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Is Addiction Like Religion?

Old 11-26-2008, 06:08 AM
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Cool Is Addiction Like Religion?

I am putting this here because it seems that this is the place where it will be the least likely to offend... Please don't be offended. I just want to be able to discuss this.

To me religion is not the same as Spirituality. Religion seems to be about habit and ritual and the belief that these habits have something to do with a connection to perhaps a power.

Addiction is about habit and ritual and usually there is always and never some how attached.

I have heard it said many times in AA and NA rooms that the "DOC" is the HP of the addict. What do ya'll think about this...
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:12 AM
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I guess i see religion as the form, the myths, the oral traditions that arise around spirituality. When that overtakes the ginuine expereince and you are attached to the form for the forms sake in and of it's self...it is probably not so great a thing

But many religions have people of great spirituality who simply use a specific form....and some people don't have a religion form but develope their own. guess we usually fit things into a form (lol)

As for is addiction like religion???? I'll have to think on that althuogh rituals exist in most human activity and there are lots of powers greater than my own in givin situations....

just my thoughts...and thanks for posting
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:39 AM
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Regarding 12-Step groups, I often find the religion/spirituality dichotomy to be a contrived 'bait & switch'.

I don't think addiction is like religion, but people certainly do seem to get addicted to religion.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:20 AM
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I've certainly been addicted to a religious group and it's practices. A yoga sect. To the detriment of my emotional health and wellbeing, in terms of my particular needs. I'm not saying yoga or religion is a bad thing, but in the wrong hands [of the addict as well as the group/leaders] it can do a lot of damage.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:24 AM
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Maybe it is like alchohol and drugs in that you CAN be addicted to religion, but not everyone is???? hummmmmm
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:49 AM
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does anyone feel that there is ritual involved in addiction? I am not talking about placing people on alters or anything like that. Ritual: is a set of actions, often thought to have symbolic value.

When I drank I had some rituals that I followed as in going to the local bars "happy hour" on the days that they had specials on the liquor I liked to drink. It was kinda like going to church in fact many of the people I used to drink with referred to the bar as church.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:23 PM
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This is an interesting question Splendra, thanks! I dont know much about religion or spirituality but I can see your point about rituals. I always had a ritual when drinking, or I should say, the process of buying the booze, drinking it and passing out was always the same. When I moved to a new place, the ritual might change some, but it would be the same everyday: work, go to liquor store, go home, drink and dissolve into my own little world where I was comfortable. Next day, repeat. Although I guess it could also be called my routine, ritual and routine practically mean the same thing to me, its just that ritual is a routine involving religious practices I would say.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ananda View Post
I guess i see religion as the form, the myths, the oral traditions that arise around spirituality. When that overtakes the ginuine expereince and you are attached to the form for the forms sake in and of it's self...it is probably not so great a thing
Thank you! nice and concise Anan.
Originally Posted by splendra View Post
does anyone feel that there is ritual involved in addiction? I am not talking about placing people on alters or anything like that. Ritual: is a set of actions, often thought to have symbolic value.
There were some rituals in my drug use although for me they there were irregular as for time and day. The whole copping and using dope is very ritualistic. A real defined pattern of behaviors and emotions are involved. And once habituated the patterns seemed played out automatically mentally/emotional with or without dope, especially when constantly triggered by internal or external cues. I could describe being high as quasi-spiritual. The transit feeling of security, empowerment, connection and all the other feelings one gets from a spiritual practice are mostly there for me. Yea until the crash, then there's the return of suffering with severe addiction.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:35 PM
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Religion:something one believes in and follows devotedly

I believed I would have another drink and I was very devoted to finding a way to get drunk.Alcohol was my god...
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:55 PM
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Yep...my drug use was much more ritualistic....We called one guy the "bong master" cause he loaded up the pipes. We had set music and all kinds of sutble stuff...and yeah that feeling of you and me against the world...i see alot of similarity.

I'm pretty big on that spirituality doesn't really have anything to do with emotions though...spirituality is something that exsists or doesn't i guess regardless of how i feel in any particular moment...mistaking emotionalism for sprituality was a big mistake of mine at one point
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ananda View Post
I'm pretty big on that spirituality doesn't really have anything to do with emotions though...spirituality is something that exsists or doesn't i guess regardless of how i feel in any particular moment...mistaking emotionalism for sprituality was a big mistake of mine at one point
I can see that

What I strive for in my spiritual practice is a experience of connectedness to 'the whole deal' and that can bring forth emotions in me like; hope, calm, peace, content,... The experience itself seems like a state of 'being' rather than a state of depending. Regardless of my emotionally state, my spiritual experience remains independent of my feelings and not depending on how I feel.
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Old 11-27-2008, 03:54 AM
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I don't know if addiction is a religion, but if you subscribe to the idea that your god is whatever you put first in your life, it probably is. Like Splendra, alcohol was my god. I do know that recovery becomes a religion to many. Real life Stuart Smalleys whose manner of speaking is recovery speak, social circles are centred around other people in their recovery group and points of reference all go back their addiction. It kind of creeps me out.
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Old 11-27-2008, 05:26 AM
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For me my addiction to alcohol became my jailer...my captor of sorts, never my higher power...to tell the truth I have a hard time understanding the ideology surrounding all the talk of HP's...what they are and what they are willing to do. I prefer to stick with the religion of my childhood...as such much of the information given out at meetings goes against my beliefs. No worries however since a belief in God is not necessary to obtain and maintain sobriety.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:55 AM
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I never could understand the difference between the two. Oh well. Sucks being stupid.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:50 AM
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To me religion is not the same as faith. Religion is a routine and a set of practices such as celebrating holidays in a certain way with perhaps certain people.

I like to write articles and this thread inspired me to submit an article that I wrote at ezine

please feel free to read it and make comments here or on the articles page.

Religion of Addiction
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:47 AM
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I define religion the way cultural anthropologists do...

"Belief in the supernatural..."

That seems to include most forms of spirituality...
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:52 PM
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Is Addiction Like Religion?
Fair question, but it would take a bit of mind stretching in order for me to answer yes.

I am more inclined to agree with the belief that religion can become an addiction.

I have personally seen religious addiction (fanataticism/cultism) ruin lives and families.

Religion evolved out of fear and out of mankinds need to explain the world in which he lived.

The worlds great religions cater to our needs to feel loved and that we are never alone, that there is a great 'Father" watching over us and holding us in embrace but just like the drug addict can take perfectly useful drugs and abuse it beyond extreme, so too the religious zealot can abuse basic spiritual needs and warp lives.

All religions have one thing in common. Faith.The faith that what we believe, is true.

There is nothing wrong with this if our Faith helps us to become better persons.
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:56 AM
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I think religion and addiction are very similar, they have both become habitual routines that people follow, most of them don't quite know why and to understand it you need to take a step back.
They both have a set of beliefs that people unquestioningly accept:
"god exists: I need to drink"
"I will go to heaven: I am worthless"
People accept these things because they have been made to think like this, religion is force fed to us all our lives and it can be hard to turn away from it, I am a confirmed atheist and have been all my life but I still find myself making references to the bible or christiaity without realising it. For addicts, they're treated in certain ways that create certain feelings, or they engage in behaviour that creates or maintains feelings and it just becomes like second nature in the same way religion does.

Both religion and addiction are ways to cope with the World, we go to church and believe in god because we want to hope there is something better out there, or we need help with our situation, or we can hide behind it and pretend everything is ok. No-one is physically addicted to religion but I know peple who are psychologically addicted to it and their lives can be in the same state as substance abusers. Of course there are people who aren't addicted but there are also people who use drugs and alcohol and aren't addicted.
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:18 AM
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Umm. not really.

I don't think anyone would argue that people who go to Church everyday are under the same "spell" as drugs, and they sure as hell wont go through withdrawal for missing Church.

I think anytime you put your faith into something all the way without questioning the outcomes, to the point that its intefering in all areas of your life or causing you to harm other people, those sets of beliefs need to be questioned. So, in a sense, a violent fundamentalist might be closer to an "addict"... but someone who chooses to be part of a religion is no way more "blind" then someone who believes in capitalism or any other large scale social organizing.

Addiction is harmful, but someone who is super religious can still lead a healthy meaningful life.
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Old 12-24-2008, 08:59 AM
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religious folks scare me
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