By Greg Ascue
I have written on how addiction and compulsion often have two sides. These sides could be called craving and aversion. Should and shouldn’t. These two sides show up as the belief in a command/craving/urge to engage and the command /aversion/revulsion not to engage in the addictive or compulsive activity. This belief in both, equally, binds one. Each side tends to accentuate the other.
In addiction/compulsion, aversion entails resistance. While this resistance may seem a viable approach, it does not have a good success rate. In reality, many people who suffer from addiction or compulsion transition from one form of addiction/compulsion to another (while “curing” them); going from drugs to cigarettes, cigarettes to food, food to porn etc. in and endlessly. Or they become stark raving “sober”; constantly struggling with various cravings and aversions. Constantly caught up in an endless cycle of craving and aversion, trying to fix, change, and resist.
In the Living Inquiries we invite people to be with their experience (words, pictures, and energies) as it is. Not trying to push it away, to get overly involved in it, or change it. Just putting your attention on what is here now for you. As a simple example of this, one thing I do occasionally is invite people to put their attention on any energy that they are experiencing and with effort try to make it go away (right now). Almost everyone reports that they cannot. Not only can people not get rid of energy, a large percentage report that the energy gets stronger when they try to do that. I then invite them to keep it the same. This cannot be done either. I then ask them to notice that they cannot get rid of it or keep it the same. Then I invite them just to put their attention on it and feel it. Putting your attention on these energies and just feeling them is possible. Why keep doing things that don’t work or are not possible?
I think this has implications in regards to “getting rid of” or resisting addiction. Using the Living Inquiries we take a different approach. We focus (in inquiry) on all the shame, aversion, body stuff and childhood issues. Being with experience, as it is, doing Natural Rest, and asking questions in inquiry. We look at the immediate addiction/craving (using the Compulsion Inquiry) as a final cleanup job. We do this knowing that what you resist persists.