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Here's a interesting story that came into my head. Might start some interesting discussion.
There's a cure for the common cold. It makes the cold vanish for 8 hours, after which it returns. When one takes this cure more than a day or two in a row, it gives one a cold for a few days, even if the original virus was already gone. Another dose of the drug will cure the cold. This cure has no negative effects on mind or body other than the after-effects.
Several years ago (when I still watched TV), I heard on a TV interview with a "street person" that heroin withdrawal "isn't really that bad, sort of like a cold, but it's enough to make you want to get more". Since this notion would be so implausible to the average TV viewer, I can't imagine the interview being scripted like the other ones are (whether through the underlying structure of society or a simple script to be memorized by the interviewee).
According to a thread I read in alt.drugs.hard a few months ago, heroin cures the common cold.
This (http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cu4.html) says that heroin has almost no negative physical effects save withdrawal.
The DXM Zine (http://www.dextroverse.org/~zine/zine11/#22) printed a usenet thread talking about DXM being used to prevent heroin addiction/tolerance from developing and even reversing existing tolerance.
The only significant difference I can see between heroin and my example is that heroin relieves pain, even the residue of psychic pain which we call sobriety. It can be injected IM, like insulin.
It appears that after all this time, we have found Utopia and promptly banned it. Looks like we've been had.
Note that I have never done any opiate (I know the wrong kinds of dealers), and will really not be sure about this until I start experimenting myself.
Isn't the whole concept of "addiction" being bad in error? "Enlightenment" is very addictive, it seems. People dedicate their entire lives to it just to get their fix. I know I'm twisting concepts around until they break, but I admit to not understanding anything, so what's the harm in playing understanding games?
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I think I understand your point, but I don't see how addiction is really a solution to anything. It is a risky game because although things appear fine, if a situation comes along where you can't get your fix, you can't function properly. For instance, if we had a drug to increase mental capacity, everyone would probably take it all the time to be able to think better. But what would happen if you don't have access to the drug for a few days? People wouldn't be able to add and subtract. I think we should try to pursue our human endeavours naturally so we're not dependent on outside materials.
It is true that the concept of addiction is skewed. People are addicted to television, sex, food, breathing, etc but nobody ever recognizes it as such. People use the word "addiction" when there are negative consequences to habitual behavior. Therefore, I don't see enlightenment as fitting under the "addiction" category. It can definitely be habitual, but you don't lose your mental coherence if you don't meditate for a couple days. Its a completely additive action, not something replacing normal function.
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