Power of Addiction & Addiction to Power TEDx Gabor Maté | We Can’t Wait for Those in Power to Make Changes

I’ve taken notes and paraphrased Gabor Maté’s speech. The Power of Addiction and The Addiction to Power: Gabor Maté at TEDxRio+20

Gabor Maté, an erudite doctor, describes in his TEDx talk in Rio the reasons for addiction.

Gabor Maté, speaks, Power of Addiction and Addiction fo Power, TEDx, Rio de Janeiro

Gabor Maté speaks about the Power of Addiction and Addiction fo Power at a TEDx in Rio de Janeiro

What are the addicts getting from their addictions? Calmness, soothing, a sense of control.

Many of these addictive substances are pain killers, taking away pain.

Why the pain?

He states that Keith Richard’s in his autobiography – a long time heroin addict – mentions the contortions that we go through just to avoid being ourselves for a few hours.

Gabor mentions that the psychiatrist R.D. Laing states:

There are three main things people are afraid of: death, other people and their own minds.

Both brilliant and unconventional, RD Laing pioneered the humane treatment of the mentally ill. But as a father, clinically depressed and alcoholic, Laing bequeathed his 10 children and his two wives a more chequered legacy.

Maté mentions his own previous addiction to shopping. Like any addict, he would lie about it.

His definition of addiction is any behavior that gives you temporary relief and temporary pleasure, yet in the long term causes negative consequences which one can’t give up.

There are many different types of addictions: the addictions to drugs, the addiction to consumerism, sex, the internet, shopping, food.

The Buddhists have the idea of the ‘hungry ghosts’; creatures with large empty bellies and small scrawny necks and tiny little mouths, so they can never get enough. They can never fill this emptiness inside of themselves.

We are all hungry ghosts. And so many of us are trying to fill that emptiness, from the outside.

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician

When you are looking at the emptiness of people, you can’t look at the genetics but you have to look at it from the outside.

It is very clear why many addicts are in pain. They’ve been abused all their lives. Hundreds of his patients had been physically or sexually abused, abandoned, emotionally hurt over and over again.

Don’t look for the people in power to change things, in terms of environmental degradation, global warming, the pollution of the oceans, rivers and skies. Don’t look to the people in power to change the immigration and social injustices. The people in power are very often the emptiest people in the world, suffering from their addiction to power. We have to do this ourselves. We have to find that light within ourselves. We have to find that light within communities. We have to begin being an active democracy of the commons; with our own wisdom and creativity. We can’t wait for the people in power to make things better for us because they are never going to. Not unless we make them. They say that human nature is competitive, aggressive and selfish. In fact it’s the opposite. Human nature is cooperative, generous and community minded. TED talks are examples of human nature, people committed to learning and contributing to a better world. If we find that light within, we will be kinder to ourselves, kinder to other people and kinder to nature.

The human brain develops an interaction with the environment. The kind of interaction a child has with the environment can shape the development of the brain. Dopamine is the incentive, motivation chemical. Dopamine flows whenever we are motivated, excited, curious, vital, vibrant. Without the dopamine, we have no motivation.

The addict gets a hit of dopamine in the brain. Drugs are not by themselves addictive? Drugs are not by themselves addictive. Some people become addictive to drugs, but many do not. Food is not addictive, but to some people it is. Shopping is not in itself addictive, but to some people it is. Television is not addictive, but to some people it is.

Why the susceptibility? Genetically the receptors, chemical binding sites in the brain for endorphins, morphine like substances, that make possible the feeling of love and attachment to the parent.

Heroine and morphine act on the endorphin system. For abused children, those circuits don’t develop. When you don’t have love and connection in your life when you are very young, you don’t develop those receptors.

As a baby of Jewish parents in an Eastern European country as Hitler was gaining power – the speaker Gabor Maté was picking up on the stresses and terrors of his mother, which were shaping the child’s brain. Children get the message that ‘my mother must not want me’ if she is not happy around the child.

So he becomes a workaholic because if his mother doesn’t want me, then he wants to be needed. Yet because he’s responding in this way by working so much and not being available for his own children, his children receive the same message, that the parent must not want him.

In this way humans pass on the trauma and unconscious patterns from one generation to the next.

Each person feels the emptiness in a different way, stemming back to when they are very small.

We may all point the finger to the ‘addicts’, yet look at what we’re doing to the earth? We are injecting all of these terrible things into the earth, the environment, the air, water.

A man was killed in Brazil for protecting the rain forest. As in Brazil, many of the indigenous people in Canada are the ones who are heavily addicted after suffering the trauma of losing their land, being side-lined and disregarded.

The people on the opposite side of this, who are crushing the Native American territories and destroying pristine nature, are those addicted to wealth and power.

Many of the historical figures who were extremely addicted to power, Stalin, Napoleon, were people of physically small stature. They were outsiders, coming from a population outside of the mainstream. Their sense of insecurity and inferiority came from emptiness they were trying to fill from the outside.

In each of the stories of Buddha and Jesus, both were tempted by the devil for power. Each said no, because they had the power within themselves. They wanted to teach people through soft words, wisdom and their actions.

Jesus: “The power is within. The kingdom of god is within.”

Buddha: “Don’t mourn me and don’t worship me. Find the lamp inside yourself. Find the light within.”

I’m bringing up his point twice, because it is so vital. “Don’t look for the people in power to change things, in terms of environmental degradation, global warming, the pollution of the oceans, rivers and skies. Don’t look to the people in power to change the immigration and social injustices. The people in power are very often the emptiest people in the world, suffering from their addiction to power. We have to do this ourselves. We have to find that light within ourselves. We have to find that light within communities. We have to begin being an active democracy of the commons; with our own wisdom and creativity. We can’t wait for the people in power to make things better for us because they are never going to. Not unless we make them. They say that human nature is competitive, aggressive and selfish. In fact it’s the opposite. Human nature is cooperative, generous and community minded. TED talks are examples of human nature, people committed to learning and contributing to a better world. If we find that light within, we will be kinder to ourselves, kinder to other people and kinder to nature.”

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol Keiter, nomadbeatz, donations, writing, photography, illustrations, eBook, music composition

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

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Unbounded Spirit | Opposite of Addiction is Connection | Johann Hari “Chasing the Scream”

This short video “Drugs Don’t Cause Addiction” is one of the most profoundly accurate looks into our modern societal malaise and misguided notions about what is of value today. As the unbounded spirit acknowledges, “This Brilliant Animated Video Will Change Your View on Drugs Forever”, and I add, and Your View of Our Modern Society.

Addiction

Everything We Think we Know About Addiciton is Wrong

Obviously much thought went into it, as this video project is a collaboration with Johann Hari, the author of the book “Chasing the Scream”. It reveals that pointing the finger of blame to ‘drugs’ or ‘the war on drugs’ is actually completely missing the point.

"Chasing the Scream, Joann Hari

“Chasing the Scream” by Joann Hari – brilliant reviews

As is typical, the fingers are pointing in the opposite direction of the real problem. What we need to realize is that the real blame is our collective societal values of materialism over connection with others. As the western world has become more and more focused on material wealth and financial gain, this has been accompanied with increasing social isolation. The problem is not a drug, nor an individual addiction, but a collective one which has been driven by consumerism.

We need to rebuild our society towards values in which the individual derives happiness through accomplishments from actions in which he or she is engaged in which makes him/her happy and feel joy from emersion in that activity, and in which collectively we are sharing activities and experiencing joy through camaraderie and sympathy; recognizing that we are all living this life together and that only when all beings have peace, comfort and security can we all share in that joy.

Paraphrasing the video…

Addiction is just one symptom of the crisis of disconnection that is happening all around us.

People have an innate need to connect. When we’re happy and healthy we will bond with the people around us. Yet when we’re traumatized, isolated or beaten down by life, we will bond with something that will give us some sense of relief; such as:

Endlessly checking a cell phones

addiction to cell phones

addiction to cell phones

 

addiction to pornography

addiction to pornography

addiction to video games

addiction to video games

 

addiction to gambling

addiction to gambling

 

addiction to cocaine

addiction to cocaine – drugs in general

because…as the video elucidates, we will bond with something, because THIS is our human nature.

 

 

Since the 1950’s the average number of close friends an American has, has been steadily declining, whereas the amount of floorspace in their homes has been increasing. Choosing floorspace over close friends, stuff over connection.

The path out of unhealthy bonds, is to form healthy bonds; to be connected to people you want to be present with.

It’s not the chemicals, it’s your cage.

We need not talk about individual recovery from addiction, but must talk about social recovery.

We need to change the unnatural way that we live.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection.

I recall a ‘waking dream I had decades ago. It was not while I was sleeping, but during the day. I was witnessing what has since been created, virtual reality, before it existed. In the dream I was climbing a mountain. I could feel the breeze. The ‘camera’ pulled out so that I was then seeing myself from above, then further away looking down at the earth. Then suddenly I was climbing out of a box, an isolation tank, in my living room. I then was disconnecting these wires from my scull. When I awoke from this engaging dream during the day while I was living in Washington D.C., I recall feeling very disturbed emotionally from the thought of having cheated myself by not ‘actually’ having the real experience of traveling to a mountain to summit, but was only alone in a box – the shell of the real experience. A few years later I was startled to watch a movie while I was traveling and visiting Europe called “Strange Dayshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_Days_(film) because it was recapturing the essence of the mechanics of how this ‘virtual reality’ of my vision and virtual experience occurred.

Strange Days

1995 film Strange Days

I have since continued to feel this conviction (even though I’m sitting here ‘working’ and writing, creating and communicating in isolation on my MacBook Pro – and loving and needing this machine – so I think 🙂 That if we don’t maintain a balance, our technologies will continue to isolate us from ourselves and one another. I had hypothesized that primitive people perhaps had not lost our special connection to the cosmos. A friend then pointed out to investigate my theory by looking at the aborigines of Australia. They once consistently demonstrated telepathy and ultra human powers of consciousness. As modern man relies more and more on our gadgets to do things for us, our human powers of mind and heart and connection to one another and the universal intelligence will atrophy. I believe human beings do have capabilities of telepathy and of connection with the divine through allowing ourselves to quite our minds and engage our spirits and heart – our sixth sense or intuition or gut instincts – whatever you want to call it. Yet, if our thoughts are constantly engaged and busy worrying about the past and the future and what we don’t have and judging one another and watching sitcoms and shit, we don’t have the time or space to tap into what is available to us as spiritual beings on the material physical plane. yep, I said it. I always thought it. And I keep finding other human beings who also reiterate and reverberate the same message….

This video was put together with http://www.patreon.com

patreon

patreon dot com description / kurzgesagt

http://addiction.mobydigg.de and the unbounded spirit.

 

 

 

carol keiter, blogger, arizona, wwoof

Carol the blogger in her Moose-themed residence at her first WWOOF experience in Arizona

 

Here’s a pic of me, the blogger in my ‘moose lake lodge’ residence in the Sonoran desert where I’m participating in my first WWOOF experience on the Veteran’s Ranch, a means of avoiding homelessness while at the same time being very interested in learning about farming techniques from the pros – the people who run the farms and ranches – and I absolutely love and adore animals of every type.

 

When I’m not working with the animals or on my own projects, I’m taking pictures of sunsets.

Solitude, Serenity, Sonoran, Sunset, Feb. 20th 2016

Solitude and Serenity Sonoran Sunset Feb. 20th 2016

IMG_0003

And I’ve started to take videos of the animals, with the incentive to capture the sounds, to then weave into some new music (sounds on the ranch 🙂

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

PayPal Donate Button

In addition to the fact that donations are always welcome and appreciated, I just discovered to day February 20th, 2016 patreon, which I am very happy to join and am about to create an artist profile. It is a very similar concept to something I conjectured a month or so ago: wishing there was an artist residency somewhere where the artists can collaborate if they choose, yet which is based on earning money for what they create. They are paid, as they commit to producing work. Well, patron is not a residency, yet it does offer capital, and I’m pretty stoked to have discovered it. Certainly it will act as a motivator for all artists, lighting a fire to keep them producing new work!!! I’ll sign on to patreon as a blogger/photographer/illustrator/author creating a profile tomorrow, and will be de light ed to find some patrons encouraging me to keep on producing work!

Free-fall Dream | Money | Barely Subsisting vs. Unparalleled Wealth

About a week ago I had another vivid dream. I was falling rapidly through a vertical shoot, with buildings and vegetation flying by me at an enormous rate of speed. I was however not ‘out of control’, but able to steer myself and reverse the gravity when I desired. The next morning, scanning the news on the online New York Times, I was struck when I saw this image,

"For the Love of Money" article in the New York Times by Sam Polk

“For the Love of Money” article in the New York Times by Sam Polk

This image was an astounding replication of my memory and perception of my free-fall dream. Sam Polk’s autobiographical story is about his Wall Street escapades and exodus. The irony is that both of these themes concern money. His story of someone suffering from an addiction to money, in which getting multi-million bonus’s was still never enough. My anxiety dream about not having enough money, was from someone barely scraping by. I delivered myself into my risky circumstances by moving to live abroad without having lined up a job ahead of time, which I did because of my familiarity of what I was getting into. My struggle is beginning to diminish presently, with projects springing up on the horizon.

Same topic – other end of the spectrum.

How is it that top executives and brokers are making bonus’s of multi-millions and still not satisfied, when in fact I can live quite contentedly, on a fraction of what they earn? Granted, I don’t have any dependents currently. Yet, I’ve learned to appreciate and value a different type of interaction with my reality. My happiness is less built on consuming, and more on creating. I derive appreciation from little things (the delight of the plethora of life forms surrounding us on this planet, albeit diminishing rapidly) and contentment from accomplishments built from what I have put effort into, deriving satisfaction in seeing the results. You can read about the millionaire’s discontents and discoveries in this OpEd article, “For the Love of Money“.

In light of this, a recent article in the Huffington Post by Robert Reich “Why There’s No Outcry“, mentions why Americans are too fearful to destabilize the little bit of security they have, to participate in a revolution similar to the “New Deal” or other ground-shaking reforms. I had alluded to this, suggesting what Obama could do, by putting people to work and dramatically turning around the economy. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/notch-up-the-governments-role-with-obamaworks-a-version-of-roosevelts-wpa/

“Change is coming anyway. We cannot abide an ever-greater share of the nation’s income and wealth going to the top while median household incomes continue too drop, one out of five of our children living in dire poverty, and big money taking over our democracy.

At some point, working people, students, and the broad public will have had enough. They will reclaim our economy and our democracy. This has been the central lesson of American history.

Reform is less risky than revolution, but the longer we wait the more likely it will be the latter.”