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A Common Etiology
What is Substance Abuse?
Copying with Addiction
—Step 1 : Mind
—Step 2 : Body
—Step 3 : Emotions
—Step 4 : Spirit
A Common Etiology
Addiction, sadism and abuse are all power traps. I call them traps because when you are suffering from addiction, from being sadistic or abusive, you are trapped.
Why are you trapped? You are trapped because you are in bondage, you are not free, you have fallen prey of an obsession, or what in popular psychology is called a complex. The main complex to be dealt with is codependence; it is one of the major issues to be solved in therapy today.
Abuse is always power abuse! There is no other abuse; all what is usually called abuse, like sexual abuse, physical abuse or emotional abuse is power abuse. It’s to be defined as abusing one’s power over another and thereby doing harm to that other person, child or adult. Power abuse is a confusion about limits. When we disrespect the limits of another person’s body, by interfering in that body, by penetrating one of its orifices without consent, for example, we are treating that other body like our own body; hence we are confused about the limits of our body.
This is what essentially characterizes codependence; it is a confusion about limits. I am talking here only about parent-child codependence within the modern nuclear family, which I synonymously term cofusion, secondary fusion or pseudofusion.
Codependence is something like a pathological fixation upon a certain person; it is a dependency problem that manifests in the parent-child relation typically for the first time after the critical mother-infant symbiosis, and thus as a general rule after the first eighteen months of the baby.
What is generally very little known is the fact that even before that time, mother and child are interacting in a subtle communication about limits which reveals to what extent the mother is able and willing to grant to the infant autonomy, or not. This early dialogue, that is most of the time non-verbal, has been found to deeply condition people for their later relational behavior patterns.
This is more true in the mother-son relation than it is in the father-daughter relation simply because the ‘matrix-giver’ has more power of the child, be it boy or girl, than the ‘sperm-giver.’ This evaluation of the primal scene has been established first by Sigmund Freud and later by Transactional Analysis (TA), and it is not as such a matter of cultural conditioning, or compliance to either matriarchy or patriarchy.
Causative factors that have been revealed in research are:
- Mother did not really want the child;
- Mother is professionally over-engaged, lacking time for the infant;
- Lack of healthy physical interaction between parents and child;
- Overly strong career focus of parents, leaving child to babysitters;
- Insufficient eye contact in the mother-infant relation;
- Insufficient or no breast feeding;
- Insufficient tactile stimulation of the baby (tactile deprivation);
- Shame-based identity of the mother and resulting rejection behavior:
- when baby shows erotic behavior, and mother turns away regard;
- when baby touches their genitals, and mother takes their hands off;
- when baby seeks closeness with mother, she puts baby to sleep;
- when mother holds baby away from her body, to avoid touch;
- when mother constantly has ‘no time’ for intimacy with baby;
- Father left family during pregnancy, after birth or not long thereafter;
- Father, while still part of the family, is as good as never present;
- Father refuses to take over any role in childcare;
- Father is abusive toward mother and/or the child, etc.
In other words, codependence can be described as a compensation reaction of entangled organisms that tries to heal a split that was caused by a lack of early intimacy, and thus an insufficient caretaking or lack of nutrient behavior from the side of the mother, during the first eighteen months of the infant. The entanglement paradoxically comes about through a lack of physical closeness, and of communication, and through a general tactile deprivation of the child, and also through non-physical elements such as parents’ thoughts constantly focused on money and status or children generally relegated to receiving affection from secondary caretakers, babysitters, house teachers, and the like.
The entanglement specifically comes about through the fact of lacking autonomy of the child, and of lacking exposure to experiences and a social life outside of the family.
This has been shown with abundant evidence by the long-term research of James W. Prescott, Ashley Montagu, Michel Odent, Frederick Leboyer and others.
The problem of codependence is for obvious reasons much more stringent in the individualistic and separative white Western culture, and by extrapolation in the modern global culture, than in highly sociable ‘open’ societies such as African, South American or Asian cultures. Yet in these cultures today we face the problem in the middle and upper classes as well because they have adopted Western values and a lifestyle that imitates most of the alienated Western behavior models, thereby shunning their own perennial wisdom, that most of their elders still are knowledgeable about.
Now, let me deepen a particularly important aspect in this research context. It is the relationship between eroticism and codependence. There are many myths, especially in the highly Puritanical Anglo-Saxon culture that distort and tear down natural eroticism, and these distorted popular views actually foster and purport codependence instead of helping to avoid it.
For example, contrary to popular belief, the rampant parent-child codependence we are facing in postmodern culture is not created through too much physical interaction and shared affection and tenderness, but the result of lacking touch!
It has often been believed that a boy will develop a codependent relationship with his mother when he is ‘too close’ to her, or when he sleeps with his mother in the same bed. This is not true. My research shows that the problem manifests more often and with more explosive consequences in the mother-son relation than in the father-daughter relation.
However, the causes of mother-son codependence are often depicted in an overly simplified or even distorted manner.
To begin with, it is not through shared pleasure, affection, tenderness, and touch that codependence comes about; it is not through mother and son, or father and daughter, sleeping together, taking baths together, sharing nudity, and touching each other, and it is not through their sharing a naturally sensual and erotic attraction for each other. If these elements were causative factors in the etiology of codependence, any abundantly sensual mothering or fathering would lead to entrapping children in pseudo-incestuous relations. But this is not the case. If a mother is fully erotically present for her boy-child, without being incestuous, and embraces him sensually while giving him at the same time the necessary amount of autonomy according to his age and abilities, the boy will easily master the Oedipus Complex and develop his fully functional heterosexuality that he then will project upon peer girls of his age, or approximately of his age. The same is true in the father-daughter relation with regard to the girl child’s mastering the Electra Complex and projecting her sexual feelings upon peers boys.
There are many false signals in today’s popular culture and vulgarized psychological publications. These false signals lead to parents’ becoming more and more insecure as to the role physical affection and tenderness plays in parenting. In fact, parents are more or less constantly bombarded today with ambiguous messages that result in many parents retreating physically from their children, thereby leaving them alone in atrocious feelings of abandonment, loneliness, deprivation and despair.
As a result of 1960s and 70s American pediatrics, which fostered a physical separation between parents and child, while in the meantime this approach has been identified as a fundamental error, many of today’s parents have never had an affectionate childhood themselves and became dysfunctional parents of the next generation.
A long-term bestseller on the list of socially approved child-torture is the American parenting manual by Dr. Benjamin Spock that is still today a leading guide for many parents—to the detriment of their children.
In the contrary, it is through the absence of the father together with a shame-based identification process in the mother-son relation that the most rampant and most destructive form of codependence is brought about in our society. The reason for the more dramatic constellation in the mother-son relation has to do with the greater psychic fragility of the human male in general, and with the simple fact that it is the mother who is the matrix, not the father. If you want to add one more problem complex here, it is the codependent mother-daughter relation.
By contrast, father-child care in our culture is seldom codependent simply because the father is most of the time absent, while this absence is well one the causative factors in mother-son codependence.
Another important insight about mother-child codependence is that it deprives the child, typically the boy, of the time and care needed for developing his true intelligence. Men who grow up entangled with their mothers are caught in a net of stiffening responsibilities, or obligations, or what is felt as such, which impedes them from really thinking of themselves, and minding their own business.
The result is that they hardly think their projects through to the end, taking time and rest for vision-building, constantly harassed by their picky and demanding mothers, threatened with love denial or even financial starving in case they disobey and begin to live their own lives.
In this sense, the son bears the cross, so to speak, for the sins committed by his mother, and it is really a capital sin to suffocate a young man’s vital energies and intelligence by throwing one’s weight around as a mother and not minding his psychic fragility as a man. In this sense, many women in our society need to be educated what right motherhood is about, and even more so, what wrong motherhood looks like.
The French child psychoanalyst and therapist Françoise Dolto has analyzed this problem in the mother-son relation, in her book Psychoanalysis and Pediatrics, and she writes:
There are boys who stay lovingly fixated upon their mothers; their behavior is characterized by the fact that they do not attempt to ‘seduce’ any other woman. If the father is alive, the two men are constantly disputing, for the fact that the boy does not detach himself from his mother and searches out other love and sex objects proves that the boy has not liquidated—in a friendship of equality with his father—his pre-oedipal homosexuality. He will therefore prepare for getting ‘in trouble’ with his father through his difficult and provocative behavior.
—See Françoise Dolto, Psychanalyse et Pédiatrie (1971), p. 88 (Translation mine).
When the father has left and the boy ‘dedicates himself’ to his mother, this behavior can be accompanied by real social sublimations, which are associated with the activities derived from the repression of genital and procreative sexuality, but this boy cannot behave sexually and affectively like an adult. He suffers from inferiority feelings toward men that he unconsciously identifies with his father; he can also be a hyper-genital who is always avid to get new sex partners toward whom he will never build real attachment, but he will show impotent in relations with any woman he really loves, because this is associated in his unconscious with the tabooed incestuous object. (Id.)
This is how the superego of the boy becomes very early rigid (…); the reason for this is the necessity to repress the heterosexual desire in the ‘maternal sphere.’ (Id., p. 89)
The messages those boys and young men typically are bombarded with are: ‘You are egoistic,’ ‘Think a little of your mother also,’ ‘I’m always sitting at home, can’t you make time and show me around a little?,’ ‘You should have a bit more gratitude for your mother,’ and so on and so forth.
When the boy is eventually on the right track and really develops a genuine interest in something, mother will have enough reasons to tell him that he’s inadequate for it: ‘Why do you spend so much time for this, it leads you nowhere,’ ‘Others have done that before you, so where’s the sense of it?,’ ‘You have grandiose ideas, stay a little bit on the floor and take care of your old mother,’ ‘Why don’t you follow my advice, you are just stubborn.’
Much evil in the world done by men has its roots here, in a stiffening mother-son relation that deprives boys for years of their vital energies, blocking their emotional flow to a point of self-forgetfulness. This is, then, the reason why these men one day explode, so to speak, for thinking of themselves for one time, and do something horrible, to a woman, a little girl, or an elder. And who goes to jail is always the boy, then a man, and not his mother! And that, in my humble opinion, should be changed. Women are to be made responsible for being abusive as mothers, not only men, as fathers!
Women always claim to not being given enough responsibility under patriarchy, but most women are bluntly oblivious regarding their abusive attitudes toward their sons in our society—and even veil them behind feminism or what I came to call a ‘victim attitude.’ They always cry for abuse when it’s about them, but never when it’s about the boys they drive into madness, suicide, homosexuality, child rape or even murder.
I do not deny the responsibility of the man, of course, for we cash in the karmic boomerang anyway, irrespective of what drove us to that point of doing harm to others, and I do not say they are not responsible. What I am saying is that both educational attitudes and criminal punishment have to be reformed as a result of the insights we got through research on emotional abuse because it is a major trigger of violent crime in our society. Instead of tightening the laws on and on, what needs to be done is social, psychological and educational prevention of codependence, as a matter of public sanity! Unfortunately, the clinical and psychotherapeutic practice does still not consider parent-child codependence as the most important pathology in our modern society, but bothers way too much about marriage relations, and the husband-spouse codependence, and that is why it comes up in marriage counseling and family therapy.
But the root problem is not here but in the the way men and women have spent their childhoods, and related to their parents. What many mental health practitioners overlook is that the problem does never originate in the partner relation but in the earlier parent-child relations that both partners went through and that they project upon their partner. We all project our parent of the opposite sex upon our spouse or husband, only that there are two essentially different ways of doing that:
- a conscious way based on the letting-go of the parent (mourning);
- an unconscious way based on entanglement, confusion and hate-love.
In the Freudian terminology of the Oedipus Complex, the first alternative corresponds to what Freud called a liquidated Oedipus and the second corresponds to what Freud called an unresolved Oedipus.
To summarize, when we see that addiction, sadism and abuse share a common root problem, we are more effective as facilitators in localizing and helping to solve personal difficulties related to each of these etiologies. When we see that a power distortion in the form of lacking identity, blocked emotional flow, or an insufficiently built ego is at the root of these disturbances, then we have found a recipe for healing that is consistent and effective.
Mainstream psychology only reluctantly admits the commonality of these disturbances, and this reluctance is related to Western society’s long-term denial of integrating the knowledge about the bioenergy, the subtle or bioplasmatic energy, or human energy field. When we see that emotions are but flowing vital energy, then, in a situation where emotional flow is blocked, we know it’s a problem related to a person’s lack of streaming in their bioenergetic flow cycle. When we further see that this blockage of the energy flow is at the root of both substance abuse and sexual sadism, then we are closer to drafting a healing concept for all these biogenetic disturbances.
This is more or less the approach I have taken for finding solutions to these problems, which I am going to present in the following pages.
What is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse is a problem that ultimately is related to obstacles in the process of individuation. More precisely, addiction is in my view a symptom in a pathology that has hardly anything to do with physiological causes, but that indicates a blockage or obstruction in the individuation process.
As a result of this insight, my focus when helping addicted persons is not the drug, but the web of problems that cause many of us to crave for altering their consciousness. The reason for addiction most often is to flee a reality that one finds more or less insupportable.
This desire is not pathological; in a society that basically has lost its humanity long ago, it’s no wonder that intelligent and sensitive people want to shift their reality and find ways to drop out. This desire is rather a sign of psychic health. Or the other way around, and as Krishnamurti put it, it’s not a sign of psychic health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
This shift of focus right at the onset of the therapy makes for the difference of this form of treatment in comparison to a multitude of drug treatments presently out there. Treating a drug with drugs is as effective as fighting war with war. And yet that’s exactly what is done in most conventional drug addiction treatments. It shows the fundamental weakness of modern Western medicine, that is, the mechanistic approach that treats symptoms without even remotely understanding the underlying cause.
When I started my research on codependence years ago, I was wondering in the first place why I myself never had a problem with addiction. One reason may be that from childhood I had a strong and undisturbed relationship with pleasure. I remember sexual activeness back until age three and from my mother’s amused remarks I was born with a strong erection and was being sexual right from the moment of birth.
In addition, I grew up in a permissive environment regarding alcoholic beverage, while alcohol consumption never represented a problem in my life. It was perhaps through this permissiveness of both my parents and their intelligent advice that I could learn from early age to consume wine in ways that did not damage my health and wellbeing. And it was only wine that I liked, not beer and never any stronger alcohols. I actually was a wine drinker from school times, which was not an exception in our region, which is one of Germany’s famous wine-growing regions.
And it was as early as in high school that I began to reason on more critical lines, many of which I am still reasoning on today. I thought to myself that it was amazing how easily I had learnt to manage pleasure, while I saw in the lives of my school mates that they hardly questioned any of the established views—and the view that pleasure is important was anathema at that time, and in that repressive environment. I actually put up the slogan ‘only smart people are sexual, stupid ones not.’ I had very early in life understood that an undisturbed pleasure function and absence of guilt is the basis of high intelligence, and later high achievement.
From observing my inner movements, the ways that my emotions and fears affected my decisions, and from observing others, I began, already in high school, to build a kind of work hypothesis that reads as follows: ‘It is most probably not the alcohol, the drug or cigarette themselves where the problem lies with, but the inner need we experience to consume them, and overconsume them until our health is gravely damaged. What, then, makes us so badly need and eventually abuse of these things? What is it that creates this need? Which is the lack that we try to compensate with consuming mind-altering drugs?’
My first intuitive answer to this question was that we need drugs for pleasure reasons, because it’s pleasure that is lacking in the lives of most of us. I scrutinized the lives of people who are addicted to hard drugs, and found they all have in common that they lack out on a satisfying and fulfilling sex life. While most of them would not admit it, they have a rather limited view of sexuality and generally, of love, often associating sex with ‘aggressiveness’ or judging sex as something ‘animal-like’ or ‘brute.’ And when you have such a starting point in your feeling level about sexuality, you can never, excuse me, have a fulfilling sex life!
That’s impossible because conscious behavior and unconscious internalization of that behavior clash, and are so divergent that they fragment the person. And as we cannot live without sex, apart from some rare species called yogis or saints, we have no choice here but to work on getting our conscious behavior and our unconscious internalization of it in alliance. That means, in short, getting the negative thought-forms about sex out of our unconscious; these thought-forms were built during childhood and youth, and are almost always the result of a life-denying and body-hostile education.
And then I found that, in addition, most of the people addicted to hard drugs are emotionally inhibited; they never really express their emotions. Thus they have a blockage on both the explosion level and the feeling level, so to speak.
When we deny our body to experience natural pleasure, we educate our body to crave for unnatural pleasure. That’s how it goes. It’s a very simple logic yet most people are so stuck in their accumulated rationalizations and beliefs that they just don’t see this natural truth. And this was probably the other reason why I did not fall in the drug-trap. I have had early sex and let neither the system nor anybody repress my strong emotionality. Despite the fact that in boarding school I had a comrade who smoked joints in the evening and offered me some, I could not find a taste in it. If I had, I perhaps would have got stuck with it, for my school time was as miserable as that of any other kid. I could resist substance dependency because I had found my unique pleasure in real love and sexual fulfillment with a good friend of my age that lasted from our ages ten to eighteen all the way through our time in the boarding, and that was very fulfilling.
Interestingly enough, my intimate friend, too, had no taste for drugs despite the fact that he liked smoking a joint once in a while, but he, like me, never got addicted to anything. We were curious about how we were different in living our love so openly, despite negative experiences that our long-term intimacy caused with others in the home. So in our daily talks we often approached these questions and also observed others, peer boys, and ourselves.
Generally, we agreed that our sexual happiness compensated for a lot of strain that others went through during these years of hardship that is the lot of most young people in this idiotic culture. Three of my school comrades killed themselves when they were around the age to enter university. All three of them committed suicide for the same reason: an unhappy love affair with a girl who refused to have sex. All three of them were sexual virgins!
Scientifically speaking, the origin of the drug problem lies with one or the other form of pleasure deprivation. Let us get a little deeper into that. Why do we need pleasure? We need pleasure because of physiological reasons, and still more because of bioenergetic reasons.
Pleasurable feelings are vibrations; it’s a fact that our body must constantly vibrate in order to maintain homeostasis and vitality! This is particularly true for sexual pleasure.
—See Peter Fritz Walter, The Energy Nature of Human Emotions and Sexual Attraction: A Systemic Analysis of Emotional Identity in the Process of the Human Sexual Response (2015/2017).
Sexuality basically is a bioelectric process that is characterized by a dialectic alternation of charge and discharge; thus, it is an energy metabolism. And the circulation of the bioenergy in our organism is absolutely vital for health and old age. The fact that there are yogis and saints who can live without sexuality does not disprove this fact. It only shows that there are ways to maintain and even strengthen the energy metabolism in our organism without engaging in sexual activity in the strict sense. These people have simply learnt to directly impact upon the flow of the bioenergy in the organism.
For most of us, to learn one of these esoteric techniques would require years of assiduous study and discipline. The direct approach therefore is to follow nature and do what it asks us for, and that is simply to have sex when we want to have sex. As it is said in Zen ‘When you are hungry, eat, when you are tired, sleep.’ This wistful statement implies that self-regulation is one of the best ways to live in accordance with nature and maintain good health until old age. Self-regulation, in turn, means that you don’t repress your sexual urges but find ways to live them socially and constructively.
In addition, pleasure has another important function. It can compensate for a great deal of frustration and feelings of powerlessness that go along with strict or authoritarian education.
Coping with Addiction
Another element in the etiology of addiction is lack of emotional stimulation. The problem is that in our patriarchal culture, especially for boys, the general paradigm requires feelings to be seen as inappropriate, flimsy or associated with ‘good guy’ behavior. The macho culture represses feelings especially in men, which is one of the best ways to make men more vulnerable than women in many ways. The cancer, aids and heart disease statistics prove it, where men are invariably worse affected than women.
The root of the problem, if we look carefully at it, does not lie with drugs but with our lacking emotional maturity, our need for symbiosis, which results from tactile deprivation in early childhood. However, we are here now and it is not of much avail to deplore our miserable childhoods or endlessly blame our parents and teachers. It may be comforting to do it once in a while but in the long run it will not bring us any further.
What helps in the long run is to catch up with your missed individuation and gain some form of stable autonomy, with one word, to construe an inner structure that we were denied to build as children.
Without doing this work, addiction cannot be healed. Certain palliatives may be given that last for a certain time. But long-term healing is only possible once we treat the root of the problem: our lacking individuation and accordingly, our lacking identity! This means in clear text that we have to build our ego. The work that is needed, if it is to be effective, has to encompass:
These are our essential work areas. Working on these four basic parts will ensure a process of integration that eventually will lead to wholeness and thus complete mental, psychic and physical health.
You can use visualization and affirmative prayers to change your inner script and to gradually build a positive mindset. In addition, you should work on building vision. Vision means to envision goals and intentions, and to project them into the future. You do this by drafting a Personal Vision Statement (PVS).
—See Peter Fritz Walter, Walter’s Leadership Guide: Why Good Leadership Starts with Self-Leadership, Chapter Four (2015).
It is absolutely essential that you train your mind through new learning challenges, especially through learning how to learn, the know-how of fast and effective learning. This also means that you begin to rely upon your intuition, which is your true intelligence, and that you empower yourself in trusting your infinite potential!
When you do this, you will soon become aware of your negative self-talk; this awareness will lead you to gradually implementing a new and positive self-talk.
Learn to disregard all people who make you down, and those who are enchained by moralistic concepts of living or use brutality as measures of discipline, however they name or justify those measures. By learning to trust yourself, you learn trusting others.
You should be conscious of what you eat! To get there, practicing some form of diet is useful. Try to control especially your gluten and carbohydrate ingestion. As a compensatory effect, the deprivation of a drug that gave you pleasure may have you look for other oral pleasure sensations such as sugar. That means you drive out the Devil with Beelzebub, so to speak. To replace good high-quality wine with sodas rammed with sugar, food conservatives and chemicals under the header of ‘getting away from alcohol’ is one of the absolutely nonsensical propagandistic commonplaces that today pervade the media. Our big headlines in the news are most often not inspired by health reasons but there are hard financial interests that make those headlines repeating their messages over and over.
In France a scientific research was conducted back in 2004 that led to the result that wine has many positive health benefits. Of course, you may object that in France, in contrast to the United States, the wine producers are perhaps as powerful as the soft drink industry and that that was the reason behind the ‘positive benefits’ of wine.
Yes, this may well be so, but that is exactly why I say that you must use your own discretion and follow your own body instead of directing your life along the lines of media gossip.
Controlling your diet cannot be done with discipline alone because you cannot force the body without some negative feedback either in your body itself or in your emotions. You have to address dietary needs in your daily visualizations and work with positive affirmations. It is the mind that forms the body so any problem in the body, any adaptation process, can only come from the mind if it is to be effective. On the other hand, try to find a kind of food that pleases your senses but that, at the same time, is healthy, such as, for example Chinese, Vietnamese or Japanese food.
Avoid junk food and the habit of eating when you are busy with something. Always eat consciously, being fully present of what you eat and how you eat at any moment when you eat. Avoid over-eating. These two rules together with quality food are sufficient to avoid obesity of any kind—except you suffer from extreme emotional hangups.
Do some pleasurable work with your body, such as sex that is fulfilling, also emotionally, and exercises that fill your cells with oxygen and help your organism divest of depleted cells. Among the best exercises I know for this purpose are Qigong breathing exercises. But the most important is that you love your body! You can express this love by regularly caring for your body, by keeping it healthy, functional and strong, and also by take care of your outward appearance, how you come over to others. Buy the clothes you like and only those you like, not those that are fashionable or that others recommend to you.
Try to become every day more conscious of your inner voices and intuitions. Listening to yourself is very important if you are to build more trust and more honesty toward yourself. Be always gentle with yourself and your body will be gentle toward you and learn every new lesson with diligence.
First of all, forget any distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ emotions. All our emotions are good, and all have a right of existence, period! However, the hot emotions such as anger, fear or jealousy eat up a lot of bioenergy, which makes that, if you are angry or jealous or fearful often, you will be constantly low in energy. If you want to build your energy potential high so that you may achieve higher, you have to avoid as much as possible the hot emotions like anger, fear, hatred or jealousy. This does not mean that you should become cold or careless. There is a world of difference between people who are cold by character or because they are careless people, and people who are genuinely caring but wise enough to keep a healthy balance in their emotions. The magic word is balance, not control. Control does not work on emotions, nor does repression. The societies that have the highest rates of violent crime such as the United States are the cultures which repress emotions the strongest and where education and social morals constantly stress the need to control emotions.
If we control our emotions, we are robots because there will be no more spontaneity. Have a look, for example, at Asian culture, the Chinese or Japanese, or Indonesian cultures, and you will notice that they are more tolerant towards emotions; but you will also notice that their education stresses more than ours the need to keep a healthy balance in our emotional life.
If you see that you are constantly fighting with a particular person, or if you see there are power struggles going on within a group of people you frequent, leave them and get a distance! Many people who suffer from addictions are caught in power struggles without finding by themselves a way out of the dilemma.
There is however always a way, it is the archaic flight-or-fight response. If you do not want to fight, you must take a distance. You must go, end the relationship, and say your ultimate no to it. People trapped in alcohol or drug abuse often are simply unable to say this decisive no, thus unable to making the right choices at moments they need to. They may never have learnt it in their younger years simply because they did not have the inner space to act. They had to re-act because in their younger years they were constantly trapped by their parents or other caretakers. It is the flight response perverted into a pseudo-flight that results. I escape into my dream world because life is too hard for me and I am not hard enough to knock those down who abuse of my goodness!
No, you do not need to knock them down; you can listen to yourself instead of listening to them, and get to live your own life, based on your own choices and decisions! The next step then, when you are in peace with yourself, is to work on your power problems. Power struggles cannot arise if you are feeling strong and powerful. It needs always two for love—and for fight. If you are feeling okay about yourself and you have resolved your power problems, nobody can ever get you out of your continuum.
This means you will not let others get you in discussions, disputes or fights of whatever kind. To gain mastership of your autonomy, you need to work constantly and patiently on building your soul power and, as a result, your social power. There are basically four steps on this way:
- Get your power back
- Give power to others
- Communicate powerfully
‘See the power in communicating’
- Build powerful teams
‘See the power in associating’
—See Peter Fritz Walter, Walter’s Career Guide: Why Getting a Job is Not Enough (2015).
You will not build successful relationships if you begin at the wrong end and engage in social groupings before having done your home work. However, that is what most people do, rushing into participating in social groupings in the hope that through togetherness they’d feel more powerful; they think group life will help them forget about the ugly little man or the ugly little woman inside of themselves. When they are with the group, they feel strong and good while miserable and poor when alone. But that is a trap! That is not empowerment, but an illusion, and a very dangerous vintage of it!
As long as you are not a true individual, and thus an undivided unit, as long as you have not built your own self, you cannot build really interdependent relationships. You will try to either get into some form of dependency or symbiosis with them (‘I need you’) or try to dominate them (‘I get you’). It means the power struggle is right from the start programmed into your very relationship with the group.
The right way to begin, therefore, is to begin with yourself. Get your power back! Become complete and whole again, an individual. If power has been denied to you during your childhood and youth—which happened to most of us, there is no way other than working on that problem. If you refuse to do this work, the need for power that has been repressed will drive you from your unconscious desires and can cause obsessions, emotional, psychic and sexual fixations, alcohol or drug addictions, neurotic anxieties and habits, sexual dysfunctions or perverse sexuality, or else even psychotic disorders.
Why do we need power?
Here we are back at our initial question, and I may repeat and summarize it again what we found earlier in this manual. We need power and energy to build our life as our own original creation. Many people live lives as if they were articles bought in second hand shops. They live lives that are not their own. They live the lives of millions of other people, lives that are conditioned through standardized educational norms, standardized food, standardized media input, standardized conventions, standardized wishes and dreams, standardized religious celebrations, standardized cultural to-do’s and not-to-do’s. They are robots, not men and women. They are not humans after all—because they are not human.
A more subtle reason why people take drugs is indeed the dehumanization of modern society, the seeming lack of human input through sensitiveness and care for others. Once you are off from it, you have to be very careful not to get affected by the vices of this society that, just because you have found a healthier way to cope with life, is not going to change for you. You will confront the same odd problems and adversities that you encountered originally when you were searching for a way out.
You strengthen your spirit by developing a fundamental vision about your future life and hold this vision! It is visions that most powerfully aid our self-development. The Bible says ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ Your vision is the choice of something that really deeply excites you, something you want to realize or become. When this happens, just stay with it and by no means push or rationalize it away. Don’t say things like ‘I can’t do that because…’ or ‘I won’t have the financial means to realize that…’ or else ‘They won’t accept me because…’ or even ‘That’s something not in for me.’ Instead of pushing it away, accept it as an inner message, an important and serious message that you want to consider carefully.
Then make a list of the reasons why you can do it and why you think you cannot do it. Take a white page and divide it vertically in two parts. On top of the left column you write, ‘I can,’ on top of the right column you write, ‘I can’t.’ Now enumerate all what comes to mind why you either can or cannot do this thing. After completing this list, don’t do anything for three days and see what happens. It means that you watch the feedback you get from the universe, the feedback that you get through your inner voices, people you meet, your dreams, books you find, conversations you have, omens and so on. You can better deal with life if you learn to decode the omens that are our daily synchronistic encounters with destiny. Life does not proceed logically, in the sense that it uses a Cartesian logic. Beware, the logic of life is higher and more complex than our human logic! It is infinite intelligence, and its logic is a metalogic or holographic logic; however our unconditioned human intelligence can easily be tuned to receiving the messages coming from this universal intelligence.
As I have pointed out earlier, prayer or some other kind of spiritual ceremonial on an individual basis is useful for both dissolving conditioning and making us receptive for the higher vibrations in our nature. If this sounds odd to you, please be reminded that perceiving the deeper sense of one’s life is even more important to humans than their natural and important striving for pleasure. Becoming whole and being truly in peace with the world and ourselves is not possible if we neglect this spiritual longing that is so deeply rooted within our nature.
You may want to find out first about different spiritual practices so as to choose the one that most appeals to you. For me, since many years, it is Taoism and the Taoist rituals of establishing a sacred space in our living area, to practice the art of directions and design such as Feng Shui, and to do body work, and else to consider peace and harmonious balance as the highest values for my individual life and my contributions to society or the whole of humanity.