Thursday, October 1, 2009

Addiction and Relationships

¡Hola! Everybody...
This part of the year is often very hectic for me. I’ve had little time to do anything and if I go to one more meeting... I haven’t had time to write anything. I wrote the following a few years ago as part of a series of essays on relationships.

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-=[ The Hungry Ghosts ]=-

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

-- Henry David Thoreau

I understand and feel compassion for those of us who stalk the spaces (cyber and otherwise) in search of happiness and/ or fulfillment. However, I also realize that when we become singularly focused on gaining validation through another, are doomed to a life of suffering for there is no one person who will grant us the happiness we seek.

I came across a wonderful description of compulsion and obsession several years ago. At one time it was an apt description of how I was living. It comes from the Buddhist cosmology of beings known as “The Hungry Ghosts.”

Hungry Ghosts (or people who dwell in the Hungry Ghost Realm) are pictured as miserable beings who possess huge, bottomless pits for stomachs and needle-thin necks. Though surrounded by food and drink, they can never satisfy their hunger and thirst because they can only drink or eat one drop of food at a time. Their necks are thin as needles, and because they are so caught up in grasping and consuming they can’t fully appreciate what is there in front of them. They are plagued by a obsessive hunger they can never satisfy. In fact, the very act of consumption is extremely painful for them. In other words, they are doomed to an existence of suffering.

I believe we live in society that is a Hungry Ghost realm in disguise. Oh yeah, many will disagree, protesting that they are fulfilled and will even quote passages from great thinkers in an attempt to demonstrate their evolved consciousness, but I am willing to bet that when alone, perhaps resting their heads on their solitary pillows, they too are consumed by that painful hunger rising from the need for self-validation through another.

The reality is that we are all Hungry Ghosts to a degree. This description is a metaphor for the part of us that remains unsatisfied. Because of our attachments and constant grasping, we miss the actual food that’s in front of us all the time. This is not a bad thing in itself -- I have lived such an existence (and still do in certain areas of my life). And we all, to varying degrees, live lives of “quiet desperation.” What happens, however, is some Hungry Ghosts go to great lengths to inflict their pain and misery on others. Even then, that is not of great consequence: anyone can evolve from such an existence (shit! if I did… ? LOL). I find though, that many people are either unaware or uninterested in moving away from that kind of drama.

For the Hungry Ghost, the act of consuming is itself an excruciating experience. But because grasping and consuming is all they know, they are doomed to live in that way for the rest of their lives… so when you wonder about the on and offline drama, take into consideration that particular insanity is not all that hard to grasp. It’s just that sometimes we need to step back and see ourselves reflected in the actions of others.

The good news is that if someone as foolhardy as I am was able to find some measure of liberation, so can you. But you first have to have a burning desire (yes desire!) to change your inner territory.




  1. <span style="">Hungry Gosts .... yep I think your on to something here Eddie! And for a re-post I dont recall reading this one before! Woo hoo!! <span style="mso-no-proof: yes;"></span> </span>
    <span style=""> </span>
    <span style="">Thing is we all search for that something, but its a selfish search for most, because its about us looking for something to satisfy US.  We make things so complex, and its really not that difficult to live a life you love and life it powerfully.  Stop thinking of what it means to you as an individual, let that be, and concentrate on how you affect other people.</span>
    <span style=""> </span>
    <span style="">It has always fascinated me peoples online lives, particularly during the ol' 360 days, I have always been a pretty good observer of myself (which i used to use in any way possible to give myself a hard time for not being "perfect",  and not living the way i thought i "should" be) and who you are online, definitely shows who you are off too .... and with all that drama that was, i can only imagine what people created in reality</span>
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    <span style="">People don’t move away from it because its safe, and they have a million justifications for who they are, which are all just a bit story or excuse.</span>
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    <span style="">Thanks for the post ;)<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>Hope your doing great! </span>
    <span style=""> </span>
    <span style="">Ps. Im curious, did you ever meet Emily in the end? Are you guys still in contact? Was she who she said she was?</span>
    <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span style=" font-family: Calibri;"> </span>

  2. Emily had kept in touch with me for some time after her mess until she accepted me as a friend on her FB page and I saw her REAL pics. All those pics were fake. But the pics of her daughter were real. I sent her a PM that it was good to finally see the real her and the next day, she had dropped me as a firend. LOL

    The online stuff isn't really THAT impostant, and I don't really invest THAT much (at least not romantically) until I meet someone in RL. Falling in "love" omline is a lot like falling in love with one's reflection.



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