Week Eight Topic: Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictions
In this topic, Belsebuub explains how drugs, alcohol abuse, and addictions adversely effect spiritual development. He describes their impact as follows:
To progress spiritually and psychologically it’s important not to take consciousness-altering drugs or to abuse alcohol. These make it much more difficult to do this work and can even destroy it.
They alter the physical body, particularly the brain, which in turn affects the way that the consciousness can use the physical body.
The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol
Belsebuub states that we are multidimensional, explaining that the different dimensions influence each other. Our thoughts, emotions, and consciousness are in other dimensions, he writes, but they need the physical body to manifest here. Taking drugs affects how thoughts, emotions, and consciousness are able to manifest in the physical body.
Belsebuub writes that not only do drugs hinder this connection between the psyche and the physical body, but that the body itself is also adversely affected. He gives a number examples, including how ecstasy disrupts serotonin levels, how diseases can be spread through sharing needles, the impacts of drug overdose, and so on.
Belsebuub writes about how the vital body, which gives the aura, can become weakened by drug use, and explains how drugs can harm the astral body leading to a negative effect on emotions and dreams. The mental body he states is also affected by drug use which brings about mental imbalance and a scattered mind.
Although drugs may produce pleasurable feelings and even supposedly heavenly visions, Belsebuub writes that these come from inferior dimensions and are not truly spiritual.
Belsebuub explains that the effects of alcohol abuse are similar to those of other drugs, however he also writes that alcohol can be consumed in moderation without being too detrimental, for example a glass of wine with a meal. Likewise, mild drugs like caffeine he states do not have the same effect on the body and psyche as consciousness altering ones.
Addictions come in many forms, Belsebuub states, and ultimately need to be overcome in order to awaken spiritually. He says:
Addictions can be the ways in which the egos destroy a person, taking them to levels sometimes worse than animals. When the raw tendencies of those compulsive egos appear, the person’s capacity of judgement and reason do not work properly, the compulsion to fulfil the ego’s cravings and desires dominate. It is in those circumstances that one realises the power of destruction that the egos have; they can take a person to levels of despair in order to fulfil their cravings.
Belsebuub goes on to describe several common types of addictions in terms of their effect on spiritual development.
Addiction to gambling
This addiction can be fed through the pleasure of excitement and the possibility of winning money, rather than just through hopes of winning money in itself, Belsebuub writes. He states there can be justifications and excuses for the egos that want to gamble, such as telling oneself that if money is won it will be given to the poor or used to provide for one’s family. He states these justifications can be covering up the true causes of gambling which are the underlying egos.
Addiction to computers and television
Belsebuub states that computers and television as a pastime in themselves potentially cause no harm, but that there are a wide variety of television programs and computer games that have different psychological effects. Computer games, he writes for example, can be as addictive as gambling and yet can be disguised as a widely accepted entertainment with little perceived harm. Belsebuub writes:
While playing a game in the computer some forget to eat and forget about time. They can easily spend a whole day and part of the night playing. Not only that, when someone is compulsively playing games in the computer, they have little interest in other activities and distractions, if someone tries to interrupt they become very sensitive and very defensive about it.
Belsebuub writes about television as also being potentially addictive, but explains that it can be a helpful medium for getting access to useful information depending on what programs are watched. He states that some programs however, can be very harmful psychologically, for example those with violence and lust. Belsebuub writes that television can also have the effect of making people more passive as they become more used to watching rather than participating in events.
Addiction to foods
Belsebuub goes on to describe different addictions related to food, such as overeating, eating foods that are harmful, and eating very little or not at all.
Not only can egos related to food cause serious damage or even death, he writes, but a vicious circle of craving food, getting pleasure from comfort eating, feeling bad and craving food again, can lead to the egos getting stronger and put someone into a spiral downwards.
Dealing with Addictions
Addictions and compulsive behavior can be overcome, Belsebuub writes, explaining that this is important for spiritual change, as addictions are like chains that bind us. He says:
It is important to recognise whether you have any addictions and then take the steps to deal with them, you are going to be happier for it in the long term, even though it requires a period of sometimes extremely difficult withdrawal.
In this chapter, Belsebuub mentions compulsive behavior like turning on a light three times instead of once, doing things unnecessarily in a certain order, not walking on pavement lines, and so on. He states the source of these are egos which can be observed and removed.
He also writes that addictions and compulsive behavior related to lust can be the most harmful, “since sexual energies are the most powerful in the human psyche.”5
Ultimately it’s self-observation and elimination of the egos that can free us from addictions, Belsebuub writes, and that the harmful behavior they cause can be replaced with something superior:
Observation and the elimination of the egos involved will get rid of addictions, this must go hand in hand with replacing the addictive activity with something superior. The best way is for someone to dedicate themselves to their spiritual development and to spend time and effort on that.
Week Eight Exercise: Retrospection
For the week eight exercise, Belsebuub explains the technique of Retrospection:
This is a technique to look back over the egos that have appeared during the day and to see how they have caused you to act. It basically involves a retrospective exercise, just like the one to remember dreams, except that instead of remembering dreams when you wake up in the morning, at the end of the day you look back over what has happened during the day.
Belsebuub says that in addition to self-observation throughout the day, this technique allows someone to learn more about egos and harmful actions that may have been present. He writes that it can also be possible to see the repetition of actions or inner states particularly if the exercise is done every day.
To do the technique, Belsebuub writes about sitting or lying down at the end of the day and looking back over the day like a movie, in a detached serene way. He states this can be done by starting at the beginning of the day and going forward, or starting from the present time and going backward.
Week Eight Questions and Answers