COURSE of STUDY, becoming free of addiction and attachment

Enlightenment and dependencies don't mix. In the East it is known as attachment. In the West it is addiction. It is the elaborate system of emotion and conscious mind thinking that over time becomes cellular, leaving its imprint upon the nervous system and physical body. Purification can be slow and gradual or arduous and difficult. It can be miraculous or labored. The choice is always up to the individual.

To be a whole, functioning Self is to embrace all of mind. There are three things that will interfer with your progress. One is excessive sleep. Two is drugs. Three is alcohol. We call these will busters, meaning they impair your conscious command of will thus interfering with your judgement and decision-making abilities. They handicap your reasoning. This may be more obvious with drugs and alcohol. When you are sleeping you are not consciously experiencing life. To build will power requires this.

When you begin studying metaphysics at the School of Metaphysics, it is presented to you that if you are serious about your studies you will consider how these three actions interfer with your reasoning thus partaking in any of them will retard your spiritual growth rather than enhancing it. People who are not prone to these immediately "get it". Those who are tempted by them can sometimes see it, sometimes it takes time and sometimes they never get it. They usually also discontinue study sometime in the first cycle of lessons because things just don't work out for them. It is difficult to experience meditation if you are falling asleep in the middle of your practice.

Those who desire to change will begin working with their teacher to develop a way to respond to their particular situation. Patrick Smith, the author of this piece, was an example of such a person. This is his story.

Yes, Virginia There’s Life After Prozac
by Patrick Smith

I was diagnosed back in 1982 as a manic depressive. It wasn’t something that I was born with. I didn’t ask for this to happen to me. This is something that I wouldn’t wish on even my worst enemy. The days when I could do nothing but lie on my bed, unable to get myself motivated to do something were upsetting to my family. There were days when I was ultra-happy and would go out and spend money on things I really didn’t need or want. These were the lows and highs of depression. The manic part was the extreme mood swings.

I started taking an anti-depressant prescribed by the doctor at the mental health center that I was going to. I was caught up in a life that I couldn’t see a way to get out of. I attempted suicide three times during the years I was going through therapy. I had a lot of pent-up emotions due to unresolved issues of the past. My Grandmother passed away when I was young and I refused to grieve for her. My dad had a problem with alcohol and his condition affected us all. There were other issues that affected my mind and body. I was also diagnosed as an alcoholic during this period, which didn’t help matters much. It took me three years and a failed marriage that ended in divorce before I finally decided to quit drinking.

I then went through a lot of self-discovery and determination to better myself. I started taking a Judo class and added two adult physical education classes in the fall of 1986. The exercise helped me work off a lot of anger and frustration due to my refusal to deal with some issues in my life at that time. I started taking night classes, studying anything that I could get my hands on. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life or where it was headed, but I knew that I did have a brain that still worked. By 1988, I had accumulated enough confidence in classwork to decide to go to college in order to better myself and to get a better job.

I attended classes at Ivy Tech for three years and graduated with two Associates degrees in Computer Science. Throughout all this time, I was still working with problems of depression. I kept up with my therapy and continued to look for the job that would help me get my foot in the door as a computer programmer. I was doing part-time jobs here and there and building up experience with my programming abilities. I finally found a position as a Junior Programmer at a company in the north part of Indiana. I sold my house and moved to Wabash in the fall of 1992. I continued to work on my problems through therapy as I improved on my skills as a Computer Programmer. I worked for several companies before moving to Des Moines, Iowa.

One company that I worked for was owned and operated by Japanese people. Their cultural way of doing things was quite unique, to say the least. I was able to work with them to some extent, but in the end, I was given a severance package and asked to leave. I am still not sure why. The day after I received my severance package, I started looking for another job. I first typed out a new job description for myself. I included all my wants and needs for this new job in the document. After I finished the wants and needs list, I printed out two copies. I put one in a metal bowl and set it on fire. This sent all my wants and needs out into the cosmos. The other copy I placed in my job search folder in order to review it from time to time. I then notified the recruiter who had helped me attain the previous job about my situation and asked for her help again. I flew up to Michigan and did job interviews there. I drove to some neighboring towns and cities and bought newspapers while interviewing there. I received a call from Quincy, Illinois asking me to come for an interview. I drove over and met with the head of the MIS department for Titan Wheel Corporation. I learned that the job was in Des Moines and that I would be working there. I was contacted a week later and asked if I would like to work for Titan Tire. I told the person that I would like to see where I would be working first. We agreed and I soon found my way to Des Moines and working for Titan Wheel International.

I restarted therapy sessions with a local mental health association. I continued taking an anti-depressant in order to help me cope with work and daily problems that would crop up from time to time. After I had gotten settled in to my new way of life, I began searching for alternatives to the anti-depressants that I was on. I heard about an herbal remedy that was said to alleviate the symptoms of depression that I was experiencing. Soon after that I began to take St. John’s Wort. It sounds weird, but the effects of the herb were quite amazing. So much so that I began taking both the anti-depressant and the herb at the same time. It was at this time that I began to experience a lot of dizziness and vertigo. It was very upsetting to me and I couldn’t figure out why this was happening to me.

I began to search for what I thought was the problem. I finally decided that I needed to learn how to meditate and looked in the phone book for a class in meditation. I found the School of Metaphysics and was soon attending classes there. I found the cause of the vertigo to be an increased level of serotonin brought on by taking the St. John’s Wort along with the anti-depressant. I adjusted the amount of herb to take with the anti-depressant to a lower level and my symptoms went away. I continued to attend classes at the School of Metaphysics anyway.

I remember being introduced to the book Permanent Healing by written by Dr. Daniel R. Condron. I started reading through the “Cause and Effects” portion of the book. I hadn’t read too far when I came upon the subject of depression. I started reading about it and found an answer to a question that I had had for a long time. My question was “Why is this happening to me all the time?” The answer: “All of the attention on what is not had for the self without creating goals or desires.” The remedy: “A not is no-thing. To produce something, start with what you have.” It was at that moment that I began to realize what I had been doing all my life. I was living in the past. I did NOT have a father figure when I needed one. They would NOT let me take the classes that I wanted in high school. We did NOT have all the best things in life when growing up. The more statements that I remembered using to explain away my troubles, the more I began to understand what I was doing in my life. I was living in the past. I was refusing to take control of my life because I was always focused on the past. When I realized this, I decided to start living in the present. It helped me to continue to attend the metaphysics classes.

I have learned more about me now than I have ever thought possible. I learned that living in the past held me back from becoming the person that I really wanted to be. A few short weeks later I made the decision to quit taking the anti-depressants. I went cold turkey the weekend of the “Big Red Barn” gathering, when students from all over the Midwest met at the College of Metaphysics to paint a huge horse barn on campus. I really enjoyed it and then I had Monday off because of Labor Day. I spent Monday in meditation and withdrawal from the medication. It was a day that I will never forget.

I have been off of the medicine since the end of May 1998. I have come a long way in such a short time. I am living my life in the present now. Oh sure, I still have bouts where I will remember something from the past and start getting sad or depressed about it. But then I ask myself if I am living life in the past. The answer is always no. I am living in the present. Yesterday is gone forever; tomorrow has not yet come. Today is the day that I have to work with. I can only change the mistakes that I had made yesterday and better myself today for the future. Living one day at a time is all I have and all I really need. I look forward to living in the here and now every new day that comes my way.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. It is my hope that the information presented will aid you in understanding what it is that I went through and the limits that I had put on myself. If you can begin to shrug off the memories of the past and begin to live life in the present, then you have jumped a very high hurdle, my friend. I congratulate you on your achievement. It was worth the effort.•

©2000 Vol. 18 No. 2

Patrick Smith was born and raised in a small town in Indiana. He graduated from a College/Technical school in 1991 with a G.P.A. of 3.30 overall for 3 years of work and two Associates degrees in Computer Science. He is a Computer Programmer/Analyst. He gets to play with computers all day and gets paid for it!

©2002 School of Metaphysics

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