Monthly Archives: December 2009

Parallels between obesity and addiction

Obesity is sometimes rooted in addiction and should be treated with the same therapies, suggests a McMaster researcher.

The controversial theory, recently published in the Canadian Medical association Journal, is that therapies for obesity often fail because the patient’s food addiction goes untreated.

“Classifying obesity as an addiction is a strong statement and implies much more than merely a change in semantics”, states the commentary by McMaster University’s Valerie Taylor and two other York University researchers.

” It indicates that screening for addiction and binge eating should become a routine part of treatment for obesity.”

There is currently lots of clinical and scientific controversy around theories of what causes obesity, ranging from genetics, to overeating, to mental health problems and lack of exercise.

Taylor notes the parallels between obesity and other types of addiction.

There is usually a rising tolerance over time so that increased amounts are needed to reach satisfaction, similar areas of the brain are activated, withdrawal symptoms are  noted and there is a high incidence of relapse.

As soon as I read this news article, I  excitedly looked at the causes of addiction that I have been writing about on this blog as well as the New Theosophy Network site.  Does the theory put forward by myself and other theosophists, using theosophical teachings as a response  to modern day issues,  stand up to “try, test and verify” its validity?

It seems that the parallels shared by different forms of addiction are the intense feelings manifested from experiences of one or more of the following: abandonment, betrayal, sadness, loss, grief and early childhood abuse (the abuse can be emotional, physical, sexual).

Intense feelings manifest as  energy bundles which stay with the person, sitting within the personality and nervous system, waiting to be triggered. Triggers may be experiences of alienation, separation, betrayal, loneliness, grief, abusive situations, stress, etc.

New Theosophy Network describes these energy bundles as Skandas and assert that these skandas can be bought over from previous lifetimes by individuals and groups of people who manifest the same energies.

These “triggers” are unique and individual to a particular person depending on past experiences. This may be the key  to why we can’t seem to pinpoint the causes of addiction as universal.  We can only say that some experiences seem to be shared or similar in people who are prone to addiction.

The questions left to be answered are many, but I wonder about two specifically:

Many people are subject to stressfull situations in their lives, why do certain people manifest symptoms of addiction and others do not?

Has research been done that specifically relates early childhood abuse and stress to addiction?

I would welcome your response.

Alcoholism and Codependence: a holistic view

I think that the syndrome of alcoholism and codependence is a holistic thing; it isn’t about one person with an individual problem and others, being affected by unlucky chance.

If we take a “whole view” approach when observing the human being, (which for me is a theosophical approach), and if we accept the idea that life is a continuum, then we see the spirit of man moving from embodiment on earth, to afterlife states, to embodiment on earth over and over again.

Embracing that thought,  the earthly experiences of each individual create groups of energy; groups of energy are called Skandas.

To give an example here of an experience creating skandas  I could say that – I saw my father drunk, he frightened me, he walked past all of our family boundaries. The energy field created for me was fear, confusion and vulnerability associated with alcohol.

I met an older male neighbour who was alcoholic, he was friendly to me, gave me lots of hugs and move past that into inappropriate touching.  The energy field created for me was vulnerability, confusion and lack of trust which I associated with alcohol.

The individual experiences build, and the skanda/reactive energy fields within grow and intensify. They become part of how we are in the world and how we react to experiences and how we see our path in the world. They actually form the conditioning of our awareness state and condition what we see and experience. These skandic energy fields manifest in what is commonly referred to as Karma. They direct our choices in our future path.

Skandas manifest in each human being, grouping together as the child is born, and form the physical strengths and weaknesses, body and nervous system, and degree of awareness the individual is functioning within. They also have an influence on which environment and group of other individuals the individual will be born into and have to function with, at least for the first few years of life.

I would make sense then that the “addictive syndrome”, would involve not only the active alcoholic or addict but all others associated with that person, who are facilitating the karmic agenda in which the scene is set. It would also make sense that those who are associated with the alcoholic/addict are, have been or will be influenced by skandas which have coalesced to create the reality in which they are functioning in this lifetime. We need also to realize that because we are exposed to this paradigm in this lifetime ourselves, even though we may not be the acting out alcoholic/addict, we most likely have been that in the past in order to possess the skandic energy pull which has put us here. We should also be reminded that addiction can manifest in many forms, not only the example of substance addiction which I am using here.

All this to say that I view alcoholism, addictive behaviour  and codependance in a holistic way, if we are affected by it in this lifetime, in any way, we have been part of it in the past.  We have developed the reactive skandas and karmic destinies in which we are functioning.

We all need to stop placing the blame only on the individuals who are acting out and start looking within ourselves. Realizing the role that we play as codependent accomplices in the deed, we can start to do the heavy lifting, the real gut wrenching work that needs to be done to heal ourselves and in turn show the way to heal others.

A new post on New Theosophy Network

Why is it that when we are dreaming, its still in some sort of time, but not at all like the time we know when we are awake? We seem to have memories in our dreams, which give our dreams the illusion of a past.  Here is an exert of an interesting post, which I posted in New Theosophy Network.

“During this experience in time, I have the nagging feeling that I have done all this before, or it is fate? But it can’t be fate because I am making choices. I am choosing good and bad, purifying myself, striving to understand and to become an enlightened spiritual being. It can’t be fate, because if it were all laid out wouldn’t that eliminate the choices?

But those choices… do they appear to be choices? Or are they just me, running my awareness, my “jeweler’s magnifying glass”, over the already complete manifestation, and the only choice I am making is which part of it I want to see?” – newtheosophynetwork .