People who know me well will confirm I’m no prude. To the contrary, the Taoism I practice and teach is possibly the spiritual discipline that encourages you most to pursue your hedonistic urges rather than quell them, as it’s through your deepest fascination that your highest learning occurs – the Tao, the background presence of existence is everywhere in all people and all things after all and you’ll eventually meet it wherever and however you go, whether you want to or not.
But since coming to live on Ibiza at the start of the year, I’ve been relatively stunned by the apparent levels of cocaine-plus-vodka addiction, for apart from it seeming very old hat, especially in somewhere as ostensibly forward-thinking as Ibiza, all this running in and out of toilets and knocking back of shots, it also seems paradoxical that people would need to stimulate themselves artificially with such fierce diligence in this blessed spot where the natural stimulation is so abundantly present and freely available anyway, what with the magnetic field, the goddess energy, the sheer beauty, the gorgeous people, the sublime beats, the happy atmosphere and so on.
In London, LA, New York or Paris with all the pressures of urban life and not much of the natural power or beauty, I could understand it, but unless I’ve been walking around with some seriously heavy duty blinkers on in those towns and elsewhere for the past few years, I swear more coke blatantly goes up peoples’ noses and more vodka more or less simultaneously down their throats in little Ibiza Town of a night than in all those huge cities put together and I’m not talking pro rata.
And it does seem to be more rife with the women than the men. I accept this might be on account of my eye being naturally drawn to notice women more in general, hence I might be missing a trick with the guys but I’ve asked around and the consensus is I’m not imagining it – it’s a girl thing.
Call me simplistic but being trained as therapist a few decades back, it was a rule of thumb that confidence-boosting substances are used to mask low self-esteem.
So I’m looking around at all these powerful, beautiful women, these modern manifestations of female divinity and wondering about the roots of this insidious, low self-esteem syndrome, and wondering what could be done to remedy the problem.
However I’m not clever enough and haven’t a clue.
But according to the Taoist medical system, the way to deal with addictions and compulsions of any kind is not to focus on giving them up in any case, for whatever you focus on merely grows. No, the way is to instead adopt a new addiction or compulsion but a healthy one, tai chi, meditation, qigong, chanting, yoga or just breathing for instance, as this will at least leave you less time for the unhealthy addictions, plus it raises your self-esteem levels naturally. And that way, by and by, the need for the one gets replaced by the joy of practicing the other, eventually making it much easier to simply and hopefully painlessly drop the harmful addiction altogether should you want to.
That’s my opening gambit. I’m also interested in talking about how strangely difficult it can be to ride the power of this place at times, even though life doesn’t get any sweeter than it does here.
Meanwhile, I’m keen to hear you comments on the above.
With love, Barefoot Doctor