If one is wondering how to make sense out of the patterns of violence, vengeance, venality and vanity vibrating across our planet, it will help to spot the nature of the addictive personality in operation beneath all of these patterns. The addictive personality comes in a wide assortment of flavors, colors and disguises but is rooted in the same soil of insanity. If it were unmasked one would see that the addictive personality always pursues self-aggrandizement and social approval from at least some group meaningful to that personality (if it cannot win approval from all people). To the addictive personality, the rush of winning social approval overrides all other considerations, even if the social approval may be short-lived and come at a great cost. It does not weigh costs and believes that the opportunity to win more social approval will arise should previously won social approval fade. The addictive personality, aka Ego, moves from one rush-promising opportunity to the next without looking to either side for perspective beyond the single-minded goal of immediate gratification of its craving for the rush.
In addition to its purpose of rush-production, the addictive personality can be spotted as it outs itself in the progressive nature of its increasingly manic pursuit of the rush. Whatever rush first hooked it into the pursuit of that species of rush, the addictive personality will not be satisfied for long by the current level of rush it experiences. It will become dissatisfied with the current level of rush and crave more and more rush. Whether the rush or “high” comes from an externally acquired chemical like cocaine, heroin, meth or some other legal or illegal drug or comes from an internally acquired chemical such as adrenalin, endorphins or other bodily produced high or power trip, the addiction is chemical as well as mental, emotional, social and behavioral. It’s a package deal. And the package of rush-production must expand to meet the addictive personality’s demand for increasingly more intense gratification.
If you’ll examine the behaviors and statements of celebrities, drug addicts, power-wielders, law-breakers, risk-takers and others whose behaviors and attitudes you have difficulty comprehending, you’ll see a pattern that helps you see what’s going on. Watch for telltale signs of failure to appreciate the consequences of words and deeds beyond their capacity to draw the instant gratification of social approval (better yet, admiration and hero-worship) from some group — however large or small. Watch for failure to connect the dots and display the capacity for reasoned consideration of facts, contested or otherwise. Watch for reactions rather than responses to stimuli that the addictive personality has learned will generate a rush for which he or she has acquired a taste. Watch for signs that the person displaying addictive qualities is personally out of control while demanding that others be controlled by external means such as force or threat of force. Watch for signs that the person is actually confessing indirectly how much he or she hopes that someone will control him or her by external means and prevent the further progression of his or her addiction and the adverse consequences he or she sees rushing towards him or her. The addictive personality is afraid and yet cannot admit how afraid he or she has become under the influence of the addiction within which he or she is enslaved.
Don’t assume that every addictive personality has the same acquired tastes or means and manner of enslavement. The stimuli and means of acquiring a rush may vary on the surface while beneath the surface at the root of causation it’s the same root cause: namely, fears that have grown beyond the scope of all reason and now dominate the person’s decision-making process. Such fears are common to us all. The fear may be of looking foolish in the eyes of others, of losing face or social status, of failure to achieve an outcome especially desired by the person or of the unknown or strange in life. Because the addictive personality has lost the ability to be honest about his or her emotions, he or she has also lost connection with his or her own heartfelt capacity for empathy and marches relentlessly onward towards the brink of self-destruction and destruction of others. He or she no longer is free to see and admit to the fears that drive him or her. He or she no longer trusts that others with whom he or she fails to see eye to eye can be reasoned with and included in the realm of trustworthy associates. He does not trust anyone to accept the confusion that has overtaken him or her and help resolve the inner turmoil that besets him or her. If he or she still has intimate life companions, they are likely to feel powerless to help. He or she is more concerned about maintaining an image of success than about the reality of self-exposure as a loser of his or her grip on sanity. Even while poised on the brink of ruin, he or she will claim the opposite is true.
Trust has broken down and the world as seen by the addictive personality is a shattered mirror reflecting back in fragments the confusion inherent in the addiction to which the person has succumbed. Most often he or she has succumbed to some type of addiction (or dependency including codependency) unwittingly but nevertheless relentlessly one step at a time until the slippery slope of addiction/dependency has taken over and substituted itself for the person’s power of well-reasoned choices. The addictive personality no longer even trusts himself or herself because he or she can no longer hold himself or herself accountable for being honest and is willing to use any means, no matter how dishonest, to gain the next rush to which he or she is addicted. He or she will steal from a beloved grandmother to gain the money needed to buy the next fix or steal from the fans to gain the necessary votes to win the next election or draw the attention he or she craves. Negative attention has become more desirable than loss of all attention and disappearance into anonymity. It’s all the same pattern. People who are trusting and vulnerable are considered the easiest victims to manipulate. The addictive personality truly believes that he or she can fool all of the people all of the time.
Is he or she right? Can he or she fool us all? It’s really up to you whether or not he or she is right. What you are willing to see at work beneath surface depends on your willingness to be open-minded as well as open-hearted and see with your inner vision – a vision some call intuition and others call wisdom. If you will admit that you may be afraid of being played for a fool, then the wisdom of your honesty about that fear may release you to see more clearly whether or not the other person is actually trying to do so.
The surest way to prevent yourself from being played for a fool is to search out from within your own life the patterns of an addictive personality and do all you need to do to prevent yourself from remaining enslaved to them. Until we examine ourselves for such patterns and admit our vulnerability to falling into them, we are all enslaved to the Matrix of such patterns and doomed to repeat them until we value freedom from them more than we value the comforts and conveniences of remaining addicted to them.
© Art Nicol 2015