Addictions are a source of widespread misery. They distract us from solving our problems, sometimes, for our entire lives. We shame ourselves about our inability to ‘quit’ & the cycle continues.
What’s the way out? Can we tackle these addictions and end the cycle for good?
This essay will attempt to lay out the cause(s) of addiction, and a method to end it.
The first step to quitting addiction is to identify that there is a problem with the addictive behaviour. A rationalisation of smoking as "social" or "the way to gain street cred" will perpetuate smoking. It’s only the realisation that smoking is a means of distraction from a problem, that will enable the next step of quitting to be taken..
Step two is to understand what the problem is that's being avoided - This is usually an uncomfortable emotion, such as fear, loneliness, anger or guilt. Once the problem is realised, the next step can be taken.
Step 3 is to understand the cause of the uncomfortable emotion. This is the most challenging part of the quitting process. This step involves mining for Self-Knowledge. Why do the emotions come up? In what situation do they arise? What links does the current situation that they arise in have to ones childhood? What is the root cause of that emotional discomfort? - It’s likely that the emotional discomfort is caused by trauma in childhood.
Once the root cause is established, grieving can occur with the power of will and empathy. Overtime, responsibility can be reclaimed and conscious steps can be taken to remove the "catalysts" that trigger the addictive impulses - I.e toxic people, drugs & unrealistic expectations of ones self.
Quitting requires commitment not to the quitting itself, but to empathising with oneself from when one was an infant, to the present day, and into the future, through the process of Self-Knowledge.
Boundaries - why are they important?
Fight after fight occurs within marriages, friendships and parent-child relationships. Our happiness levels are at their highest when we are ‘in sync’ with those who are close with us. Trust is a central pillar of a relationship, along with negotiation, empathy and win win outcomes.
This essay will demonstrate the processes & utility in a properly boundaried relationship.
Principles of a properly boundaried relationship:
If these principles are accepted, a relationship can blossom and will last a lifetime. I know in practise its not that easy, but these goals aren't unrealistic.
Stefan Molyneux’s book ‘Real Time Relationships’ sites that emotions can be understood through group discussion. In other words, when a person feels sad, bringing that sadness up with a friend and deciphering its meaning together. This is a dynamic that holds no boundaries, because all subjective theories can be brought to the table, and the less dominant person is vulnerable to manipulation. If one person is less ‘clued up’ then the relationship can only operate at that level. That’s really all there is to it.
A person does well to share their emotional state only wen they have knowledge of its origin - its root cause. 99% of the time, the root is in childhood. Which means that only emotional material that has been previously grieved or processed is fit for discussion with a friend or romantic partner. To clarify, one can speak of unresolved issues if they are referred to as such, along with a clear boundary that the cause of which are not up for discussion - This is the job of a hired professional. Friendships and romantic relationship are not sustainable when emotional issues are being ‘worked on’.
It takes an enormous amount of energy, empathy, self control and knowledge of ones own issues to help someone out an emotional rut - one only payable through a monetary fee and within a professional relationship.
Let’s keep personal relationships healthy and assume responsibility for our own emotions & issues.
All political movements are fleeting. Once a movement has achieved its goal of bringing a discussion to the forefront of society, it becomes obsolete.
Political movements that have served their purpose seem to go one of two ways: They either fizzle out or they are hijacked by nihilists (virtue signalers) who leech off the glory of the victorious and the brave by masquerading as one of them in order to extract value from ignorant people. The actions of the true victors are idolised in the zeitgeist for a while after the victory itself … and it is here that the nihilists seek to mimic them.
Involvement in political movements can be exciting and highly stimulative. We are bombarded with memes, tweets & videos that slate the other ‘side’. It can be alluring to slip into identifying with one over the other. But a focus primarily on the ‘team’ aspect rather than on the ideas themselves leads to corruption because the principles of either ‘side’ are not rooted in first principles.
For instance: ‘Traditionalism’ is not a principle to identify with. Some traditions are brutal and barbaric and should be abolished. Likewise ‘Progression’ is not a principle to identify with either; We have tried-and-tested methodologies that have produced the greatest civilisations on earth, and thus should remain in use.
To clarify, I am fully supportive of camaraderie. This essay is not to put down the sense of Unity that comes about when a politcal campaign is justly succeeding.
If we withhold our urge to identify with either side and instead remain focused on the ideas themselves, we are sober in the face of propaganda. We are in far less danger of being sucked in to the manipulations of the nihilists and will waste far less of our precious time contending with them. We will have the inner resources to hold secure psychological boundaries with them.