My spinning wheels and its changing scenery is, I guess, like addiction. As is connecting, however imperfectly and incompletely, to others via the internet. But sometimes it pays off, my repeatedly pushing these buttons. (the irony of using one addiction to analyze another addiction doesn’t escape me) Here’s a gem another adoptee found and shared on-line. It spoke to her for its reference to abandonment. It spoke to me for its reference to abuse, neglect, and abandonment. It is me, without the needle stuck in my arm. (and, I have always been fascinated by needles and white powder to an unhealthy degree, so made sure never to go there)
click on the title above to view the video page of this thought-provoking interview on Democracy Now, with Dr. Gabor Maté, Physician at Vancouver Safe-Injection Site, on the Biological and Socio-Economic Roots of Addiction and ADD
Excerpt from the transcripts:
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the people you treat.
DR. GABOR MATÉ: Well, the hardcore drug addicts that I treat, but according to all studies in the States, as well, are, without exception, people who have had extraordinarily difficult lives. And the commonality is childhood abuse. In other words, these people all enter life under extremely adverse circumstances. Not only did they not get what they need for healthy development, they actually got negative circumstances of neglect. I don’t have a single female patient in the Downtown Eastside who wasn’t sexually abused, for example, as were many of the men, or abused, neglected and abandoned serially, over and over again.
And that’s what sets up the brain biology of addiction. In other words, the addiction is related both psychologically, in terms of emotional pain relief, and neurobiological development to early adversity.
AMY GOODMAN: What does the title of your book mean, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts?
DR. GABOR MATÉ: Well, it’s a Buddhist phrase. In the Buddhists’ psychology, there are a number of realms that human beings cycle through, all of us. One is the human realm, which is our ordinary selves. The hell realm is that of unbearable rage, fear, you know, these emotions that are difficult to handle. The animal realm is our instincts and our id and our passions.
Now, the hungry ghost realm, the creatures in it are depicted as people with large empty bellies, small mouths and scrawny thin necks. They can never get enough satisfaction. They can never fill their bellies. They’re always hungry, always empty, always seeking it from the outside. That speaks to a part of us that I have and everybody in our society has, where we want satisfaction from the outside, where we’re empty, where we want to be soothed by something in the short term, but we can never feel that or fulfill that insatiety from the outside. The addicts are in that realm all the time. Most of us are in that realm some of the time. And my point really is, is that there’s no clear distinction between the identified addict and the rest of us. There’s just a continuum in which we all may be found. They’re on it, because they’ve suffered a lot more than most of us
By Barbara O’Brien, About.com Guide
The Six Realms are an allegorical description of conditioned existence, or samsara, into which beings are reborn. The nature of one’s existence is determined by karma. Some realms seem more pleasant than others — heaven sounds preferable to hell — but all are dukkha, meaning they are temporary and imperfect.
The Six Realms often are illustrated by the Bhava Chakra, or Wheel of Life.
Please note that in some schools the realms of Devas and Asuras are combined, leaving five realms instead of six.