Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Does drinking reveal or change the real you?

All over the news has been what could be considered a minor incident—a major Hollywood power player arrested for DUI. But what makes this a bigger story is his apparent inflammatory, bigoted remarks made to the arresting officer while under the influence.

So my question is: Does drinking reveal what's really within, or does it change you into something you're not?

My recent strugglings with someone close to me who smoked always made me feel that the nicotine changed the person into someone they weren't. There was an actual personality change into someone less patient, more hateful, more angry. There was a definite lack of empathy as well, an inability to see how they were hurting others even as they hurt themselves.

Another friend of mine who is trying to stop smoking weed told me lately that they can tell that the weed changes them—makes them more "mellow," as they said, and they fear they're losing their ability to be sharp.

I've observed in many instances when people have imbibed only a little alcohol, they begin to do things they never intended to do nor even remember doing. Some friends of mine get slightly more irritable, and they show that irritability to their children, even after only one glass of wine. Another acquaintance lost inhibitions after a few beers only to have a brief affair with a friend they actually had no romantic interest in, with disastrous results.

But these are all my friends. They are good people, loving people, responsible people. I cannot believe that the behavior that surfaced when they were under the influence was really them after all. My spiritual sense rebels at this notion.

My conclusion then is that the outside influences, the chemicals, the stimulants or depressants, are an overlay, a sham, a counterfeit. They fool even the users into believing something untrue about themselves. What each user needs is the support of clear spiritual thinking that says, "I know this is *not* who you are. I know you are good and whole and worthy. The drug is the liar; you are still a child of God."

Interestingly, the weed user was of enormous help to me when I was trying to help the smoker. They said to me, about the smoker, "It doesn't change who they really are. They are still God's child." This was the first thing someone said to me that really calmed me down.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all the world stop drinking, smoking, doing drugs. I wish it were that simple. But what I can do is see through the haze as best I can to the real man. The creation of Spirit, upright, free, strong, joyous. No matter what, that's who we really are.

The depraved appetite for alcoholic drinks, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, is destroyed only by Mind's mastery of the body. This normal control is gained through divine strength and understanding. There is no enjoyment in getting drunk, in becoming a fool or an object of loathing; but there is a very sharp remembrance of it, a suffering inconceivably terrible to man's self-respect. Puffing the obnoxious fumes of tobacco, or chewing a leaf naturally attractive to no creature except a loathsome worm, is at least disgusting.

Man's enslavement to the most relentless masters — passion, selfishness, envy, hatred, and revenge — is conquered only by a mighty struggle. Every hour of delay makes the struggle more severe. If man is not victorious over the passions, they crush out happiness, health, and manhood. Here Christian Science is the sovereign panacea, giving strength to the weakness of mortal mind, — strength from the immortal and omnipotent Mind, — and lifting humanity above itself into purer desires, even into spiritual power and good-will to man.

--Science and Health

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At 8/01/2006 08:17:00 AM, Anonymous Dennis said...

This hits home with me. My 29 year old daughter has struggle with drug addiction for many years. The times that she is sober, she is a hard working mother and wife, and a sweet loving person. When she goes on a binge, no one hears from her for days at a time. She will just disappear.

She is right now in a special program in California called Narconon. She seems to be doing well. I have paid for it as her husband does not have the finances. I had to go into debt to pay for it.

I had sent her a copy of Science and Health about a year or so ago, but I do not think she got into it. I had recommended that she read Emet Fox's Sermon on the Mount. AA used to give that to their members.

I do know that drugs and alcohol do not add any good whatsoever. My daughter can be very spiritual when she is sober. I pray that when she is finished with this program, that she can see herself as she is a flawless child of God.

At 8/01/2006 08:39:00 AM, Blogger Laura said...

oh, Dennis, you know our prayers are with you. Much love to you and your daughter.


At 8/01/2006 08:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem to me that Jesus had a problem with moderate imbibing of wine...what was the little "event" he attended where he changed the H2o into a little something else. I would venture to say that it isn't the alcohol itself , but how one chooses to use or abuse.

At 8/01/2006 06:52:00 PM, Blogger Kimmy said...

I have struggled with that idea, that "well if Jesus did it, why can't we?"..and I think as long as the temptation exists in the idea of believing that a substance such as wine can in fact be of the less "controlled" variety, we can not partake in something that is a vehicle of self-power in feeling an "enhanced" self, or rather the other extreme: powerlessness. Better to be abstinate...Mary Baker Eddy defines Wine as Divine Inspiration, and sure, if all of humanity were intoxicated with loving thy neighbor as thyself and above all loving God, then we should all be drunk with this Principle and unselfishness--and be inspired to live and demonstrate the Golden Rule more effectively. Until then, why tempt yourself to believe a lie?


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