Creativity perspective on addictions and addictive behavior
A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic
Copyright 2009 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved
|RYUC Home Why free? Contact Links Programs Services Contributions|
perspective on addictions and addictive behavior
As defined, an addiction is the state of being addicted. To be addicted is to be given over to a pursuit, practice or habit. That is, the practice or habit has control over us as opposed to us controlling the habits. Actually, rather simple definitions for the amount of problems addictions cause.
There is much pain and suffering in the world caused by addictions. Some additions are quite destructive and lead to the destruction of our mind and/or body and associated social relationships. Other addictions are less destructive but nevertheless damaging to our life, our relationships and/or our creativity. Additionally, there are a tremendous number of programs of varying degrees of success created to help relieve the suffering of additions. Give the tremendous psychological, physiological, medical and social issues associated with dealing with additions, it seems foolish to think there may be a simply underlying cause for the addictions we face.
It has been observed that when we are unable to align with the flow of our creative life energy within our being to fulfill the intention for our life: (1) we will feel a pain or discomfort at some level of our being; (2) we will feel there is something we are missing in life or with life; or (3) we experience a longing within our being which we feel can only be satisfied by a beloved/Beloved.
Relative to the pain or discomfort, it may not always be experienced or feel like an actual pain but there will be a feeling that the individual would rather not feel. At other times or in other situations, the discomfort can be experienced as a deep longing within our being to reconnect with our Source and/or to move pass the limits and barriers that have kept us in our separation. Many do not understand this feeling whether experienced as a discomfort or a longing and will take some form of medication, substance, activity or diversion in life to take away the pain or not to feel the pain.
In general, there is nothing wrong with this, as long as one explores the origins of the discomfort and find out what is causing the discomfort in the first place. However, when we rely on these to keep us away from facing the discomfort, whether it be an internal or external discomfort, we will form an addiction of some type. Thinking itself and preoccupation with the mind is actually a form of addiction that many use to not feel this longing of separation.
We need to understand if we are constantly thinking and denying what we feel or denying what we feel and acting out of duty and obligation, we have only succumbed to another form of addiction. If we are able to create a state of internal bliss though meditation yet not face the cause of our discomfort, that state created through meditation becomes an addiction as powerful as any other if we use it to escape the world and our discomfort. From a creativity view point, if we have shut down any aspect of our feeling through mental programming, habits, response patterns to life as a result of previous painful experience and/or physical means such a addictive substances, sedatives, distractions of the mundane world, we probably will find we will need to reawaken those aspects of our being and deal with that pain that we feel. We will need to be prepared to deal with any blocked feelings in the area we wish to access our creativity.
What has been observed about the concept of the creative spirit and its desire to create and the need to hold our creativity sacred is that they provide a perspective as to the cause of the discomfort or pain which appears to lie at the root of all addictions. In this regard, understanding our creative spirit provides a path as to how to address the root cause. The issue then becomes how we translate and manifest what we are feeling that lies at the root of addictions. Through the bridge point in the mind body connection we can being to see how we manifest and "hard wire" what we feel into mental and/or biological patterns to create the actual physical experience, either experienced in our body or in the external world in which we find ourselves.
To understand addictions as viewed relative to our creativity and how we create our experiences, addictions can be seen to as to lie on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum is the more typical way we view addictions. That is, most individuals view addictions and addictive behavior as the use of some substance or engaging in some activity which is ultimately destructive to either our mental or physical health. At this end of the spectrum the addiction is seen as arising from the damaging or harmful aspects of the external actions or substances.
At the other end of the spectrum is to understand any practice or habit that keeps us from being fully present in the moment and to be fully mindful and awake to what is, as it is, is considered an addictive behavior if the we continually uses it to be unaware and unmindful. As such, much of what we do as humans is addictive behavior. Some behavior is just more damaging than others and requires external intervention. To access and release our unlimited creativity, we will need to learn and understand what behavior is most damaging to our unique creative passion and our particular creative endeavor and to use appropriate outside intervention to regain our creative ability and creative power.
Here we face the crossover point as to how our addictions and addictive behaviors are affecting our life. We need to become aware of what type and kind of addiction or addictive behavior we face. Knowing where we stand on this spectrum allows us to better utilize the principles and concepts provided within the creativity perspective and Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity understanding and material on additions.
In particular, we need to realize creation/Creation is not done alone As one can come to see in studying how we create our experiences and create the reality we experience, another or other will be needed to give us the experience we desire to have no matter what the experience is. To become free of any addiction or addictive behavior at any level of our being, we will need the help and assistance of another in some way. The use of another is, in fact, one of the powers of a traditional Twelve Step Program and reflected in the Fifteen Creative/Steps Guidelines. The question is, "Who is that other who can best helps us break free of our addictions for what we desire to create?"
For addictions and addictive behaviors which have, or are already, taking a toll in our life, we need to pursue the appropriate available medical, therapeutic or counseling services that can address where the damage is occurring. For example, if the damage is in our body, we will need to pursue appropriate medical treatment. If the damage is psychological, then we need to pursue psychological help. If the damage is social then we need to pursue the appropriate social assistance. Or, since we are not compartmented beings, we may need to purse all of them.
For addictions and addictive behaviors that have not, or are not, taking a toll in our life, but nevertheless impacting our life, we have more freedom to act. How we act is determined by what we desire to create. Here the recommendation is to become clear on what is desired, why it is desired and look to see if what is desired will create a life worth living.
If our desire is to truly create something and not fall back into the addiction and addictive behavioral patterns in our life that keep us bound to the past, we will need someone to hold us accountable to what we desire to create. Otherwise, we will be at the mercy of the mundane world to distract us and hold us to the past. Here the approach in the Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines can help get started. The choice is ours as to who we choose to help us. The only requirement is that they have our interest at heart and are willing to serve the role required.
The Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity understanding and material is directed toward accessing and releasing our unlimited creativity to a sufficient degree to create whatever we desire. However, it can be used, and has been used, for health related issues. After all, creating health is really no different than any other creative endeavor in which we can engage. Nevertheless, no claim is made about the effectiveness of this material and understanding in managing and/or dealing with health issues. The Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity material is based on a different perspective than that found in the healing professions. It is based on a creativity perspective on health and the focus is quite different than a healing perspective.
The Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity understanding and material is for our creative endeavors and creative needs. Most importantly it is for what we are willing to take direct responsibility for creating. As a creative tool, it can become a powerful ally for us if our creative endeavor is to create health.
However, because of the "physics" of the creation process and how we create the experiences we have, even if our creative endeavor is to create health, the Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity understanding and material should not be used as a substitute for, or in lieu of, any traditional and/or nontraditional healing modalities, counseling or therapy for our health needs. It can be used in conjunction with such healing practices and arts if we are willing to take responsibility for our health. That is, take responsibility for what we have, or are, creating in, and with, our life, including our health, or lack of it, whether or not we understand how we are creating it. (More... on creating health)
If we are faced with an addiction that has been come biologically, psychologically, or physiologically controlling, appropriate medical and/or therapeutic attention should be sought and these concepts should not be used in lieu of such treatments. They can, however, be used powerfully in conjunction with such treatments.
The origins of the creativity perspective on additions arose as a result of working with individuals to manifest their intentions and/or access their unlimited creativity. It was observed that both fear, especially fear of pain and suffering, and the desire for satisfaction/contentment stood in the way as obstacles to what they wish to manifest. Additionally, both fear and the desire of satisfaction and contentment often become entwined in addictive type behavior. Consequently it became necessary to look at addictions from the creativity perspective and, in particular, what like at the root of the fear and the desire for satisfaction and contentment. Additional discussions on these issues is discussed in the topic, "Our creativity and the issue of addictions."
Simply stated, addictions within the creativity perspective are seen to arise from the desire to alleviate, suppress or numb some pain or discomfort within our being through actions which ultimately only provide temporary relief but they become a way of being for the temporary relief they provide. Because we only get temporary relief, there is the ongoing need to act again and again when we feel the pain or discomfort only to again find temporary relief. In time we form a habit continually going back finding only temporary relief.
Once we develop the habit, the issue then becomes whether or not the addictive pattern we develop stays in our mind, as a response pattern to life much like any habit, or does the response pattern cross over the bridge point in the mind body connection to get imprinted and hardwired into some type and kind of condition within body. The ultimate issue of addictions as seen within the creativity perspective is to find the root of the pain or discomfort and address the cause at it root. The question is, "What is giving rise to the pain or discomfort we feel?"
Initially it appears that the pain that is giving rise to any addiction is as varied are there are people. That is, each person has a different type and kind of pain or discomfort unique to their being that gives rise to their addiction. Although there are general categories of addictions than can be treated some what generically, each has their own unique addiction. Yet, there is a common root.
Within the creativity perspective, habits are seen as a way to put part of our consciousness to sleep or return to a dormant state without really going to sleep. That is, a habit allows a part of our being to go to sleep such that we can respond nonconsciously to life or a particular set of circumstances and respond without thinking and feeling about what we are doing. The challenge in any habit is to awaken the appropriate part of our nonconscious mind giving rise to the habit so that the habit can be changed. In the same way, a part of what it means to address an addiction is to access the part of our nonconscious mind which forms the habit and is suppressing the pain or discomfort in order to face the pain or discomfort at its origins.
It is the premise of the energy consciousness model that the root of many addictions ultimately arise because individuals try and numb the pain that exist because of their separation from the desired creation of their creative spirit. That is, the pain resulting from how their consciousness want to live as a unique creative individual and how they have been taught to live by everyone around them. In the denial of their creative passion, they have to live in the pain of separation from the world their creative passion longs to create.
Our consciousness reflected in our creative spirit is passionate to express itself and show exactly who it is and it has chooses to express itself thought the use of the physical body and an intention for our life. It has been observed that if the needs of our inner creative spirit are not met, when we do not live true to the creative life energy that flows within our being to align with the flow to unfold and create the experiences we incarnated to have, or our creative spirit is not allowed to express itself, there will always be a feeling of discomfort at some level of our being that can be outright painful. It may not feel like an actual pain but there will be a feeling that we would rather not feel. It can be a physical discomfort if not pain and/or a deep nonphysical discomfort or pain that one may be lead to somehow suppress.
Often this feeling of discomfort is felt as a deep longing within our being to connect or reconnect with someone or something, Our creative spirit feels the pain of separation from its creation, from its beloved, from its other half of being, from what it perceives as its true soul mate and is its reflection in manifested form. The issue is not about having a desire. The issue is being unable to move in a way to manifest what is desired.
What we experience is the separation from what our creative spirit desires to create and what it is creating as a result of how and what our transcendental mind and enculturated mind have come to think and believe. Alternative said, it is the separation between what our heart wants often at its deepest levels and what our mind wants often at its deepest levels. This separation, depending on what level of being in which it occurs and as a result of how our inner world is reflected in the outer, gets translated into a physical experienced primary in our body or primarily experienced within the world we experience.
Suppression of this pain, without addressing the origins and source of the pain, can lead to addictions and/or addictive behavior. To numb the pain and/or suppress the pain that we feel, many develop addictive behavior of some type to avoid the pain. Most are aware of addictive substances, food, sexual and the like that they can use to avoid this inner pain. However, thinking itself can be an addition if it is use to escape what we feel.
All creative endeavors have an inherent separation which gives rise to the creative tension and the generation of energy for the creative endeavor. Additionally, as a creative endeavor, it is something not previously experienced by our mind. Consequently, our mind has no idea as to how to address what it is we need to do to address the separation, the energy generation, and subsequent pain/discomfort/anxiety we feel. For any creative endeavor, it is difficult to sit in the anxiety of the unknown and/or to feel the undercurrents of energy pushing us in some way not knowing where they are leading. Many look for ways to calm what they feel rather than sitting in the anxiety of the unknown. However, whatever we do to calm what we feel rather than facing the anxiety, we risk creating an addiction or an addictive response pattern to life.
Many do not understand this longing and this feeling will arise from the creative tension and will take some form of medication, substance, activity or diversion in life to take away the pain and/or discomfort or not to feel the pain/discomfort Conceptually, there is nothing wrong with this, as long as we explore the origins of the pain/discomfort and find out what is causing the pain/discomfort in the first place and not lose focus on what we desire to create. However, when we rely on something to keep us away from facing our pain, whether it be an internal or external pain, we will form an addiction of some type. Thinking itself and preoccupation with the mind is actually a form of addiction that many use to not feel this longing of separation. Also, not facing the pain or discomfort which arises from the creative tension causes us to divert ourselves from our creative effort, if not thwart it completely.
If we are constantly thinking to consciously or nonconsciously deny what we feel or denying what we feel and act out of duty and obligation, we have only succumbed to another form of addiction. If we are able to create a state of internal bliss though meditation, that state becomes an addiction as powerful as any other if you use it to escape the world. From a creativity view point, if we have shut down any aspect of our feeling through mental programming, habits, and the like because of previous painful experience and/or physical means such a addictive substances, sedatives, distractions of the mundane world, we probably will find you will need to reawaken those aspects of our being and deal with that pain that we feel. We will need to be prepared to deal with any blocked feelings in the area we wish to access our creativity.
Our most significant problem is that life itself is a creative endeavor. As such, we will feel some separation or anxiety about life to live life. Although the ultimate pain is a pain of separation arise from the creative process that has generated our life as an independent point of consciousness, exactly how it arises in us will be unique to each of us. We each are a unique creative being with a different set of life experience and how and what have come to think and believe. As such the way we face the pain of separation and what it feels like to us will be unique even for the same creative endeavor we undertake as another.
However, many do not feel the pain of separation as either a physical or nonphysical pain. Rather, the separation is felt and experienced more as a discomfort or an anxiety. That is, we know at some level of our being we are separate from what we desire and we know what we need to do. That knowing turns the pain into an anxiety. That is, we feel pain when we are in separation and do not know how the address the separation. We experience anxiety when we experience the separation and know what we need to do but we have no idea as to how to go about doing it. Here there is no denial of the separation and what we feel in separation.. It is just that we feel anxious at not knowing what to do or there is an anxiety about what we face for we donít know how to face it.
On the issue of feeling a discomfort or anxiety in the separation in our life, many experience this discomfort and anxiety as a deep longing. A longing for someone or something which will alleviate the separation. Many seek a beloved or a soul mate. Others seek the Beloved and what they consciously or nonconsciously see as a return to the source/Source of their being and/or source/Source of their life. Yet, few realizes simply aligning with the intention for their life is a return to the source of their current life for it is what brought them into the world. In aligning with the intention for our life it is not difficult to access the Source out of which all arises.
However, as with pain, we can try to numb, suppress or otherwise alleviate the discomfort and anxiety in some way rather the dealing with its origins. Trying to numb, suppress or otherwise alleviate the discomfort/anxiety, in turn, can lead to an addiction of some type. Similarly, in looking for a beloved or a soul mate, many get involved in relationships which do not ultimately serve them looking for that beloved.
If the separation gets translated into our body, we feel pain of some type and kind within our body and feel that we are lead to numb, suppress or others distract ourselves from feeling. If the separation get translated into the world we experience, we are forced to live in a world that does not provide us a satisfaction in life. It is as if we are doing the wrong things in, and with, our life. In fact, we are. This dissatisfaction with life pushes us to find some way of becoming satisfied and we look for ways to live life or to things to do in life that makes life more satisfying. However, nothing works. The dissatisfaction lies much deeper and at the root of how we create our experience, how we create the reality we experience, and the reason for our incarnation.
Relative to the life we live, we need to understand that consciousness not only awakens other consciousness, it can also can cause another consciousness to go to sleep and/or fall into habits and patterns that capture our creative power and creative ability. Essentially this occurs because of the way we are being asked or taught how to respond to life. Either we are somehow asked or forced to deny ourselves, and/or learn a response patter to life, and/ or assimilate a belief about life, which do not allow ourselves to be true to ourselves and the truth within our being. When we deny ourselves and our truth there is a separation within our being and often we will experience a pain and/or discomfort. To numb that pain and/or discomfort we allow that part of our being to go to sleep and we move into unawareness. If we do not allow that aspect of our being to go to sleep, the pain and/or discomfort will persist and we will be driven to numb, suppress or somehow address the pain in some other way often leading to habits that develop into addictions.
This is basically what happens to each of us as a child when we lose our ability to creatively play. These response patterns to life which we develop that deny our truth is one reason why it may be necessary to step out of mind. It is to step out of mind to reject much of what our early care givers may have represented and/or taught us how to approach life to rediscover to our creative ability and creative power to be in a state of spontaneous and innocent childlike play.
Relative as to whether the separation we feel gets translated primarily into our body or into our environment seems to be as follows. Dissatisfaction with life issues tend to originate in the fact we are not living in alignment with the intention for our life. That is, we are not doing and having the types and kinds of experiences we incarnated to do Here, physical life itself is not the issue. We find enjoyment in life if we do what gives us a fullness of being. However, rather that live what gives a fullness of being, what we have been programmed to believe we need to do in, or with, our life and/or what we are allowed, or not allowed, to do in life is what gives rise to the dissatisfaction.
The separation we feel that gets translated as pains within our body, including some illnesses, go to a deeper level. The causes are more intimate with our true nature and are related more to the issue of what many call finding the beloved/Beloved, a soul mate, or that individual who will give us the space where we are free to unfold true to ourselves. Here life itself is the issue. No matter what we do in life, how we do it and who we are with does not address what we feel. We are drawn to experiences we do not what to have or do not desire to have them. Yet, we seek that "something" which will allow us to experience a wholeness or fullness within our being and a life worth living.
The separation here is more related to the fact that there are illnesses, diseases and other experiences we have because they are the vehicle our creative spirit needs to use to have certain types and kinds of experiences. That is, our current mind is not in tune with, or in alignment with, what our life is really all about and why we would intent a life that is experienced as pain and suffering. Here the issue goes past our current mind and into the essence of our nature as a infinite creative being that has intended the life it has for reasons well outside what our current mind can understand. Here the answer lies in our transcendent mind.
These are, of course, much harder to address for they lie outside what our current mind understands. Here we are forced to looked to the unseen realms beyond mind and outside of mind. Yet mind cannot lead us in such an exploration Here we need a much deeper and broader understanding about life and Creation than most have been given in life. But they can be address through feeling if we open ourselves to what we feeling and come to know and understand how to use the awareness which lies in what we feel. But here is the issue. Most feel pain if not an intense pain of some type. The nature human response is to avoid, numb or somehow suppress the pain rather than face it origins to come to see the gift in pain.
This, of course, takes us into the realms of the mystic, shaman and beyond what the traditionally based physical sciences can provided as long as we believe there is a separate physical and spiritual world. However, if we can see or at least have some way to intellectually understand the oneness of Creation and use this understanding in our life, we can begin to access the understanding of what lies beyond mind. Hence, the human need for some type and kind of spiritual, religious, philosophical or similar perspective about what it means to be human.
Here the recommendation is to allows effectiveness to be the measure of truth. In particular, relative to the pain that is giving rise to an addiction, use what is effective to address the root of the pain and not just numb, suppress, avoid, medicate or otherwise not face what really lies at the separation. For some, this means going to the deepest levels of being and facing the ultimate pain we face. That is, the pain of the Creator and the consciousness within, or behind, Creation which gave rise to Creation. It is here we are faced with coming to understand we can experience the creative tension for any creative endeavor as pain. Or, we can experience it as the desire to love and share ourselves from the depth of our being with other, that Playmate as described in the Creation Story for the Creativity Perspective.
It is very hard to tell an individual that the addiction they face, the pain they face may be only be their creative spirit calling them to the deepest and most profound mystical experience that is possible. Similarly, because of the sexuality inherent in the creative process, it is hard to tell someone and have them understand the sexual feeling they have for another is, again, only a call from their creative spirit to the most profound mystical experience possible.
The only difference is whether or not our mind focuses on the pain of separation or the joy of uniting. It is exactly how and why it is said the Dark Night of the Soul of the Western spiritual traditions is only the flip side of the coin of the joy and pleasure experienced in the Kundalini rising of the Eastern spiritual traditions. Do we focus on the pain or the pleasure? Or do we simply come to realize the gift in pain and the origins of the pain (separation) tells us, and points directly to, the pleasure we seek (joining)?
From a creativity perspective, the basic problem which gives rise to addictions is seen as not knowing how to response to the pain or the anxiety we experience from whatever its cause and to understand and use the gift of pain and/or the anxiety of the creative process. If we understood what we needed to do, we would have accessed and addressed the root cause of the pain and anxiety rather than attempting to numb, suppress or otherwise alleviate them.
The premise here is that each of us are an individualized point of consciousness and an aspect of the consciousness within, or behind, Creation. As such we are an infinitely creative being that creates the experiences it has and creates the reality it experiences. We only intentionally forget and/or become lost in our creation for the expressed purpose of experiencing of our creation. Each of us have a free will and for whatever reason, at some level of our being, have chosen to have, or agreed to participate in, the experiences we have. As such, only we can go inside and find those reasons. No one can do such a journey for us. If we find what we experience actually serves who and what we find ourselves to be, then we can continue experiencing what we do. If however, we find what we experience is no longer serving who and what we find ourselves to be, we do have the power to change what we experience. The question is whether or not we are willing to do the work to change the experiences we have. In any case, it is our choice and only we can make it.
The question is of course, "How do we go within to both face the pain we experience and find those reasons as to why we have the pain we do?" The answer that seems to work is two fold. One part is to look to our internal compass and calibrate it and use it to guide our life. Look to what we do in life that gives us a fullness of being and a passion to live life and a desire to engage life. The second thing is to ask our intuitive guidance as to how to address the pain and separation we feel in or about our life and what we need to do that will truly serve us at the deepest levels of our being. Then honor the guidance we get continually iterating the process moving toward what serves us until we have create a life worth living.
Doing what is described here is obviously easier said that done. Several topics listed below under "Related Topics" provide some discussion and thoughts as to the pain, anxiety and/or discomfort that arises in our creative endeavors which can lead to the addictions and/or the addictive patterns we face relative to our creative endeavors. Here again, living our life is a creative endeavor and the applications of what is discussed to our every day life may be useful.
The creativity perspective is about holding a perspective that enhances and optimizes our creativity. As a minimum, it requires holding our creativity sacred. Our creativity is seen as the express of our creative spirit and the free flow of our creative life energy. When our creative spirit is not free to unfold true to itself and express itself it will feel pain in some way to one degree or another. If we do not face the cause of the pain we feel, we will attempt to numb, suppress or otherwise remove the pain in some way. This includes developing ways of being and responding in the world that turn into habits were we avoid the situation that are similar to what initially caused our pain. Whatever we do that keeps us from facing the root of our pain can develop into a addiction. In this regard, thinking is an addiction if it keeps us from feeling.