Addiction is a common mental challenge that human beings go through; there are many different types of mental addiction: pornography addiction, sex addiction, food addiction, relationship addiction, etc.
This classification is misleading, it can lead to numerous types, but the issue is addiction itself, regardless of pornography or relationship or whatever.
Many people would like to confirm their issue by searching the symptom of each “type” of addiction on the internet, but it is a trap that one must be alert for.
There is only addiction, not addiction to something; the essence of the addiction matters more than “something”.
To confirm the addiction is rather easy because you can observe in yourself directly the urge to do something repeated and the suffering from that.
To end the addiction is to understand addiction completely, which means that you stay with the addiction and observe it thoroughly.
However, when one is suffering from an addiction, one always wants to mentally get rid of the addiction, but doing so blocks one from observing and understanding. Can you observe this tendency in yourself? Can you let go of any wanting and simply stay with the issue – not run away from the problem?
Addiction is a thought process: as long as there is pleasure-seeking, there is addiction. Take pornography addiction as an example; when one consumes pornography, one takes great pleasure from it; the image and sound of the pornography trigger the sexual sensations, which is pleasure-seeking.
The mind keeps replaying the images and sounds to trigger sexual sensations. At first, the mind takes great pleasure – satisfaction, fulfilment, and all the rest of it, but this “replaying” due to the pleasure becomes a loop. The mind is inevitably in conflict when a loop or pattern form because the mind is always dynamic and resisting any pattern. This conflict brings about the mental challenges manifested in all kinds of symptoms described in words, but the symptoms are the wrong focus and can be a distraction that keeps one from dealing with the issue.
To solve this addiction is to end the loop, but you cannot do it through any mental control, which does not solve anything but perhaps brings additional issues.
To end the loop is to stop pleasure-seeking. Can you let go of any pleasure? Generally, people are unwilling to give up pleasure because they think pleasure is the only meaning in their life and therefore, they hold on to the pleasure. Do you observe this way of thinking in yourself?
All the mental challenges come from pleasure-seeking; pleasure destroys the joy of living. When one is living a life without seeking pleasure, life is full of joy, but you have to discover it by actually acting – letting go of any pleasure, or else what is being said here is the speaker’s viewpoint, not your reality.
Up to this point, through the inquiry, we find that to end the addiction is to end the pleasure-seeking, so the attention naturally goes to “end the pleasure-seeking”.
Can you end the pleasure-seeking? Can you live a life fully at present without seeking mentally?
Take the relationship addiction as an example, the mind is seeking pleasure from the mental images about the relationship, and the mind is not willing to give up that pleasure, but in the actual relationship, people are changing, and everything is dynamic, which conflicts with the mental images which are static and unchanged. Therefore such mental conflicts make everyone in the relationship suffer.
The mental images of the relationship are an illusion for one to derive pleasure from, whereas the actual relationship can only exist at this moment and beyond any mental images. Therefore living life fully at present is actually nourishing the relationship, but the addiction destroys the relationship.
To live fully at present requires tremendous observation and self-inquiry, which naturally comes to the question of true meditation – understanding oneself completely. This website presents the timeless content of self-inquiry to facilitate one’s understanding and observation. However, it is still up to you to give attention to the issues, find out what is true and act upon your discovery.
This article aims to guide you through the issues and focus on the right thing, that is, to live a life fully at present without seeking any pleasure, and this is the whole process of meditation.
Perhaps you may not fully understand what has been said in this article, but it does not matter because you have not perceived it yet. When you actually go deep into yourself by self-inquiry, you will naturally understand what it means entirely; anyway, your action matters.
The intention of writing this article is purely based on goodness and care for each human being. Hopefully, you can give importance to self-inquiry and find the ultimate clarity for yourself.
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Note: all articles on this website deserve reading because understanding oneself is multifaceted and total.