I was parked in front of the TV, which was showing me Counting Cars , yesterday evening and jeering inside at the Americans’ complete and utter dependence upon oil through their love for petrol-driven vehicles.
Yeah, I thought, that’s exactly what an addiction looks like.And I should know, having been there myself.
But it’s not just America and it’s not as simple as that, is it?
Breaking an addiction can be done in several ways. There’s the medically-approved way, which mostly consists of cutting down or weaning off the addictive substance. I see very little evidence of any of that going on around the world.And it’s not the best way – the addicted can all too easily ramp up the dose again, given a temporary abundance of substance, and there we are back at square one. It’s never worked for me, I know that.
Then there’s the rehab. centre approach. Have the addicted committed to a secure and supposedly safe environment where their intake will be monitored, and withdrawals dealt with. That also doesn’t work too well, in real life – just go to any AA meeting and listen for a while. Besides, how do you quarantine humanity?
And then there’s the path of near-death, ego-destruction and chaos. Cold turkey while fighting for your life. Against withdrawals, abandonment and spiritual dissolution.
That’s how it worked, for me. But here’s the question: Can we allow the entirety of civilised humanity to go through this?
There’s such a world of pain, loneliness and mortal danger using this approach. But results speak to me. It’s pretty a damned sure way of kicking the habit and the end product is an initiated, spiritually purified being who can, under the right circumstances, get back on her feet again. And of course there’s the inevitable follow-up question:
Can we afford to not take this route?