I use the word “adumbration” deliberately. It signifies a faint shadow of the actual situation. Thus so, the “facts and figures” on addictions of all kinds are like wafting smoke in the winds of our time, when the long-standing opioid crisis and the current flavor-ed juul crisis don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s gone so deeply “wrong” with our society.
Wouldn’t you know: on the morning after the once every 12 year exact closing square between expansive/generous/lucky/philosophical Jupiter in Sagittarius and spiritual/addiction/distraction/escapist/psychic Neptune in Pisces — BOTH IN THEIR HOME SIGNS! — I get an urgent email from someone whose astrological chart I have done. Her son, in his 30s, was just beginning to find his way out of drug addiction when his heart stopped. That was yesterday, the Jupiter/Neptune exact square day. He’s now in a coma, kept alive artificially. Will his soul choose to return to this life? Fortunately, he has Saturn and the Ascendant both in Scorpio, the most resilient sign of the zodiac, able to die and be reborn over and over again.
Really, when you get right down to it, our basic human addiction is to materialism, stuff. To this 3D world. As we identify with stuff, so do we lose touch with our essence, or soul. The key is to let go of identification. For as the Buddha said, “Life is suffering. The cause of suffering is attachment. The key to letting go of suffering is detachment.”
And yet, it’s complicated, paradoxical. For we are HERE, in these 3D bodies. And we certainly do need to identify with, attach our minds to, our bodies more, not less. So many people, addicted to the mental stuff flooding their brains, and then needing to take drugs or alcohol or nicotine or processed “food” or screen-time to distract themselves from their physical pain, anxiety, fluttering hearts, roiling bowels, sinus infections, frontal headaches, on and on.
Our bodies are made from Earth, folks! Our bodies are Earth’s antennas, linking Above to Below, or they could be. If we would only climb inside them, honor them, allow them to truly live, and to speak to us loud and clear — of their frozen, denied memories, their strange pains in various places, their stiffness, or lack of energy . . . on and on. Who among us is truly connected to our very own bodies, in a real way, a way that does not just treat the body as a machine (the way so many super athletes do), but rather, as the specific unique part of this beautiful Earth we are here to care for. Our own body is our primary responsibility as an earthling! For unless our bodies are functioning well, and attuning to what’s going on around and in them, what good are we? How can we possibly help others, when we refuse, so often, to actually help ourselves. To observe the practices needed: mindfulness, nutrition, sleep cycles, exercise patterns, which we must focus on, daily, building a routine that ultimately results in character, that wondrous stabilizing side-effect of our determination to get and stay “in shape.”
We need to get and stay “in shape,” not because we want to be “good-looking” for others, but because we want to feel good, to NOT be dragged down by bodily debilities. We want to get and stay “in shape,” so that we can feel the extraordinary thrumming thrill of full aliveness, not to mention so that we can count on our body to go along with us as we move out into the world, express ourselves fully, love deeply enough everyone and everything that we meet. THAT is how we change the world, folks. That’s the climate change we need, first, to change the climate inside ourselves.
And yet: if THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY in the larger territory of “climate change,” then even the much smaller focus on our own body is way too unpredictable for us to be able to fully understand what is going on.
Let us remember that even our tiny body itself is composed of an infinite number of parts, both large and small, all operating together in networked, organized systems within systems, only a minuscule part of which we can even begin to comprehend.
Ever watch a cut being healed by the body? It’s one of my favorite pasttimes. Not “cutting” myself, but being cut accidentally! — and then paying attention to how the body goes about its subtle and blatant processes to mysteriously repair what has been damaged.
Earth does the same thing. She is our larger body, and we are tiny, miniscule parts within her self-healing biosphere. Her biosphere is part of a larger order, and that order part of a larger one still. There is no end to the mystery that swirls its currents within and through us.