The Mechanism of Addiction

The mechanisms of the human organism are also regulated by the neurochemistry and structure of the brain, with its inherent pain/pleasure responses. This self-actuating reward mechanism is another trap that has to be bypassed. Human ingenuity has baited this mechanism by the discovery of artificial reward/pleasure devices, such as artificial substances to which the chemistry of the brain is vulnerable and reprogrammable; thus, there is even an inherited genetic propensity to addiction that then eclipses and replaces all other goal seeking.

… Although this recapitulation of the biological roots of the ego may seem obvious, the purpose is to increase awareness of the origin and importance of these mechanisms that are inherent and inborn rather than personally self-created. … It can be accepted compassionately as such without condemnation and is therefore neither good nor bad. Mankind lives in the realm of tension between emotional instincts and the counterbalancing power of spiritual awakening (i.e., the animal/angel conflict).”

From I: Reality and Subjectivity p. 111

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