📕 subnode [[@protopian/on hungry ghosts]] in 📚 node [[on-hungry-ghosts]]
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on hungry ghosts

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  • So, what is a hungry ghost? Buddhism defines it as a person with an endless void inside them, driven by primal desire constantly but never able to satiate it. People who are prone to addiction tend to be hungry ghosts. As someone who has occasional hungry ghost qualities, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the distinction between liking something and liking it too much. I don’t think my experiences are anything special: addictive behavior is normalized in the world we live in.
  • Mate: “Misplaced attachment to what cannot satiate the soul is not an error exclusive to addicts, but the common condition of mankind.”
  • I think of people with addictive personalities as people who get too much of what they want but not enough of what they need.
  • You’re reactive and immersed, but when you’re removed from the thing you’re immersed in you don’t know who you are. So you turn to immersion, to addiction, as a way of escaping your own uncertainty. The feeling addiction creates—obsessive, all-consuming—becomes a way to escape all the other things you would rather not feel.
  • “Addiction is the lazy man’s path to transcendence,” Mate writes. In a later chapter: “A state of spiritual poverty, we will be seduced by whatever it is that can make us insensate to our dread.” We all know people who are always looking for God in the bottle, the line of coke, the arms of another person.
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