For one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be his greatest enemy -Bhagavad Gita
One way of describing the underlying motivations that drive addiction is as an attempt at mind control. There is a level at which addictions attempt to create and maintain a mind-set—an experience of the mind—that is somehow more acceptable than the one without them. Our addictions are an attempt to build a dependable and predictable experience of consciousness. But as today’s quotation suggests, this is putting the cart before the horse. If we hope to challenge our addictions, it is important to befriend the mind and to become aware of the conditioned patterns getting in the way of its comfortable expression. When we can let go of our addictions for a while, we give ourselves the emotional space to get into our minds instead of trying desperately to get out of them. Through this lens we may look at the process of recovery as the process of actually changing our minds. If we do not successfully change our minds in this way, then the best we may hope for is a form of painful abstinence. In this way, recovery can provide us the precious experience of transforming our mind from enemy to friend.