Food, Shopping and the Ego
"Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within."
- The Power of Now
Attachment is one of the greatest sources of our suffering, and addiction is a prevalent form of attachment. The more addicted we are, the more suffering we experience.
We are addicted to food, shopping, relationships, the internet, or any number of things, thoughts or activities. You can be addicted to anything, even love.
We are a species that suffers from addiction. Animals do not become addicted in the way that humans do. Animals also do not have egos. And this makes sense because addiction arises from ego.
Our addictions are a substitute for the loss of aliveness that results from being an ego-dominated creature. Our ego gives us an empty experience of life. We go through each day and deep down we know we are missing something.
We long desperately for something. We search and search, here and there, and the longing is never satisfied. We live and die longing for an unidentified something.
We are longing for our own presence, awareness and sense of aliveness. The experience of our own living presence is the only true source of happiness we will find in the world.
Any addictive behavior is the misdirected attempt to experience presence. This understanding is what helps us to become liberated from addiction.
Ask yourself right now, what are the addictions you suffer from?
Do they satisfy you?
Do they bring you closer to your sense of aliveness and presence or further away?