Really feeling the dream-like nature of this plane last night – in part probably because of my illness and the medication I’m taking for it – I paused in a life review and sat up in bed.
(Here I’d just like to urge anyone following a conscious path to start thorough life reviews right now, and not to wait for the death-transition for it to take you unaware)
I sat up in bed, as I was saying, and looked around.
Warren coughing in his sleep and both dogs sleeping on the carpet at the end of the bed; their preferred sleeping arrangement despite a brand new mattress. Dogs really like the institution of Family. It’s their natural place in the world, as part of a semi-formal gang.
I got up then and watched the gods-damned-idiot-box for a couple of hours. Interestingly, both programs focused around people in packs: Sons of Anarchy and The Sopranos.
Humans, too, seem to need to feel they are a part of something larger than themselves. A family, a bike gang…a religion.
For myself, I’ve never before now felt that call too strongly. I seem to have wandered around the fringes of groups all my life; sometimes agreeing with them, sometimes not, but never joining. I have never really seen the need. The Universe and all of Life has seemed enough for me to “belong” to. Humans? You can have them.
But feeling that family bond around my little human and canine group last night cast this way of living into doubt .
Synchronistically,while thinking over the apparently inborn need of (most) humans to connect with others, I came across this article , which references this need in relation to human addiction.
Briefly, the article goes through the reasons why our current models of addiction may be wrong. It looks at the addicted-rat studies of years gone by, war vets’ addiction rates, Portugal’s recent drug addiction experiment, as well as the mystery of why surgical patients treated with heroin don’t hit the streets immediately after their release in search of a fix.
There’s perhaps not enough data yet for us to draw conclusions, but the theory posited is extremely interesting – not least, to me, because I am an addict – and does deserve some serious thought.
Could, in brief, the mechanism behind addiction not be so much the “hijacked brain” but more the addict’s own sense of connection – or lack of it – with his or her environment?
I’m inclined to think the idea has great merit, from personal experience with my own lack of community membership, but it’s probably much more nuanced and complicated than just the one factor.