Recently, I was reading an article about addiction and how drug use physically damages the brain by causing the synapses to become rigid. This inhibits the ability of new, productive habits from forming which keeps the addict stuck in a learning deficit.
Normally we use the word “addiction” to describe an intense dependence on a routine behavior that results in destructive actions.
But if we really think about what addiction is at its foundation, it’s nothing more than a well-formed habit that’s heavily relied on. In a way, we’re all addicts. Everyone has patterns of behavior that provide comfort, ease, and efficiency at a conscious or unconscious level.
We may take the same route to and from our homes or have established customs for specific holidays. But perhaps what is more imperceptible is the subtlety of our beliefs. Things like:
I can’t trust anyone.
I’m never lucky.
People will judge me.
I’m not worthy.
This way of thinking is a form of addiction; a continuous, ingrained practice that we assume keeps us safe and secure but really it destroys our chances to expand our awareness and grow our potential. It’s rigid and locks us into a pattern of anticipating an outcome which leaves us at a learning deficit.
Yoga Sutra 2.8 says, “Misconception occurs when knowledge of something is not based upon its true form.” Swami Satchidananda goes on to add, “It’s not only valid knowledge that creates thought waves but erroneous impressions also.”
Which thought wave do we want to ride? The one that always takes us back to the same place? Or an experimental one that could deliver us to a new destination?