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Everyone’s Addicted To Each Other

October 6, 2010

A couple years ago, I discovered a very important insight: that addiction isn’t just limited to drugs, sex, and multimedia. We can get addicted to just about anything. One such addiction that goes unnoticed, because it’s considered a good thing, is social addiction. We are chronically addicted to each other!

I actually have wanted to write about this for a while, but I wanted to inspect the situation to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. Maybe addiction isn’t as simple dependency issues. But as I strive towards the lofty goal of perfection, I realize ever so much that the only difference between what is considered “addiction” and what is considered “necessity” is that necessity is deemed by society to be socially acceptable, and therefore not an addiction. In other words, addictions are needs considered to be unnecessary for daily life, and the dependence of which is detrimental to a person’s well being.

There is a key word in the last paragraph: socially. Notice the connection between “social” and “society”. Did you realize something, as I did? The key point here, is that because society itself decides what addiction is, society itself cannot be addicting, as that would be an ad hominem attack on society, one that would render society invalid as a standard for judging what addictiveness is in the first place. As a result, if society is the standard, we cannot be addicted to each other, as that would make society (institutions that rely on social dependence and solidarity) an addiction.

In truth, however, we are addicted to each other. Why? Because we don’t actually need each other to survive. Perhaps in the caveman days, and even perhaps in the early 20th century. But not anymore. I’m not saying that social dependence is holding us back. I’m saying that too much social dependence is a bad thing. The level of social integration and dependence in the world is dangerously high, and threatens to render the very concept of identity obsolete.

Perhaps it depends on the way you look at it. From a collectivist perspective, social solidarity is a good thing. It eliminates war, crime, and social corruption. Serial killers, for example, are loners. If we are all conditioned to be socially involved, the travesties of individual crime (which accounts for the majority of all crime nowadays) would dissipate, and eventually cease altogether. But in a socialist culture, there is also more suicide. Take Japan for example– one of the lowest, crime, divorce, and corruption rates in the world, and the greatest level of cultural unity and loyalty of any nation, and yet it has the highest suicide rate in the civilized world; arguably it has the highest suicide rate because of the aforementioned attributes. Apparently everything has a price, with the price of Japan’s peace a deadly melancholy, suppressed by a socialist culture.

Because there is a price for everything, there can always be too much of a good thing; in a world where karma holds the world captive, Balance will bring the greatest happiness to the world; this is my belief. Addiction, in my opinion, occurs whenever a person needs more of something then they can provide of its opposite. By needing more than you can pay the price for, you will end up paying the price in some other form, and ultimately in the form of suffering. In other words, to love each other, we must hate each other equally; being unable to do so, we end up projecting that price onto others, or else suffering some paradoxical end-product of the Hedgehog’s dilemma. Because our dependence on each other cannot be logically sustained, we pay the price with denial, projection, misunderstandings, confusion, deception, enmity, malice, and a host of other social corruptions. Though we might fight against it, there is a price for everything, a price that we will pay one way or another.

Our addiction to each other is likely the most deadly addiction at all, because it is a price which we are conditioned by society to live in denial of, and yet the addiction which produces the most severe consequences of all. From our social cravings we have even created God, in who’s name we have killed countless of our own kind; while many have been killed or tortured by loners and social rejects, the vast majority of murder, suffering, corruption, and torture has been done by the socially dependent. While individualism might pose a threat to society, is it society that, as an addictive force, should be truly feared.

Now that I’ve said all that, time for a little diffusing:

First and foremost, I don’t believe in addiction! Yes, I acknowledge that addiction exists, and that many (I would say most) people are addicted, and almost everyone is addicted to each other. But I also believe that addiction only exists for those who believe in it. I may acknowledge addiction as a psychological force, and accept its effect on people, but I also recognize that addiction is ultimately just an illusion. An illusion that is made real by the people who believe in it. An illusion that hurts people because they believe, and an illusion that holds the world captive because they are so (ironically) dependent on its existence. An illusion that I don’t believe in.

I don’t believe in addiction, and am not affected by it. I cannot be addicted to anything, nor can I do anyone. An unfortunate byproduct of this is that I cannot develop a psychological bond, the biological evidence of a strong relationship. I’m pretty good at pretending to have one though, and even without one I am highly capable of healthy relationships. It’s probably this anomaly in my own life that has helped me to realize how unnecessary and ultimately detrimental that social addiction is. By not believing in addiction, and in doing so making myself immune to its negative effects, I have been permitted a profoundly insightful understanding of just how much freer, how so more more pure and perfect that a life without social dependence really is.

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