Breaking Free: Moving Beyond Our Addictive Patterns

It’s not what happened to you as a child that makes you feel bad – it’s the loss of connection to your authentic self. Dr Gabor Maté gives a talk which mixes a pragmatic appreciation for reality with a genuine and grounded hope for recovery.

You can be addicted to just about anything – as spiritual teachers have pointed out, wanting is part of the structure of the egoic mind. An unsupportive childhood environment creates an internal emptiness, which the egoic mind tries to fill by obtaining the things it wants. But these things can never fill the void of disconnection from our authentic self.

And the culture most of us were raised in is inherently unsupportive of the needs of small children. “The very culture that we live in denies that there’s truth, makes people hungry, hurts people, leaves them isolated, therefore empty, therefore wanting satisfaction from the outside, therefore addicted, and then it creates all these products, and all these activities, and all these cultural diversions to fill the very emptiness that it creates. And then they say, ‘Selfishness is the nature of human beings.’ And there’s the complete circle of the ideology.” 47:25

With his trademark humour and personal examples, Dr Maté offers “clues” – pointers to the pathway out of addictive patterns, and back to peace.

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