Living with an alcohol addict is difficult

Alcoholism is not an incurable disease nor are there two categories of drinkers: “normal” and “alcoholics”.  It is a fact that most people who fall into drug/alcohol addiction manage to get free. Alcohol is a legally available very addictive drug.  In 2008 in an independent study it was identified as the most damaging drug in our society.  It is also classified as a category 1 carcinogen. Becoming an alcohol addict is easy. No one ever decided consciously to become addicted; just like everyone else they thought it was harmless fun. In our society it is difficult not to consume alcohol, especially when you consider that every youngster in our society…

Compassion Vs Empathy

Something that we all have in common with each other is that we all would like to be free of suffering and experience happiness. In spite of these intentions and because of our ignorance, we create suffering in our lives. Compassion is not pity. It is related to empathy but it is different to empathy. Empathy is when we “feel with” a person. We feel in our own bodies their emotional suffering. Empathy is an important facet of our connection with others, but if we stop just with empathy without moving forwards to compassion, two important things can happen. Continued exposure to the suffering of others and empathising, for example…

Your Path

Man has a yearning for meaning:  Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is there more than just this one life? Religion and spiritual searching are manifestations of this yearning.  The blessing and curse of the rational mind is that we are intelligent enough to frame the question but perhaps not intelligent enough to find the answer.  Tolstoy took a fairly despairing view on it all: “The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is pointless.”   The meaning and the purpose of your life is the meaning and purpose that you choose to give it, even if you ascribe the choice to some outside/divine force. At…

Our great little teacher

Spring is always a wonderful time both on our farm and in the surrounding countryside. There is so much life. Quite apart from the intense new emerald-green foliage, there are myriad blossoms, flowers, the bees buzzing as they busily collect nectar; also many types of butterflies, small mottled lizards and big fat green ones; frogs whose boop, boop noise provide a charming and slightly surreal background chorus to our evenings; the bats that flit silently around us at dusk as they feast on the many insects; the many sparkling cobwebs bejewelled by the morning dew; the cuckoos with their loud unmistakeable call; the birds of prey constantly hunting to feed…

The persistent illusion

Whatever way you cut it, whatever the point of view: physics, spiritual, social, organisational − we are not only connected, but also highly interdependent. The point of view that goes counter to this is that of the ego. Ego creates separation. When we live from the perspective of the ego (as most of us do, most of the time), we divide the universe into two categories: Me (everything inside this bag of skin) and mine (everything that belongs to what’s inside this bag of skin). This gives rise to the bubble in which most of us live, most of the time − the bubble called the “me centred universe”. From…

Reflections at sixty-two

Life − it’s all a ride − a roller coaster ride: ups and downs; fear and joy; happiness and tragedy; love and loss. “Youth is wasted on the young”− a quote which has been attributed to both Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.  For me the aphorism combines wisdom and wistfulness together with a touch of jealousy. Fifty years ago it seemed to me that people over sixty were “old”, retired and waiting to die. Modern healthcare and increased life expectancy means that things have changed; we have a third chapter in our lives that is worth living. If you’re over sixty and in good health take advantage of this…

The enraged badger

The ego wants always to be right. This characteristic of the rational mind, the compulsive need to be right, can become a lunatic living in your head, shouting crazy shit which, if you believe it, utterly fucks up your life. (excuse the swearing.) The lunatic lives in a special apartment in your brain. He takes away your peace. He makes you feel helpless and angry, over and over and over again. Here’s the thing; it was you who rented him the apartment in the first place. It happened when you chose grievance over forgiveness. When you had to be right and simply couldn’t let go! We all have experienced suffering.…

I am the infinite clear blue sky

I am the infinite clear blue sky. I am the space that holds everything. I am both observer and the observed. I am unconditional love. This is my natural state. How easily and how often I forget this when I am seduced by the illusion of ego. In this moment I feel small, cramped, I feel separate, confused as I lose the perspective of the clear blue sky. I cannot see beyond the weather, the clouds. I become my thoughts. I become my feelings. I rage, complain, fearful of the changing weather. This is suffering. But then I remember; I come home to the infinite blue sky. I see with…

Drinking too much?

Typically before reaching the age of eighteen a youngster will have been exposed to more than 100,000 examples of alcoholic advertising. This tells us that alcohol is fun, sporting, sexy and even good for your health. This contrasts sharply with independent science which shows conclusively that alcohol is a Category 1 carcinogen (WHO/IARC 1988), highly addictive and the most damaging drug in our society (D. Nutt et al 2008). These are facts. Alcohol creates dependence for anyone who drinks regularly. Many of us will drink unless there is a reason not to; eg. work in the morning, pick up the children, got to drive home. These events act as brakes…