helping or killing, or going round in circles....

paul harvey pauljackamo at
Tue Jul 30 21:58:04 EDT 2002

>In a message dated 7/29/2002 6:50:49 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
>AndriaEM at writes:
> > Breeding addicts: as far as I am aware Brett, there is no gene that
> >
> >
> > hold on there, are you really certain theres no `gene` or anything that
> > addicts pass to their children?? I know an awful lot of families of
> > smack-heads.
> >
> >                    regards,  larryt.

the ease at which we many of us invoke the "explanatory" principle, when 
faced with such a multi-dimensional and complex process as addiction, is 
we seek answers that soothe: addiction has a genetic root /addiction is an 
effect of macro socio-economic forces/ addiction is a result of low
self-esteem and childhood imprint vulnerability ...pick a card, any card...
its seems to be a throw back to the illusion that we somehow inhabit a 
clockwork universe of cause and effect, a newtonian-cartesian space that 
contains all the answers,(if only we knew how to ask the right questions...)
addiction, like the universe itself has at its heart a deeply irrational 
streak - ask any former or current addict.
i doubt if there is a "hidden variable" of addiction, a single cause that 
will magically "explain" the totality of process and phenomena
that label itself addiction.
most physicists have given up the grand narrative of a unified field theory 
of the universe that will explain everything. likewise, its
a pointless exercise debating the tired nature/nuture dichotomy of 
its perhaps more helpful to understand addiction as a process where cause 
and effect are of a quantum nature : a causes b causes c, but also b causes 
a causes c....
yes it is genetic,but also cultural,also psychological, also 
is all these things and more..and each is both a cause and effect of the 
the more interesting question is why we seek these answers in the first 
place...its easier to negate any responsibility for who we are, right here, 
right now..if we can somehow explain and justify our thoughts,
feelings and actions with reference to some external causal agent : our 
genes, our parents, society, the man who reads the news, is to blame for our 
addicted states of being...
where does it leave us, IF and WHEN we choose to seek freedom beyond
physical addiction and dependancy if we can say "yeah, i failed, but it 
wasn't my fault, it was...(insert your object of blame), it wasn't me".
knowing WHY some of us became addicts is less important than knowing
HOW to live without the monkey on your back...knowing that a "gene" was 
responsible for me living on the streets,begging outside the tubestations in 
london to support a heavy opiate habit would not have made the slightest 
difference to my state of mind or behaviour at the time.
knowing however, that there was a way out, a doorway beyond my present self 
at the time, did make a difference, for me that difference was ibogaine, but 
anything that allows you to look beyond your present state of being, that 
doesn't trap you in repeating closed loops of thought, feeling and action is 
worth it and ultimately, seeking a single cause that explains the totality 
of who you were, who you are and who you will be is not the answer, however 
seductive it seems at the time.
having said that, if it is genetic, will we get gene therapy to cure us of 
our addictions, behavioural pathologies and those weird thoughts i often 
have ;)


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