20 Jun 2004

Regarding Addiction

Submitted by theshovel
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For 6 months I have been free from substances, specifically cigarettes & weed. I have been abstaining because I know in my head these things kill/dull the body and simply isn’t good for me. yet my heart screams out within me…
—Kevin

I have to wonder as to the rationale of your cut and dried distinctions between head and heart. I mean, why do you assume it’s only in your head that you know these things? The rest of your body knows it, too. And then, why in the world do you think that it’s your heart that wants more? Considering the fact that you’re dealing with an addiction problem, your total body (including your brain) is going to be hit with the symptoms of withdrawal.

My current job has a set schedule, M-F from 4 am - 1 pm, which means that I have to get up at 3 am. I have no problem with this because I have overcome my fleshly desires by spiritual means and have achieved an incredible heart change so that it is my pure pleasure to wake up when the alarm rings. No, no, not a chance!

I get up at 3 am simply because doing so allows me enough time for making the coffee and taking a shave and shower and getting dressed. Is it my heart that says, “No, no, stay in bed! Don’t get up?” You know, at 3 in the morning, I don’t think I could tell you the difference because all I know is that my whole body wants just a little more sleep. Since getting used to the schedule, I now realize that it’s going to take about 15-30 minutes to come out of that dark hole of my sleepy haze (with a few exceptions, that is).

At an earlier phase of my life, I also viewed such stuff like this in terms as you describe. I longed for some kind of spiritual energy that would allow me to overcome the weaknesses of my physical body. Instead of finally achieving enough faith to keep me from getting massive migraine headaches, I merely had to realize that chocolate was one of the main culprits that could send me into severe pain for days on end. You see, I LOVE chocolate … but I hate the reaction my body has even more than that. But I still love chocolate. Chocolate and I have come to an agreement of sorts, and I have to carefully monitor any relationship between us. Most of the time anymore, all it takes is for me to take a good long look at that piece of chocolate, and when I feel the rush going up the back of my skull or up the front of my face, I know what’s going to come if I eat it. Sounds real spiritual, doesn’t it?

You wanna know what those futile mental conflicts have done for me? They have taught me more about my own religious BS than just about anything else! Oh yeah, I had assumed that if I could only get everything spiritually discerned (like all those little nuances between head, heart, soul, mind, body, spirit, etc) then everything would fall in place. I thought if I could only achieve a higher spiritual plane then godliness would all come naturally.

Truth is, your body is slowly getting older and ever-so-slowly dying … day by day. This means that by the time you get it all figured out, your body is going to totally destroy those bogus theories and mind games and false-spirituality. We can pray every day for some form of perfect health —as if it’s God’s will to make such a crazy notion even remotely feasible, and we can even reach plateaus where we claim to have reached it— and yet our futile expectations in this dying body will come to only one end.

You’re speculating that maybe you should give into your body’s addictive cravings until you come to the point of achieving some kind of unknown magical end to the conflict, even though you already know that it will damage your body and dull your senses.

yet my heart screams out within me “i still want these things…no but its sinful..wait I’ve been forgiven..think law of the spirit..think! ok they are harmful to life and Jesus came to bring life….but isn’t it harmless if done occasionally..”
its as if there is no heart change.

it makes me wonder..should i wait for a heart change (attitude towards substances) and bask in cigarettes and weed or use my will power & determination to stop them hoping one day I will genuinely not care about it via revelation/understanding or a true change of attitude? doesn’t this option however make me a pharisee trying to obtain righteousness by following the law? Right now I feel like pleasures have been taken away from me because they are hindrances between me and God and I’m just saying FINE OK I WONT DO IT to the big spiritual no to cigs and weed.
—Kevin

Perhaps the stronger hold of your addiction is the illusion of escape it keeps holding forth. In this, it goes hand-in-hand with the addiction of religion. The rationale that spews forth in view of either form of addiction is like that of Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Lest you miss the reference, they’re identical twins who think they’re so different from one another.

Yeah, the arguments sure sound as if they’re intense distinctions between law and grace … but they’re really just BS. It’s funny how we so easily throw up that reasoning about causing a hindrance between us and God, when in fact, the hindrances are more likely that sense of conflict between those Tweedledee and Tweedledum rationales. Truth is, you are neither one of those, even though you argue with yourself through your ongoing role play.

What you KNOW at this point is that continued use of the addictive substances of choice will cause more physical and mental harm, and you’re already convinced that you don’t like that. You are going to feel some physical/mental pain or discomfort no matter which direction you head in. That much is inevitable simply because of your MORTAL body.

If you are in Christ, you are alive. Live as one who is alive. Recognize those head-games for what they are, for they are the rationale of insanity that uses any form to play in, even the law versus grace discussion. Maybe it’s just the illusion of escape that is pulling on you by assuming the faces of either law or grace.

A question for you. What do you think you have to do to prove that you’re not under law but under grace?

Jim

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