A center is considered integrated when there is a
balanced experience of the dualistic qualities of that center. This means
we have learned to recognize and accept both the “positive”
and “negative” poles of the duality, incorporating them into
a basically positive experience. No large amount of avoidance and suppression
is occurring, and previously suppressed energies have been cleared. If we
cannot realistically say that we have learned to experience the negative
pole in a harmonious way, at least we have learned how to accept it and
work with it constructively – for example, through processing.
We become addicted to the positive
because we are unwilling to face the negative
Unintegrated, we become addicted at various levels
of experience. We become addicted to the “positive” side of
any one dualistic experience because we are not willing to face the “negative”
side of its duality. We seek to escape to the positive side, often not even
realizing that both sides are dependent on one another for their existence.
However, because of the nature of dualism, the more
we try to experience the positive, the more we also generate the negative.
We become frustrated. We attempt to suppress the intensifying negative with
more experiences of the positive, and the addiction cycle builds. Addiction
can occur not only at the Sensation or Nurturing levels, where it is normally
recognized, but in all centers. We develop a deep hunger for a particular
need, but no matter what we do to try to satisfy the hunger, it remains
or even becomes worse. Addictive behavior is also known as “compulsive.”
Each addiction can be related to a certain center
of consciousness. Addiction is the result of an energy imbalance in that
particular center. The center is blocked and does not experience the normal
energy flow of a healthy center. The center is blocked because of our suppression.
Through the avoidance of feelings in the center, we create the block. To
maintain the block requires energy, energy the addiction supplies. All addiction
provides an extra supply of energy, taken either from external sources or
from the body’s internal reserves.
The cravings that arise for a particular object of
addiction are learned. Through experience, we learn that energy can be obtained
from a certain source and used to maintain the block. When the block begins
to weaken, because the suppressing energy is getting low, we begin to get
glimpses of exactly what we are suppressing, and we experience discomfort,
anxiety, depression, and so on. We then seek the addictive experience once
more, to gain the energy required to maintain the block to the feelings.
The feelings are resuppressed, over and over. Because the suppressed feelings
will continue to build, the suppressing energy also must keep increasing,
resulting in the extraordinary means that must be used to provide the energy.
We enter the expanding cycle of addiction.
Usually we are addicted to a center’s complement
to the negative experience. However, we also can escape to another, usually
higher, center and draw energy from there. The higher center will suppress
the pain of the lower center. Thus, if we experience anxiety from an unintegrated
Survival center, we could attempt to suppress it by becoming compulsively
addicted to wealth and security, but we also could suppress it by compulsive
seeking in any higher center, such as sex, power, love, even creativity.
The first step in breaking addiction is to understand
how it works. When you know why you act compulsively, you weaken the power
of the addiction. You must stop yielding to the addictive experience. Process
the addictive urge as well as the feeling that you are suppressing with
the addiction. Self-processing can be the main approach, but other approaches,
such as therapy, group support, or medical support in cases of chemical
dependency, are helpful as well.
When you confront feelings related to addiction, you
meet your demon head on. You must realize that you are clearing accumulated
negativity; proceed patiently and gently as well as sensibly. You must not
demand too much of yourself, nor should you yield too easily. The delicate
balance, the sense of making steady progress, must be established. As you
learn how to work on yourself, you will acquire new tools that will help
you tremendously. You will be able to cleanse negativity that previously
compelled you to act in addictive ways.