Life Is An Addiction.
Life Is An Addiction.
The Bible (Ecc 1:18) says, “with much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases his knowledge increases his sorrow.” I can personally testify to that statement as most of my life has been spent reading books that would increase my knowledge. I have tried to convert most of what I have learned to types of therapy that would help the people I work for. But there is a part of what I’ve learned that I’ve kept to myself, sharing some with my family. They have at times politely ask me to keep some of my information to myself as it was too depressing. Nevertheless, the older I get, the more I realize the truth of some of the things that I have believed and instead of those beliefs being depressing, they bring a certain sense of joy and peace.
No my life as a whole would not be described as a happy life.
I can’t say that I have had a happy life. That would be a lie. Of course, there was not the virtual world of Facebook where everyone loves everyone and positive statements fly around like cotton from a cottonwood tree on a windy summer day. No my life as a whole would not be described as a happy life. This used to bother me until I realized that others who expressed how happy they were-were not being totally honest. It was a tremendous relief when I discovered this truth. I stopped asking myself that constant infinite question, “Why can’t I be happy like them? What’s wrong with me?” It also stopped the search for happiness in all the places that I was being told it was at. Now that saved a lot of time!
I knew this would be the last time I would see her alive.
Most (government, media, friends, family etc) will try and get you to think that money is the answer to being happy. But as I studied the rich, I never saw any evidence of this. Most seemed more miserable than the poor. Then it was brought to my attention that relationships make you happy. Anyone who has been in one for any length of time knows that relationships do not lead you to a state of Nirvana. I have been married for over 35 years and we have had our moments. Many of them. My wife had a stroke about 6 years ago and as I caught her as she was falling from the bar stool in the kitchen and as I was laying her on the floor I knew this would be the last time I would see her alive. Thank God this wasn’t true but the experience made me realize that our marriage on earth was not going to end well. One of us was going to be in a great deal of pain by missing the other one.
Pain is a constant where pleasure is temporary.
Why is the title of this blog ‘Life Is An Addiction’? Because if Pleasure was a drug it would have the same characteristics and travel the same road as an addiction. I think it was Aristotle that warned us against living our life seeking Pleasure but instead thought it best to live our life avoiding Pain. Pain is a constant where pleasure is temporary. Once you satisfy one desire (obtain pleasure) there are 10 other desires (which causes pain) to take its place. Even the desire you satisfied will most likely return at a later moment. This makes true the statement that “The essence of a desire is to not be satisfied!” N0-living your life with the expressed purpose of satisfying your desires is not a very rewarding way to live.
Trying to find happiness and fulfillment in these things leaves us restless and unfulfilled.
I would think that a fulfilled life would be one that includes meaning and purpose. But the meaning and purpose must be the right meaning and the right purpose. Trying to get meaning from wealth, fame, sex, etc, is like my grandfather use to say, “is like trying to get blood from a turnip.” It just isn’t there. Trying to find happiness and fulfillment in these things leaves us restless and unfulfilled. This unfulfillment is made evident by the enormous alcohol and drug addiction sweeping the nation. Obesity is at an all time high which is people trying to get ‘filled up’ so the loneliness and vacuum (pain) they fill deep within will go away. We are a society of great consumers. We are like the dinosaurs, teeth on one end-anus on the other with a digestive system in the middle. We consume everything in sight, digest it and then poop it out as we are looking for more. Never stopping to realize that what we are doing is not working.
St. Augustine said, “Thou has made us for Thyself and my soul is restless and it can find no rest until it finds its rest in Thee.”
No life can ever be completely fulfilled and have total meaning. That is unrealistic to even have that as a goal. Nevertheless, we can come much closer than we currently are. How can we come closer to this better way of living? In order to answer this question, let’s keep this as simple as possible. Mankind is made up of the physical and the spiritual. Each component must be tended to or we suffer the consequences. If you ignore the physical part of you by not giving your body the right nutrients you will suffer physical problems. If you deny the spiritual part of you the right nutrients, you will suffer spiritual problems. One of the reasons given as a cause for obesity is that the food we eat lacks the proper nutrition to provide us with the energy we need to operate. Therefore, we continue to overeat to get the energy producing nutrients so we don’t feel tired all the time. I feel the same process is true when it comes to spiritual health. We as individuals are starved spiritually. With this anti-God movement sweeping our nation the experts are using words such as ‘spiritless’ and ‘post-Christianity’. That we as individuals of this nation have become people with little to no spirit and the age of being a Christian nation is a thing of the past. We are a country that is rapidly collapsing as our moral foundation crumbles.
What is the answer? Is there a solution? Hope seems to be lost and most are in a state of despair whether they realize it or not. We live in a state that is similar to an addict or alcoholic who thinks they are having a ‘good time’ as they go about using their drug of choice. Our thinking is as one who is in jail for using or selling drugs and can’t wait to get out so they can return to the same behavior that got them there in the first place! Most live their life in the same delusion as the addict, seeking pleasure after pleasure, hoping that happiness will finally become a permanent in their life.
We as individuals are suffering from spiritual malnutrition.
There is no doubt in my mind that the answer to our despair is not physical or material. If it was then this would be the happiest country in the world. If the problem is spiritual then the solution must be spiritual. We as individuals are suffering from spiritual malnutrition. Just as the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “For we had not only been mentally and physically ill, we had been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” There is our answer. To live as fulfilled and purposeful life as possible while we are on this earth, we must have a relationship with God.