As a therapist specialising in holistic drug repair, I find I am now working with two distinct groups: drug-users and the parents of drug-users. Often the latter are much more distraught and desperate than the former.
Particularly those who never used drugs themselves, but, following government advice to ‘talk to their children about drugs’, parents have initiated conversations that, due to the powerful emotions involved, they have become increasingly more confrontational until their relationship with their children breaks down completely. These parents try to be understanding (like those on the anti-drug television campaigns) but, driven by the raw anguish of seeing their children destroy themselves and the agony of their own powerlessness to change the situation, end up blaming, criticising and abusing their children. This is not the way the scenario plays out in TV-land but unfortunately it is all too common in real life.
The ancient Chinese sages understood that newer times render older formulas useless; they said that contemporary problems require contemporary formulas. I believe that global consciousness is significantly different from 30 years ago and confrontation, argument and even the idea of a ‘war on drugs’ belongs in the past. I suggest, given the rise of the ‘new age’, and linked ideas about harmony and understanding that we take a ‘higher consciousness approach’ and make ‘peace on drugs’ instead. To do this we need to take out the aggressive idea of opposing sides and accept that kids aren’t to ‘blame’ for their drug use. We are. According to the morphogenetic field theory as proposed by Rupert Sheldrake in The Rebirth of Nature, every repeated or learned behaviour pattern modifies the morphic field. Souls born into that modified field then adapt previous behaviour patterns without actually ‘learning’ them. This is referred to as morphic resonance. In one way, morphic resonance speeds up evolution.
From this perspective, it seems that the hippie generation’s fight for freedom, its anti-authoritarian ideas but most importantly its desire to ‘expand consciousness’ through widespread use of hallucinogenic drugs, formed a morphic field that is contributing to the current boom in drug use.
There is a significant difference between the new generation of drug-users and my generation. The current wave don’t want to change the world, fight for freedom or expand their consciousness, and this is because they don’t have to – we already did all that in the 60s. Th influence of the drugs that people took back then did play a role in the major social changes that followed and the development of the new age’ but the problem was that instead of stopping then, many of these drug-takers of my generation just kept on aimlessly taking ‘party drugs’. I believe that this behaviour also had a significant effect on the morphic field.
The current widespread drug use of the ‘ecstasy generation’ is divorced from politics or external factors, and is instead driven by the unarticulated desire for accelerated spiritual experiences. If this is the result of our own past actions and our impact on the morphic field, then to change this situation we will need to shift the responsibility from ‘youth’ back to ourselves.
This means we will need to learn and repeat new behaviour patterns and shape the future by living that way we want our children to live.
We can’t impact on their drug use by telling them not to take drugs. The ancient Chinese understood that verbal commands are not an effective way to change the world: ‘silent teaching’ is. This is the highest form of education and in the West this is referred to as living by example. In this context I often suggest to parents that, instead of focussing purely on their children, they focus on becoming spiritual and on living ‘correctly’ as the great sage, Maoshing Ni, termed it. This means building their own chi and light – getting involved with spiritual practices, studying the laws of energy as described in Buddhist, Hindu or Taoist texts. I also suggest having protection charms and books about spiritual matters around the house; engaging with yoga or spiritually orientated martial arts, building our own strength and power. Living by example is about showing our children how we would like them to be, without using words.
Verbally confronting a child about drugs often leads to judgement and criticism, and criticising adolescent drug users is the worst thing you can do. I know myself that phrases such as ‘you are a liar’ or ‘you are screwed up’, and so on, create pathological developments that linger long after the drug user has physically recovered. The fact is that drug use destroys self-worth. The drug user knows that he or she is ‘screwed up’, and doesn’t need an adult confirming this.
After users recover, low self-worth feelings come forward and can dominate or even dictate future behaviour. As they feel they don’t deserve anything good, they will reject or give away what makes them feel strong and well. Lack of self-worth can also force the recovered user into a pathological yang mode that can be equally as destructive as drug use. I have experienced this myself. Hard drugs took away my ability to accept myself and I compensated for this by working frantically 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to feel somehow accepted. I kept hitting the wall but continued to give away all my own energy because I felt I had no worth myself. I am still struggling with these feelings 20 years after taking my last drug.
Of course there are parents who can speak in a non-confrontational and helpful manner to their children about drugs. However this is generally when dealing with marijuana users. I am referring to the increasing numbers of parents of regular hard drug-using children. In these cases the emotional stakes are higher on both sides and it becomes much more difficult to communicate, even for a professional such as myself. Drugs allow communication via lateral and abstract non-verbal means, and adolescent drug uses usually resist the spoken word. If I can’t apply formal interview methods with these clients, I often ‘just sit’ with them and ‘feel’ their consciousness; get a glimpse of his soul. Bizarrely, this is a technique I partially learned from being on drugs myself. Drug users can ‘sit’ for hours without speaking yet still have a profound interaction with each other. The more you experience this form of communication, the more difficult it becomes to talk in a normal manner, particularly to your parents or teachers.
Parents often complain to me that their drug using teenagers are anti-social and rude, that they don’t want to participate in conversations during family meal times or when visitors arrive. I don’t think this is rudeness. I hated talking to people when I was a heavy drug user – it was just too complicated. I was more comfortable in the invisible realms and it was much easier to just sit and immerse myself in feeling. In fact, if you have taken drugs long enough, you can almost forget how to talk. I have a colleague, Rick Young, who when working with recovering drug-users (including those on long-term SSRI anti-depressants), has come up with an innovative strategy in which he also teaches the art of conversation.
Drug users develop a unique form of interaction that has its own laws. Just as they have difficulty communicating with the straight world, non-drug users have huge problems communicating with them. Accordingly, I wouldn’t recommend talking to your children unless you can communicate on this level. The only way to communicate on this level without taking drugs yourself is to follow the path of self-development. Spiritual masters and yogis can communicate on this level. I remember meeting my spiritual master and being immediately attracted to what I perceived as his off-beat sense of humour, yet he had never taken a drug in his life. The Dalai Lama too seems to find many things highly amusing.
Giving your children mainstream drug education material is often not helpful either. This material is generally produced by non-drug users for non-drug users and, in drug culture, has absolutely no credibility. Instead, educate yourself about drugs from a body-mind-spirit point of view. Try to understand the desire for drugs.
If you are the parent of a young drug user, I would also recommend seeking help yourself as well. It is devastating to watch your child getting caught in the drug world. I can only imagine the pain my parents must have felt seeing me become an addict; seeing their child slowly self-destruct in front of them, but at the time I had no concept of their feelings. If you commit to working on your own self-development, then you will be less and less likely to react to your child and argue with him or her about drug use. Hostility, discord and anger feed negative forces. If you build your inner light, such negative forces have no power over you or your home, the morphic fields will change and future generations will become more and more attracted to the spiritual path.
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