be fed in order to operate and unless halted it is a system that will continue indefinitely.

For many ambitious people, the end justifies the means and the means often includes sacrifices to personal integrity.  Manipulation and deceit are deemed acceptable.  The dual life of the addict emerges; public and private life split dramatically.  The pursuit of a spiritual path is forfeited for the pursuit of a worldly path.  Those that do succeed surround themselves with people like them, people supportive of the addictive process.  These are the codependent addicts that enable the successful addict to continue in his addictive lifestyle.

For the successful using addict, fame, power and wealth can supply him with an unending stream of enablers.  They “protect” him and feed him his fix and help him to stay sealed inside of his own denial.  He in turn “protects” them and feeds them their fix, encouraging them to continue in their denial.  That the world at large rewards them for this only goes to show that the world operates from a basis of addiction rather than from a basis of love and healing.

Using addicts always place the world above the spirit with themselves as the center of the world.  Their Higher Power is their addiction.  This is the delusion they live within.  In reality, the human animal is mostly powerless, ever subject to illness, accident and devastating circumstances.  We are finite, limited, vulnerable beings.  Human power is often fickle and sick because we are fickle and sick.  We have seen countless times how mighty men have fallen.  Those men are blessed to have the opportunity to emerge from their fortress of addiction.  They have been given the chance to see clearly that they are indeed powerless and in desperate need of help like all the rest of us.
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