39. Addicted to superficiality

January 18, 2018 Sticky Thoughts No Comments

I have long thought about why people en masse become addicted to something like cigarette smoking and why it is so difficult for many to get rid of it. I found an important part of the answer in the insight that behind such an addiction lies an even much stronger addiction. This is not an addiction to some substance. It’s an addiction that cuts really through the souls of human beings and is extremely far-reaching. I’m talking about the addiction to superficiality.


The general principle of addiction is simple: at first sight (or ‘feeling’) something is satisfying. It appears to cater for a real need of a person. But in reality it doesn’t. This is possible because what really satisfies a person, a complete human being, is not just what satisfies a superficial layer of that same person. Therefore with a superficial ‘satisfaction’, the deeper dissatisfaction remains equal or may even be strengthened. If the person in search of satisfaction then searches this in ‘more of the same’, while being unaware of the intrinsic unsatisfactory nature of this same, an addiction is born. It’s a vicious circle. ‘More of the same’ will never satisfy, so there will never be enough of it. The pit is bottomless and trying to fill it with water can even make this pit more ‘thirsty’…


Cigarettes will never do as a substitute of soul, nor any other kind of superficial, intrinsically dead water.


A ‘superficial satisfier’ like cigarettes gives only a flimsy satisfaction. It’s also mostly an easy one. easily bought, easily lit, easily smoked. Therein too lies its power over people: an easy, quick ‘satisfaction’ that in reality leaves the total person totally dissatisfied.


Hurray! We live in a society with many technical possibilities! Yep, therefore also with many possibilities for superficial satisfiers of course: cigarettes, other hard drugs, sleeping pills, pornography, the ‘nine-o-clock news’, etc… Even then, the addiction lies in how they are used of course. Sadly enough, we live in a grab-that-easy-money society (another addiction of course). So people are mindfully driven towards these superficial addictions. Because they bring cash. Do you see the thriving industries behind them?


So where will it all end? Not only are addictions not really satisfying, they also tear people apart, away from their ‘deeper selves’. People get imprisoned in superficiality. In the end, they become addicted to having addictions, because there is nothing else. Soul is lost.


I’m writing this on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The sun is shining. I look outside and see nature in full bloom. Some children are playing… Nay, it cannot all be THAT bad, can it?


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