The Devil / Demons — Spiritual Message of the Day
“Addictions are not evil or bad, they just cost you too much in lost perceptiveness, wisdom, effectiveness, and happiness.” — Ken Keyes, JR., Handbook to Higher Consciousness
When we think of addictions, we typically think of substance abuse, but that’s just the tip of the addiction iceberg. What Keyes refers to in his book Handbook to Higher Consciousness includes all sorts of addictions. More common than substance abuse are our addictions to all the little things in life, such as needing to watch a favorite TV show, have a cup of coffee in the morning, or get the last word in any argument. Even more insidious is our addiction to our concepts of “should”—what we “should” have, what other people “should” do, what the world “should” be like, and so on.
These things may not seem like they’re a big deal, but when anything is an addiction instead of a preference, in other words when our need for it rules us instead of the other way around, then it’s a problem, an impediment to our happiness and our ability to live a rich and meaningful life. Even addictions to positive things like exercise or a spiritual practice can be a problem when our attachment to them escalates beyond preference to addiction.
Even simple or seemingly benign addictions are a problem is because when any of them are not met, which is the typical state of affairs in life, the result is suffering and unhappiness. Addictions overshadow our perception and enjoyment of the subtler and finer things in life, such as the exquisite mysteries of love, the subtle beauty of every individual’s spirit, and the majesty of the divine nature shining within ourselves, other people, and everything in the world around us. In focusing our attention on taking care of the demands of our addictions, we get lost in the darkness of our addictive behaviors and we miss seeing those shining lights.
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