THE POWER OF AFFINITY: BOOK REVIEW OF “LAW OF ATTRACTION” BY MICHAEL J. LOSIER

Potentially, we are protean beings with high intellect. It is our versatility that empowers us. This is the secret of our progress, adaptability and innate instinct for self-growth. This is why we admire proactive people who inspire others as opposed to reactive individuals. The reactive types usually are not self-motivated and tend to avoid responsibility. Although our goal in life is self-growth, our pursuit of life is predominantly for truth; the truth of everything. It is this search for truth that sets us apart from the animal kingdom. We put ourselves in peril when we stop searching for the truth, believing that we already have it. In other words, we become dogmatic.

Yes, dogma. That is the tragedy of our education system; we mass produce certified graduates who have no idea about the realities of life. By looking at the number of individuals attending counsellors or psychiatrists in the West, we can assume that a large segment of them, mostly educated, lack even the basic skills needed to change course in life for the better. Since we cannot afford stagnation, a change in life towards positivity is the only course of action available to us. So, how can we move towards positivity? Michael J. Losier, the author of Law Of Attraction; The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t (Wellness Central, 2006), suggests that by mentally shifting our paradigm, we can improve our prospects in life. By simply working on the vibration that we emit we can potentially alter the results of our actions and thoughts.

The argument he presents is that “Each one of us sends out either a positive or negative vibration”, and when we are emitting these vibes, it is quite logical to assume that same type of vibes come back to us in a sort of ‘boomerang’ way. What goes around comes around. The idea is very simple but powerful. The strategy he offers is to change our vocabulary and use words which emit positive vibes while omitting words with negative connotations such as “don’t, not and no.

The way the law of attraction works is this; you will attract the type of vibes you send out. Thus, “each time you hear yourself using don’t, not or no, ask yourself “So, what do I want?””, then replace existing negatives with positives; including spoken words and emotions as well as feelings. The model is quite flexible, e.g. “giving attention increases vibration”, meaning the more positive focus and energy we give to our desires, the more rewards we reap. “Appreciation and gratitude help you send out strong positive vibrations.” It is not a new idea but it is fascinatingly a useful idea, especially when you think of the cost and reward. The cost is minimal and the rewards are potentially huge.

Michael J. Losier has written a brilliant and enlightening book that teaches the readers how to bring change into their lives. Overall the book is very easy to read and understand. I recommend readers to take time reading, contemplating and working on the exercises. The book is aimed at the general readers as well as professionals like school teachers. This book is not the panacea for all the things that are missing in our education system as mentioned above, but it is a step in the right direction. It is an ideal and helpful tool for personal development and restoring the mind.




A JOURNEY OF ACCEPTANCE

If there is anything that is certain about life, it is that it never is what you expect it to be. My life’s journey has been all but what I expected it to be. Now I am at that stage of my life where I have no regrets, not anymore. And yes, life does have different stages or phases. I have been through few of the phases; the idealistic phase when I wanted to change the world; the rebellious and hedonistic phase when gratification seemed therapeutic; and lastly the self-discovery or the acceptance phase.

Despite being in a wheelchair permanently due to Spinal Muscular Atrophy, I recently decided to take a journey which no one in my health condition normally undertakes. I decided to go for Hajj, knowing that I am exempt from such hardship. I have had a deep motivation for the past 25 years to make this journey. I was determined. Despite the determination and a strong will power, I am sure you can imagine my fears and apprehensions as this type of journey is strenuous even for the healthy pilgrims.

On the way to the airport, my mind became preoccupied with the difficulties that I perceived I would have to face during the entire trip. So I decided to discuss it once again with my colleague. He sat next to me and heard my fears and anxieties. His reply was very profound, he says, “Khalid, you are a guest of Allah now, let Him worry about your needs and you just relax and trust Him”. With one sentence he removed all my anxieties. My whole body became relaxed and tranquil; I could feel my shoulders drop as the haze in my mind cleared. Suddenly, I felt a strong connection with my Creator.

With my faith recharged, the journey now seemed less arduous. However, what is peculiar about the mind is that it never stops thinking. So my thoughts shifted to something else. I began to wonder how my concept of my Creator had changed during last two decades. As a child, I was taught to fear God. The image of God I was given by my teachers was of a God who enjoyed punishing his creation for their sins. This image seemed plausible to me as schools and masjids in Pakistan regularly punished pupils as a norm. My world during childhood was parched for a loving God.

My new concept of God derived from reading the literature to gain a better understanding. I now submitted to a God of mercy, a merciful God. According to Islamic literature, God placed only 1% mercy on earth for all the creatures, while He kept 99% mercy for his creation for the judgement day. This Hajj journey for me was full of mercy. Whenever we came across any hurdles, minor or major, help arrived immediately. Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties we faced was travelling, climbing up and down the stairs of coaches. My disability is such that I needed to be lifted manually as there were no lifts inside the coaches. Allah the most Merciful was always there for me, and helpers were always present.

Spending the day of Hajj in Arafat and the night under the open sky in Muzdalifah contemplating and rebuilding a relationship with the Creator is perhaps the most important part of the journey. For me, it was the spiritual transformation and changes that took place within that amounted to an experience of a lifetime. More than 4 million people gathered in Muzdalifah and yet it was so peaceful. Each individual present there was praying with absolute certainty that God is hearing their prayers. Everyone was busy calling to God seeking that deep connection and Allah’s mercy.

My metaphor for Hajj would be that it is an intensive training program on being human. It is a gigantic classroom for practical learning and practical testing. You are obliged to practice patience, humility, gratitude, politeness, helping the needy, forgiving and seeking forgiveness as well as all types of good manners including giving charity and making sacrifices. This should give you a bit of backdrop about building a relationship with Allah, the path to Allah is through His creation. It is about being a good human being and consideration for others. Perhaps this is the reason why happiness is not found in being selfish but being selfless or altruistic; you feel happier when you help others.

As I write, I keep pondering over the spiritual awakening that takes place for many pilgrims during the journey. Then again each awakening is unique, based on individual’s needs. For me, ever since I took this journey, I see the world as it is; a playground full of toys. These toys (materialistic things and wealth) and our attachments to them as well as to our relationships become the source of suffering at times. Too often our egos and our desires overtake our rationality, as a result, we damage our souls when we succumb to our egos and unleash our negativity e.g. anger, greed and selfishness.

What all this signifies is that we have a higher purpose in life. Our real goal should be to help humanity by facilitating each other’s efforts in unleashing the human potential. We redeem ourselves when we restore ourselves. We need to adopt behaviours which bolster our inner strength and help our struggle in restoring the mind.




WHEN ADULTS STOP GROWING

I was in the park that day, reading a book while enjoying the British summer weather. A short distance away some people were playing with their children on the grass, and some seniors were walking their dogs on the pathways. It was kind of a normal day. All of a sudden, Mithu appeared from behind me and landed on the bench next to me. Mithu is a beautiful Indian Ringneck Parakeet, a very intelligent parrot, and a proficient speaker. Mithu is an old friend with whom I became acquainted while his broken wing was healing in our house.

Below is the transcript of the chat that took place in the park between us both.

Me: Hello! This is a nice surprise. How are you?
Mithu: Hello! I am fine. I just came out for a bit of fresh air. I am drowning in love.

Me: In love? You are in love?
Mithu: No! The family I am living with loves me so much. I am being pampered like royalty.

Me: Wow! That is great. Good to know that you are happy.
Mithu: Who says I am happy? I am living with a family that is constantly in regression.

Me: Why in regression? How?
Mithu: The parents are so busy trying to give everything to their children except what the children are most deprived of; creating profound cognitive dissonance.

Me: I did not understand whose parents? Please explain.
Mithu: In the absence of parental involvement in children’s emotional and intellectual upbringing, the children are bound to spend much of their energy searching for that stimulus elsewhere. This is leading them into trouble at school and rebellious behaviour in all spheres of life.

Me: You are confusing me more now.
Mithu: You are such a birdbrain. I am living with a family of four, where both parents are working fulltime; therefore they have less time to spend with the children. The eldest child is a teenager, while the youngest is five years old.

Me: OK.
Mithu: My observation is that the teenager is regularly throwing tantrums. While the parents may feel they are fulfilling all their basic duties towards their children, the teenager, however, feels he is not getting enough quality time with his parents.

Me: Oh I see.
Mithu: The result is the teenager’s fixation on unrequited love is overarching all his other potentials and blocking his ability to explore and reinforce his creativeness. It is this huge unexplored creativeness inside him that is pushing him to become an attention seeker. The reality is that these tantrums are nothing more than a cry for help.

Me: hmm, very interesting observations. So, you think there is a communication gap between the parents and the children?
Mithu: Yes, the parents know only a glimpse of their children’s lives. Unconditional love is just as important for the child as the food they eat. All children have a great thirst for the unconditional love from their parents. Certainly, it is this unconditional love coupled with guidance that encourages the children to persevere and bring out what is best inside them. What matters the most here is the quality time which is needed to harness, refocus and channel the raw energy residing within the child.

Me: Yes I very much agree. But how did the family end up in this situation? What went wrong?
Mithu: This is a common problem, when the adults stop growing and choose to close their minds. I have observed such paralysis many times when people gradually become prone to the dogmatic thought process. Then their each new day is same as their previous day. They live routine or repetitive lives. Such people resist change and prefer to stay in their comfort zones.

For example, nowadays adults and children spend much of their time on social media or watching television dramas instead of reading books or socialising with their families. Such people are also content with eating junk, reading junk and feeling unsatisfied internally. This has an adverse effect on all aspect of their lives as well as on the wider society.

Me: Yes, you are right, reading books and learning new knowledge is important for the personal growth and personal development as well as for a healthy lifestyle and Restoring The Mind.

At this point, Mithu decided to fly off, leaving me wondering about his observations of our so-called modern society.




OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION: BOOK REVIEW OF “PROCRASTINATION: WHY YOU DO IT, WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT NOW” BY JANE B. BURKA AND LENORA M. YUEN

Having a complete self-awareness is a rare phenomenon. We are not fully conscious of things nor do we always have the clarity of reasons behind self-behaviour. We subscribe to an idea or a way of thinking and then cling on to it as if our life depended on it. Dogma enters our life as a habit or a belief. But we are usually unaware that we are being dogmatic. We become dogmatic to avoid change. Our insouciant behaviour keeps us safe in our comfort zones so that we never feel the need for introspection. Unbeknown to us, we fear introspection. We live in denial with a natural inclination toward dogma.

Eventually, our denial and fear begin to change our behaviours slowly. Ultimately, fear leads us towards procrastination. For some of us, these fears were instilled during childhood. We never learned to grow out of our past. It is only when procrastination is out of control during adulthood that we look back at its origins and try to discover the root causes. Although the roots might originate from childhood, most procrastinators seek help and advice during adulthood. According to Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen, authors of, Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2008), most people stop procrastinating much later in life, in their 40s and 50s, perhaps because they realise they do not have much time left in life.

When we are young we do not value time. We feel convinced that time is infinite and it is free. The reality is, time is finite and we do not have ‘free time’. By playing the delaying game which most procrastinators do, we avoid participating or engaging in an activity for various reasons. And some people procrastinate as if this is the sole purpose of their life. Chronic procrastination means we are too afraid to work on what we may perceive to be our purpose in life, as procrastination protects us from taking any risks that might result in failure.

Procrastination can be due to many different reasons. “We can think about procrastination as an attempt not just to avoid particular tasks but to avoid the feelings that are somehow associated with those tasks”. Hence, procrastination becomes an emotional part of self, which is why procrastinators become stubbornly resistant to change. Thus, it does not come as a surprise when Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen tell us that procrastination induces low self-esteem. Low self-esteem and procrastination go hand in hand.

Procrastinators come in all shapes and sizes. Some hesitate to participate due to fear of failure while others are afraid of being successful. “People who are afraid of failure choose not to compete because they are afraid of losing or being exposed as weak or inadequate. People who are afraid of success, however, choose not to compete because they are afraid of winning. They procrastinate to hide their ambition, because they think there’s something wrong with being competitive in the first place.” Hence, “battling in secret seems a much safer course of action—or inaction.

When you are preoccupied with procrastination, you can’t really think clearly about important issues. You’re busy presenting an image to the world, maybe even lying about how you spend your time, hiding the truth of what you go through. Procrastination breeds feelings of fraudulence, a precarious way to live. We encourage you to reduce your reliance on procrastination, so that you can lead a more authentic life.

I must say Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen’s work is profound and helpful for professionals as well as novices in the field. The book is easy to read with helpful information for anyone with procrastination issues. The book offers lots of helpful tips on how to manage procrastination. However, it is worth remembering that, “success does not come all at once.” And the authors recommend taking small steps that are measurable and observable.

Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen have clearly tried to outlay possibly every conceivable type of procrastination in the book, this makes it easy for all readers to relate to a scenario and see if they have skeletons in the closet. I confess, to my astonishment I too discovered some matters while reading the book that needed attention.

I strongly recommend this remarkable book to anyone struggling with procrastination. I paused reading when I came across this statement “if you can only be satisfied with perfection, you are doomed to be disappointed.” The solutions they provide are attainable and realistic with step by step guidance. It is recommended that the readers try not to make elusive goals or take on too big a task all at once or try fighting every battle that comes their way. One should be selective when choosing what is important to them.

As Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen say, “if you are compelled to fight every battle that comes along, you are not truly free or powerful. To be truly free, you must be able to choose which battles to fight and which to cede. Herein lies authentic power and the sense of being your own person.” Procrastination is a battle for more than just control, that it is a battle for self-worth and self-respect. It is self-worth and self-respect that allows us to safely explore knowledge of self, so that we can gain greater self-awareness.




A DIALOGUE WITH RUMI

It was on the eve of my trip to Istanbul that I met him for the first time in my dream. That seems like a long time ago now. But we have become good friends lately. Regularly, chatting about the world and cosmos. At first I did not recognise him. An ordinary looking elderly folk, a bearded guy wearing a white robe and conical shaped hat, was busy talking to his audience, a small audience, about 30 or so beautiful little birds feeding on grains and pieces of bread in front of him. I leaned forward respectfully to greet him and then sat down next to him on the bench. His name was Moulana Jalaluddin Rumi; 30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273. He was a retired poet, a scholar and a thinker. While conversing I decided to ask a few questions. After all I was in the presence of a sage.

Me: When I look around, I see so many people suffering and feeling unhappy with their life, why is that?
Rumi: Happiness dwells wherever individuals remove their fears, as fear is based on anxieties and worries which are influenced by the ego. The ego creates a comfort zone for itself, halting any self-growth and progress.

When no change is taking place in life, no love is felt, love is a dynamic force. In the absence of love, fear begins to creep in slowly. Fear is pain and pain makes people shrink, e.g. people stop being charitable due to fear of poverty. Similarly, ego resists change, hence no progress. Removing pain from your heart (no longer feeding the ego), brings internal harmony. Harmony in everything i.e. what you think, say and do.

Sorrow prepares you for joy. So take decisions to make your future better e.g. learn new skills and take part in self-improvement; the panacea is to be creative, happiness will return, it always does.

But this is not the true success!

Me: What is the true success and how can it be achieved?
Rumi: Perspective! Perspective is important, a realisation that this earthly life is just a guest house. From this perspective, the basic principles of success are simple; truly exert yourself on the path; to never intentionally harm anyone or anything, and always be the source of benefit to those around you.

Remember, success is an illusion in the absence of love for the beloved. Do not forget, apart from prostration, all other types of worship mentioned in the Quran are related to love for humanity. So strive towards love for humanity and success will find you. It is love that restores resilience in the human spirit.

Me: If love is so prevailing then why do we have a tendency for self-destruction?
Rumi: Lightness and darkness cannot dwell in the same place at the same time, but both must exist and change places periodically. Thus darkness and light are constantly chasing each other. But love and darkness never mix. It is the ego that takes one on a self-destructive path towards darkness. The ego is a dangerous master to have, should you choose to enslave yourself to it. Those who destroyed themselves did so because they took their ego as their master. The path to enlightenment lies in love for the divine (the beloved).

The remedy for those who are suffering is to frequently drink from the tavern of love and knowledge.

Then the light of new dawn woke me up from my sleep, and I was no longer in dream world.

From the poem: The Pauper and the Prisoners
Renounce these affections for outward forms,
Love depends not on outward form or face.
Whatever is beloved is not a mere empty form,
Whether your beloved be of the earth or of heaven.
Whatever be the form you have fallen in love with,
Why do you forsake it the moment life leaves it?
The form is still there; whence, then, this disgust at it?
Ah! lover, consider well what is really your beloved.
If a thing perceived by outward senses is the beloved,
Then all who retain their senses must still love it;
And since love increases constancy,
How can constancy fail while form abides?
~Rumi~

Book Reference:
Rumi, Maulana ‘Jalal uddin Muhammad. 2008, The Masnavi I Ma’navi of Rumi, Forgotten Books




THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CRIMINALITY

I am, because I exist. This statement is true for a vast majority of people. About 90% of Americans claim to be living unfulfilled lives. It is not surprising to see so many people fail in life; because mastering the skills needed to be successful requires hard work. The cliché, ‘genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration’, (Thomas Edison, 1847 – 1931), is not an exaggeration. Thus, most people surrender to living for the sake of living, aimlessly and purposelessly. At the same time holding on to a feeling that they deserve better. Such inert people never make the morning headlines in daily newspapers. Hence, we enjoy reading with admiration about individuals living on the fringe, those who consider mere existence a crime.

I am not a philosopher, so I cannot answer the question if mere existence is a crime, especially when there is so much potential at our disposal. From the psychology point of view, I can say this, that there exists a certain mental threshold, which when triggered or it is surpassed; an energised feeling thence overwhelms us. A good example of this feeling is when we pass exams. A scholar achieves this feeling when his/her research paper is published and an inventor when his/her invention succeeds. It is this extraordinary inner stimulating feeling that incites us to react and work hard for progress again and again.

But not all people are willing to work hard for success or exercise the patience needed. Despite the fact that they too are adamant that they deserve better. Hence, they opt to take short cuts to achieve their goals. More often than not it is the criminals who pursue this path of short cuts. One explanation for this is, generally, we are moral beings born with free will, and those with the will always will push the boundaries and some will even break the rules. As Colin Wilson in his book “A Criminal History of Mankind (Grafton, 1985)”, says “Nothing is worse for a criminal than early success.”

If the confessions of the criminals are any indicator for the reasons of their bad behaviour, it is that it is done out of animosity, a vengeance against society, born out of feelings that their robbery or burglary is a legitimate way of expressing their sense of social grievance. It means their whole concentration is being channelled on their frustration and resentment. The criminal needs external stimuli to achieve the threshold, e.g. a psychopath feels aroused by causing pain on others. This threshold can be described as the ‘critical point’ or the biting point between an accelerator and clutch in an automobile, it triggers an extraordinary excitement, an ecstasy in the mind.

This does not mean that the mind is the real culprit. Far from it, as the mind can be a creative force or a destructive force, meaning that we are neither innately good nor bad. What we have is tendencies to become either. The central role played here is by our egos or the ‘false self’ (Also called Nafs in Arabic).  Colin Wilson argues that we allow the Nafs to dominate our mind, and we become slaves to the Nafs, we work towards satisfying the master, the Nafs. The larger the ego you have, the less you care about the morals, which explains why some criminals lack remorse after the crime. This explains why most violent criminals possess more than the average share of desire for exercising that threshold. Hence, the unfulfilled appetite for criminality is a commoner among mass murderers.

Still, the big question is what allures criminals towards criminality? Why do they take the ‘decision to be out of control’? It is obvious that everyone chooses their own path, man has the power of free choice. In Colin Wilson’s view, it is related to our energy in the brain. “Meaning perception is a power of the mind; it depends upon a certain mental energy. And this mental energy is precisely what all criminals’ lack. They lay far too much emphasis on the physical stimulus in the process of ‘enrichment’.”

 Unlike geniuses, who channel their energy towards creative works, the criminal tends to waste it on negative emotions. When a criminal “explodes into violence, all the energy is wasted. Worse still, it destroys the banks of the canal. So in permitting himself free expression of his negative emotions he is indulging in a process of slow but sure self-erosion – the emotional counterpart of physical incontinence. Without proper ‘drainage’, his inner being turns into a kind of swamp or sewage farm. This is why most of the violent men of history, from Alexander the Great to Stalin, have ended up as psychotics. Without the power to control their negative emotions, they become incapable of any state of sustained well-being.” Furthermore, “For the violent criminals and murderers, violence seems to become a natural outlet for frustration or boredom.”

Colin Wilson identifies boredom as one of the biggest source of criminality, arguing that the individual “needs challenge or crisis to get the best out of him”. Colin Wilson believes it is “feebleness of will-power” and the individual’s inability of self-assertion that allows the Nafs to take control during times of boredom. Colin Wilson’s theory is plausible when as he says “we have to recognise that boredom is a feeling that nothing is ‘happening inside’, and that this springs from a sense of non-participation in the environment. Boredom vanishes as soon as we feel ‘involved’.”

But I find this explanation of boredom a bit too simplistic. As I have already argued in my previous article: THE EVOLUTION AND FATE OF THE SOCIAL ORDER, that:

“Institutions create mechanisms that translate ideology – say, the causes of evil.” True, the real culprit is the system that creates the conditions in which the crimes are committed. I do agree with Zimbardo. But the question arises: what is the system? Zimbardo’s view is clear. He believes it is the “power elite,” working behind the scenes, who create the conditions of life for the rest of us.

The irony is often we are ruled by the very criminals and predators. For instance there has been an unprecedented increase in criminality in recent times by the wealth grabbing elite. The history books offer no respite either; historical heroes glorified also happen to be the greatest villains, the biggest killers, such as Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, not to mention, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, whom between them killed over 100 million people, yet remain heroes. Colin Wilson concurs, “The worst crimes are not committed by evil degenerates, but by decent and intelligent people taking ‘pragmatic’ decisions.”  Such highly intelligent heroes/villains “feel most free in moments of conquest; so for the past three thousand years or so, most of the greatest men have led armies into their neighbours’ territory, and turned order into chaos.”

In a world immersed in chaos, impeccable manners and mindfulness has become a rare commodity. Criminality and vile behaviour has become more acceptable at the expense of morals. Therefore, our choices are very simple and there are no middle grounds or grey areas. We either take the challenge of becoming creatives or the corrosiveness of mere existence will place us on a self-destructive path.  The real joy and success is in embracing creativity. “There is no doubt that man’s creativity is the most centrally important fact about him.”

This article is the second part of a two part article. The first article is: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CREATIVITY

Reference:
Wilson, Colin. 1985. A Criminal History of Mankind, Grafton.




THE TRAGIC PATH FROM BRAIN POWER TO BRAIN OPIATES

The human mind has no comparison in this world, even perhaps in the universe. It is simply that powerful. I would argue that it is potentially bigger and vaster than the universe. We can be certain that a huge amount of energy powers the brain, which is of course poorly understood. The brain’s potential power is unknown. This valuable energy is, unfortunately, neither recognized nor appreciated. The fact is that we rarely consider this energy flowing through our brain. It has been claimed by some neuroscientists that we only use 5% of our potential brain power. My thesis in this article is that we will find ourselves in peril if we fail to understand and exploit this energy in the brain.

It is said that God created man in his own image. We dominate and rule over the planet Earth in a godly manner. We are God’s vicegerent. We are, in a sense, mini-Gods. God is the creator, thus our most powerful godly trait is creativity. What is rarely discussed is that the health of the brain and mind possibly depends on creativity. As I have already mentioned in RTM, “agony and pain is felt, intensely felt, when the phenomenon of creativity is weak and infrequently present.” We are creative creatures. Creativity is in our genes and in our blood. I would argue that we are biologically creative beings. Maybe it is true that our foundation, the foundation of human life, is built on creativity.

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of creativity, it is just as important for the human mind as oxygen is for the brain. Creativity is our opiate, and any deficiency of this opiate makes us feel frustrated, anxious, and even depressed. Our inability to be creative becomes our burden. The unused energy induces chaos in the brain. Restlessness combined with helplessness and desperation pushes us to seek some sort of quick relief. We seek a way to alleviate or calm down the “pain in the brain.” There exists an inverse relation between creativity and what I call “pain in the brain.”

When we cannot create, or express what is creative inside us, in our brains – because we do not have the necessary skills and knowledge – we turn to substitute opiates. We seek to find relief in narcotics and alcohol. We attempt to restore equilibrium in the brain by substituting narcotics for the natural opiates. It is remarkably ironic and sad that we replace creativity with drugs and alcohol. Instead of unleashing our creative powers and our brain energy, we run away from creativity and choose to destroy ourselves through a narcotic or alcohol addiction. It may be an unpopular argument, but I feel that the origin of drug addiction is not social problems per se but our inability to express our creativeness.

The number of people who struggle and fail to express their creativeness is in the hundreds of millions, which means there is a big demand for narcotics and alcohol. The narcotics and booze business are two of the biggest and most lucrative businesses in the world. It is not surprising then to see many governments secretly involved in trafficking illegal and dangerous drugs. Many states, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the U.K. and the United States, are deeply involved in the drug trade. “All empires since the Renaissance have been driven by the search for foreign resources, and nearly all – including the British, the French, and the Dutch – used drugs as a cheap way to pay for the overseas expansion, ” argues Peter Dale Scott, author of Drugs, Oil and War (ROWMAN AND LITTLEFIED PUBLISHERS, INC, 2003, UK).

Yes, it is sometimes difficult to separate the three opiates, drugs, oil and war. We are addicted to all three, and all three are controlled by the most powerful states and groups in the world. Peter Scott makes a good point that the United States does not directly get involved with the drug trade, but instead exerts influence indirectly. For example, the paramilitaries whom the United States supports in Afghanistan also happen to be the biggest drug barons. American interventions in Afghanistan and Columbia increased drug trafficking to the United States. Referring to Afghanistan, Scott argues that “almost no heroin from this area reached the United States before 1979, yet according to official U.S sources it supplied 60 percent of the U.S. heroin by 1980.” For decades the United States has made alliances with drug cartels in Columbia and Afghanistan. I publish a few paragraphs from Peter Dale Scott’s book:

Scott’s book has impressed me. He is lucid and brilliant as he illustrates how drug trafficking has become an integral part of  U.S. foreign policy, and it is now linked with the oil wars. His thesis is that the CIA and other covert American groups and actors are intimately connected to drug traffickers around the world – and that this is no coincidence. What is the U.S. role in the international drug trafficking business? This book offers the answer. As strange as it may seem, perhaps this ugly reality explains why the United States is now suffering an economic meltdown. The creativeness of Americans, the ability to deploy the natural opiates in the powerful human brain, has arguably been in decline for some time now in the United States. Do we find ourselves in peril if we fail to understand and exploit this energy in the brain? It certainly would appear so.