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The Opiate Culture

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posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 04:14 PM
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Having experienced two severe injuries in my life, and having developed chronic pain syndromes as a result, I am all too familiar with how our society perceives and attempts to alleviate these conditions. The first incident, a head injury in my childhood, left me in a morphine induced coma for three days. I was subsequently weaned off morphine and have suffered throughout my life from TMJ, tinitus, and headaches. The second set of incidents, a car accident, complications from surgery, and a work injury, have left me barely able to walk, and with nearly constant low back and leg pain. I developed an opiate dependence again, but was somehow able to get myself off all the heavy drugs. They didn't cure my injury, they just masked the pain somewhat. I feel that if I am ever to heal and recover, I need to be able to feel what is going on. Withdrawal from this last opiate dependence brought about an awareness in me of the opiate culture, and how we as a society go about avoiding pain and misery. I believe there is a deeper truth behind our search for relief from pain.
 


In regard to the truth, and my own never ceasing search for, and ever growing understanding of it, I had a profound realization (for me) this morning.

I have really struggled with feelings of resentment, bordering on hate, for the opiate culture, those engaged in it, and its prevalence in our society today. This has been very troubling for me, in that I am committed to seeking peace and understanding, and these feelings have been standing in the way of that.

What I realized this morning was hating opiates, the culture, and those engaged in it, is like hating the womb for providing a painful birth. It is a fact of life, like original sin, and must be accepted, and put in its proper place. Just as passing through the womb is a necessary component of physical life, I believe passing through opiate dependence is a necessary component of spiritual life.

Don Miguel Ruiz, in "The Four Agreements", postulates that, in addition, some sort of NDE is necessary to the complete development of spiritual awareness, as well. I equate an NDE to a kind of spiritual rebirth, a gaining of access to intrinsic knowledge.

www.miguelruiz.com...

I struggled with the concept, in scripture, of Mary, carrying the Incarnate Word within her, going to Elizabeth in her time of need, and sanctifying John the Baptist in the womb. John turns around, and prior to the baptism of Christ, hails him as "the (sacrificial) Lamb of God." After his baptism, Christ is led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days. Again, I ask, what was in that water John was using, and why did Mary show fealty to Elizabeth, and why was John sanctified in the womb?

Its all a metaphor, an allegory even, for the path to spiritual growth and enlightenment.

In the Third Luminous Mystery, "The Proclamation of the Kingdom", Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, "Unless a man be born again of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." He also proclaims, "Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it."

To me, that says, unless you pass through (be born again of) opiate dependence, and have an NDE (spiritual rebirth), you won't gain the intrinsic understanding of the meaning of life that we all seek. Also, attempting to manipulate such knowledge for any reason attached to personal gain or subversive motives will result in revocation of privileges.

Hating opiate dependence is like hating the womb for providing a painful birth. It doesn't make sense.

Now the problem, for me, remains all those people on the other side of (still caught up in) opiate dependence. They are, so far, being denied their opportunity to experience the necessary spiritual growth that will allow them to gain intrinsic understanding of the meaning of life. This is where evil, and artifice, enters the picture. Opiates are portrayed today as the end all and be all of pain relief and comfort, when, in my reality, they are but an important stop on the road, the shorter the better, to true enlightenment and spiritual freedom.

The womb is full, and the due date for delivery is long past. The longer the delay, the more painful the delivery will be.

Anybody still with me here?


[edit on 14-2-2006 by DJDOHBOY]




posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 08:19 AM
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I slammed my face on the highschool gym floor at age 15. I was perscribed Percocet for the pain. I remember taking an extra one because I liked the effect. I was in class got up went to the bathroom and threw up. I remember being ok with the fact that I puked and went back to the classroom and went about my day.
34 yrs later,with many stories,some funny, some scary, some tragic, I find myself clean.. I am still in a state of shock, wonder, fear, optimism, anger, resentment, pain, hopefuleness, happyness.........
I have been clean before so I know, somewhat, what to expect.
I agree with the idea of spiritual rebirth and I am looking forward to my journey day by day. This "dis..ease" killed some of my best friends, many of whom were in recovery and 'relapsed." I consider myself very fortunate and I do not take anything for granted. Thank you for your honesty. Tom

[edit on 14-3-2006 by tommyb98201]

[edit on 14-3-2006 by tommyb98201]



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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Icarus,

Can I ask you a couple of questions..... Where abouts was the injury on the head (ie left or right, crown, chin, back, near eyes).

Also..... do you fear the future...seeing it as possibly painful (is the pain in both legs or mainly one?), and do you have family or a friend support system....if you do, do you feel as if it doesn"t exist? Also, did you fear your financial status....or future financial status?

I"d be interested to know this actually....and then perhaps a possibly solution for you.

Kind Regards
Merger



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

tommyb98201,

Good to hear you are in the here and now. Stick with it, there is no better place to be.

Merger,

I was struck in the left side of my face by the backswing of an axe the summer I turned seven, from chin to temple, across cheek and ear. I basically walked into the blow. It, was, after all, my turn to chop. I stepped forward, making the errant decision that my brother wasn't going to take another swing. Some mistakes are more costly than others. My right arm, and to a lesser extent, my left leg were affected, though I didn't suffer any permanent paralysis at the time.

The current problem with my legs is a result of my work injury, a torn L5/S1 disk, scar tissue, and nerve damage. Both legs are affected, starting with the lower front (opposing the calf) of my left leg, and the bottom of my right foot. Mostly I have numbness and tingling in my legs and lots of low back pain and spasms. If I try to do any sort of walking or any other extended activty, the numbness turns to burning and the pain and spasms become convulsive, jack-knife ordeals. I'm still working on getting healed, retrained and back to work.

I have a good family and friend support network. If it wasn't for them, and my faith in the Lord, I'd be a goner for sure. I don't worry or have fears about me so much as being there for my son and providing for him and his needs. He will be seven this summer and I want to make sure he stays safe and sound.

My financial status is a disaster due to the manipulations of the CA work comp system and its efforts to ignore the extent of my injury and interfere with and delay the provision of my benefits. That is the one battle I have taken a real beating in, and it continues today.

Thanks for your interest. I'd appreciate your advice and suggestions.



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 11:29 AM
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The need to provide for you son.........is it a fear issue if you 'cannot' provide for him? do you actually think about it often that is.....

Ok I will let you know what I know about this sort of thing...from personal experience and actual research.

Any physical damage to the body is a result of the experience needed, whether accidental, self inflicted or done by someone else..... its a result of part of the mind that causes the need to experience it....even illnesses such as cancer

For example, the right foot problem is an indication of 'problems' with stepping into the future with regards to a male figure..... from reading your post, perhaps your son... a fear (in the future) for not being able to provide for him....

The left leg...is a result with an issue with a female figure... the calf i don't know exactly what it represents..but knees are results of flexibility in the future.... flexbility in elbows, wrists represent different time frames.

Back issues are to do with your support structure around you...lower back specifically has to do with financial support....has it increased since being off work?

I want you to try something when the pain actually hits you....... visualise ice blue around the area that is painful...in and around the area.. the pain should ease enough...maybe even dissapear altogether...

Basically what this means that you need to change the thought process of issues surrounding your life.... it will fix the physical problems automatically, but also TLC to the physical problems helps as well....

For example one of my experiences....... my wife was going away for 2 months to look after her mother...that very day she was leaving, I pinched a nerve in my left shoulder making my whole left arm numb....... Basically I was numb about the fact that she was going away..... the issue dissapeared the next day when I changed the feeling of being numb about her leaving and actually accepting it....

Another example was an accident when I was hit by a car and broke my left leg..... around that time, I was having issues with my mother, as I was afraid about the future of our family as she had decided to come and live in Australia leaving my country of birth...

I currently have diabetes.. this is due to seeing the 'sweetness' in life, but not being able to get any of it.. ie pancreas not producing enough insulin..... the issue still remains because I still want more out of life than i'm currently getting.... so a long tedious process for this one...

Anyway, I hope this helps you, and keep up your faith in the lord, it does wonders


Kind Regards
Merger



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 03:29 PM
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I have done some reading about chakras and how they function recently, and I find it fascinating how the physical body interacts with other dimensions and energy levels. I am certainly concerned about being able to provide for my son's financial future right now, but very little rises to the level of fear.

I do my best to channel energy constructively and balance out the forces affecting all facets of my being.



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising

What I realized this morning was hating opiates, the culture, and those engaged in it, is like hating the womb for providing a painful birth. It is a fact of life, like original sin, and must be accepted, and put in its proper place. Just as passing through the womb is a necessary component of physical life, I believe passing through opiate dependence is a necessary component of spiritual life.....
....To me, that says, unless you pass through (be born again of) opiate dependence, and have an NDE (spiritual rebirth), you won't gain the intrinsic understanding of the meaning of life that we all seek. Also, attempting to manipulate such knowledge for any reason attached to personal gain or subversive motives will result in revocation of privileges.

Are you saying we should all become opium smokers and inject heroin for months to become dependant and then take a near lethal dose to get a NDE? Then we should all kick the habit and we will become better people for it. I think not mate!


G



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 09:29 PM
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shihulud, thats a bit harsh....... from what I think he was saying that his willing/unwilling participant of being dependant gave him new insight when coming off it...... Such as the revelations many experience from coming off other such drugs, illegal or not...ie alcoholics.... when they stop drinking, it leaves a huge impact of success and self worth, and an insight that they spiritually have grown (even though they most likely won't use those words exactly)...

Or even smokers of cigarettes...when they quit they are overjoyed with their ability of sheer willpower to stop...

And heroin is going to an extreme...how about things like codeine (prescription), pethadine (injected into mothers in labour for ease of pain) and other such opiates.....many become dependant on opiates because it eases pain...and unfortunately the constant use makes it more addictive and makes it harder to get off......

And even though he refers to opiates, i also see the resemblence in someone who has nearly died from an accident, or even had a near death experience (seeing the white light etc..)...their recovery gives them a whole new perspective in life and live every day to the fullest....(some with the reason with what if it were their last)

So I don't think he was trying to say you should go out and do that.....but from my gut instinct, he may be saying that if there is any form of existing addiction of any sort, or near death experience, that you will recognise the value of overcoming it, and seeing life in a new light.

Kind Regards
Merger



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 09:52 PM
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It does sound kind of funny taken out of context like that. There are many legal prescription opiates like vicodin and oxycontin that contribute greatly to the dependency problem. Heroin is the extreme, and I don't advocate any kind of illegal drug use.

NDE's are something I brought into this discussion completely separate from the opiate culture, and though overdosing on heroin is one way to have a NDE, or just outright die if you don't get the proper medical attention right away, that's not something I advocate, nor is it something I recommended in my original op/ed.

Most seek their 'vision state', short of some contrived NDE that endangers their life, through fasting and meditation. Others, through accident, illness, or exposure may come to the brink of life and experience a true NDE. It isn''t something I would seek actively, but I've heard it does put things in perspective for you. The key, I think, is to find and take the wisdom from all your experiences through life, and apply it to the decisions you make now and going forward.



posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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Just wanted to post this; maybe useful, maybe a connection.

www.cliftonunitarian.com...



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 09:28 AM
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Really interesting reading and perspective there.



To say religion is the heart of a heartless world and the soul of a soulless world is to say religion is without both heart and soul, it is merely a pain killer. If we are to truly transcend and transform the meaning of our suffering, we must abandon our highly addictive pain killer, religion. We must become willing to feel our pain again that we might understand it and do something meaningful with it that we might end it for ourselves and others. We must no longer remain complacent in the suffering around us through the restraints placed us by religions seeking to prevent us from moving beyond those beliefs and values that are no longer working for us, tying us down to the worn out ways of dead ancestors even though they have become meaningless.


The danger of religion to the masses lies in the exploitation aspect. Religions are run by people, no matter what God they are dedicated to, or how they go about the dedication. People tend to take advantage of other people, especially when put in positions of authority. Morals are lost to political and financial expediency, and we end up with the following scenario.



we see a distinction between what Thorstein Veblen would come to call the leisure or predatory class and the industrious or working class. The great irony in this situation is the masses are compelled through their own sense of religious obligation to give much, if not most of what they produce, to the predatory class which usually represents the smallest percentage of society. And, rather than fairly redistributing the wealth they obtain through such exploitation, the ruling elite all too often hoard it for themselves in order to maintain their leisurely and luxurious lives.


The same can be said of national governments that become corrupted by the power vested in them by the people they are elected to serve, not to be served by.

Religion in its purest form, imo, is the individual's personal relationship to the spiritual aspects of life. The danger lies in allowing this relationship to be directed and determined by others for motives contrary to the innate morality and inner compass of right and wrong that we all possess. That's what creates confusion and conflict, especially when the state attempts to co-opt religion to justify its own policies and mandates.

At this point religion stops being the opiate of the masses, if it ever was, and comes into direct conflict with the spiritual aspects of life, and it is this religion, this anti-religion that we must abandon, and once again embrace the innate morality and inner compass.

When a religion allows, even encourages, unnecessary suffering of the innocent, and ignorance or rationalization of that suffering, then it is that religion that must be abandoned, for it is a false path.

Religion is not a pain-killer, it is a pain-justifier.

Today, opium is the opiate of the masses, the predatory class has seen to that.



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by Merger
shihulud, thats a bit harsh....... from what I think he was saying that his willing/unwilling participant of being dependant gave him new insight when coming off it...... Such as the revelations many experience from coming off other such drugs, illegal or not...ie alcoholics.... when they stop drinking, it leaves a huge impact of success and self worth, and an insight that they spiritually have grown (even though they most likely won't use those words exactly)......So I don't think he was trying to say you should go out and do that.....but from my gut instinct, he may be saying that if there is any form of existing addiction of any sort, or near death experience, that you will recognise the value of overcoming it, and seeing life in a new light.

Kind Regards
Merger
Yes I suppose I was a bit harsh in my tone (I apologise) but it just shows that its so very easy to be 'out contexted' (if thats a phrase). I knew what Icarus was getting at as I myself have been taking opiate prescriptions for pain for many years and have only just came off totally.
Now, I like where this post has taken us, to the view that spirituality and religion are within ourselves and NOT within an organised herd of sheep with a few main shepherds running the grasslands, for want of a better analogy.

Originally posted by Icarus Rising
Most seek their 'vision state', short of some contrived NDE that endangers their life, through fasting and meditation. Others, through accident, illness, or exposure may come to the brink of life and experience a true NDE. It isn''t something I would seek actively, but I've heard it does put things in perspective for you. The key, I think, is to find and take the wisdom from all your experiences through life, and apply it to the decisions you make now and going forward

I am in total agreement with this statement, although I would have to add here about the spiritual and life changing experiences you can have through good drug experience i.e using hallucinogens for example or other mind altering/disassociative drugs. Drug use isn't all that bad but only when used in the correct manner i.e shamanism etc. I would just like to add that I dont condone the illegal use of drugs but I see their use in society and the further benefit they could have in the future


G




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