Our Spiritual Thirst

Psychiatrist Carl Jung claimed the addiction to alcohol to be “the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God.”

He noted that alcohol in Latin is “spiritus” and said the same word is used for “the highest religious experience as well as the most depraving poison.” “Spiritus Contra Spiritum” was his way of saying ‘fight fire with fire.’

If addiction is finally confirmed to be a chemical imbalance in the brain, shouldn’t treatment include new methods, medications and strategies to slow or end this national epidemic? Other parts of the world are getting 50%+ success rates and most of ours offer 15%. Even AA, in some studies, shows a success rate of 5-10%. The other 90% end up in jails, hospitals and cemeteries. That’s not success.

This disease of addiction has diagnosable symptoms that can be measured and treated. It also comes with a spiritual facet. It breaks the user down on a ‘soul level’ to the point that the person disconnects, or tries to, from the Source. Break that merger and the battle for the soul becomes easy.

Our spiritual first step is to stop bashing addicts unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I am thoroughly convinced that only an addict can understand another addict. It will be a united effort between clean and sober people who have fought and gotten a reprieve from the chemical, emotional and mental hooks of active addiction and the medical community to solve it.

I believe MAT-medically assisted treatment-will be key in releasing heroin and opiod addicts from the unrelenting grip of constant usage. It has worked in other countries, mostly Europe.

One country, Portugal, decriminalized drug use and cut its national addiction rates by half! In addition, related diseases and disorders were drastically reduced. Prison populations lessened and those funds were used to offer nationally funded detox, rehabilitation and job opportunities by subsidizing recovering addicts with 50% of the peoples’ salary for an initial period of time.

America is the strongest and most wonderful country. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But, we need to lead the world in addiction research and programs that offer hope to both the addict and the people connected.

Knowledge is power but self-knowledge is empowerment. It is time for everyone of faith to step fully into the roles that were set for us long ago. To carry the message, it is critical that we establish a powerful spiritual matrix by sending all of our prayers up continually to save us from ourselves.

Addictions, advancing mental illness and mind-boggling experiences to live through have been the result of the wearing down of the faithful. There are too few of us fully living our faith to carry us all home. We all are needed.

Five Great Action Movies With A Female Hero

Even if they are sometimes met with rolled eyes, we all tend to be big fans of action movies. Sure, they tend to sometimes be nothing more than big “shoot-em-ups” with a lot of explosions, scantily-clad women, and very little storyline to speak of. But, herein lies the biggest problem with most action movies – they tend to be very centered around male heroes. Women tend to be relegated to object of desire or derision, and their characters can feel rather tacked on to give some semblance of drama.

In truth, action movies tend to exclude female heroes, but the tide seems to be turning. With the overwhelming success of “Wonder Woman” this year, there has been an added emphasis on making more roles for women where they are the clear lead character & manage to also be the clear hero.

While this spells optimism for movies coming down the line in the future, it’s important to look back at some of the more impactful movies that featured a female hero. Here are five of these films:

“Foxy Brown” – If there were ever a female hero for her time & beyond, it would be the titular character of this mid-70s Blaxploitation film starring Pam Grier. Not only did this movie serve as one of the first powerful female lead roles, it ruffled feathers as to whether the role should be celebrated or criticized, but no one could argue about its importance.

“Aliens” – Sigourney Weaver stars as Ellen Ripley, perhaps one of the finest example of female heroes in not only the sci-fi, but in all of cinema. The character Ellen Ripley contends with the ineffectiveness of her voice & experience, fear & anxiety from a violent recent past, and a deep-seeded nurturing & maternal instinct to fend off some of the most frightening creatures in film history.

“Point of No Return” – Bridget Fonda stars as Maggie Hayward, a drug addict facing the death penalty for murder. Unbeknownst to her, her death is faked & she is brought into the world of becoming an assassin for hire. Contending with addiction, a burgeoning relationship, and a forced duty to a job she never wanted, it’s hard not to be moved by this movie’s lead character.

“The Long Kiss Goodnight” – Geena Davis takes on one of the most explosive female-led action movies to ever hit the silver screen. She stars as Samantha Caine, and by way of amnesia, she cannot remember her past as a trained killer. Think “Leave It to Beaver” meets “The Bourne Identity”.

“Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2″ – As the controversial last entry on this list, this movie is perhaps one of more astounding turns for a woman turned hero that harkens back to the something in the vein of “Foxy Brown”. Uma Thurman stars as The Bride, a former assassin trying to go straight that is left for dead in a violent turn of events on her wedding day. Throughout both films, The Bride takes the viewer on a long trip of ultra-violence & vengeance, but perhaps the most striking difference to other movies of this type is the distinct admission of guilt by other characters regarding their actions toward the main female character.

There are far more action movies out there that feature a female hero, and a recent one in particular featured in a trilogy that all movie buffs are screaming about due to its omission. Nonetheless, the need to point out action movies with female heroes perhaps best indicates just how many movies there aren’t in the genre. Hopefully, this is a thing of the past.