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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Irreconcilable Differences and the Role of Addiction

A marriage encountering "Irreconcilable Differences" can end in separation or divorce.  However, many successful marriages can embrace numerous irreconcilable differences. My wife and I disagree on the agreeableness of sunbathing on the beach. My wife loves it and when in the sun gets an attractive tan.  I, on the other hand, hate it for I know from experience that the sun roils my flesh as if in a broiler.  Relatively speaking this is a minor matter. There are a whole host of outings both of us fully enjoy together. And Connie can go to the beach to sunbathe with friends while leaving me at home in air conditioned comfort. That is, though the particular matter of our sunbathing together on the beach is irreconcilable, this does not in any way threaten our marriage.  Our mutual foundational love and trust are not threatened or jeopardized--even absurd to think so--while in some ways our bond is strengthened by our exercising mutual consideration. If, however, I lived in a financial never-never fantasy land of effusive spending--really at base a personal consumption addiction--whose unrealistic extravagances subjected our marriage to unpaid bills and constant turmoil and strife, then my wife's trust in me could be lost forever (trust in my love for her or even a single vestige of my goodwill towards her). 

Irreconcilable differences precipitating in separation (or interminable conflict should separation be impossible) are those that repeatedly and consistently undermine trust and goodwill. Jesus said you will hear of wars and rumors of war (Matthew 24:6).  This is another way of saying that there is a jealousy that induces romper room immaturity and self-righteousness and as such is inherently inured from even rudimentary lessons of sharing. That jealousy (the obverse of The Golden Rule) is the essential root of addiction is made evident by the widespread ineffectiveness of rehabilitation programs absent what now can only be identified as divine grace. In Christianity evil originated with Satan's jealousy of God (followed by humanity's jealousy of God and one another). 

Picture a romper room.  In one case two children are playing side by side.  They have learned the Golden Rule at least in part by divine grace.  Thus when Jane gets a nice toy that Joe does not have, Joe from a distance delights and shares in her joy and mental "high" because he strongly identifies with her happiness.  At some point Jane looks over and offers to share her toy with Joe, and they soon are playing together.   Now in another corner of the room jealousy rules.  In this case, Sue gets a nice toy that John does not have. She exults in her besting of John. Bitter conflict soon erupts and John trashes Sue's toy.  Sue in turn retaliates by destroying John's house of blocks. 

This duality of behavior pretty much summaries most of human history.  The addictions fueling jealousy must be seen for what they truly are..the ultimate enemy of the people.  These despotic addictions arise not from the ""high" of sharing in the happiness of the truly blessed, but rather from the demonic "high" of subjugating and demeaning others.


Dedicated to Whitman's Collection of Middle East Addictions

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