This is the framework, then, from which I treat a person. Most treatment models require two things: 1) that an addict sees the consequences of their actions; and, 2) that the interventionist breaks through the denials that the addict has built such that they can see truth. But, I disagree with both because I see that the end result of the combination of both is only more despair. Rather, I’d rather the addict begins to see the good in any situation, rather than the bad. To me, only through the Collective Capacity (CC) can someone learn to put away their masks and develop more and more within the CC until they can experience more fully their life. The problem for me is that when a person remains in his or her despair state, not only does he or she risk his or her own life, but he or she also risks impeding others’ lives and not extending the CC. Addiction emerges either from a desire to achieve bliss without any work or from a desire to escape despair without reflection.
Since the CC is dynamic and actively so, I then see it in the human realm in terms of functionality. To me, a person can function on one of five levels:
- Divine: A person who has achieved direct and complete communication with all that’s good and strong and beautiful. This person experiences Agape, pure and unconditional love, in all he or she does. He or she no longer requires awareness of life or death because there is no longer death to this person. He or she lives through and with the CC every moment.
- High: A person who is fully aware of the good and the strong and beautiful and consciously seeks to extend the CC. This person knows love, has strong relationships, and yet continues to struggle with the shackles of human experience. That is, they looked at the abyss, the abyss looked back at them and they can still be hurt by what was reflected. Still, they move forward through the CC and not through despair. They experience life and love. The prerequisite here, though, is that a person has to experience the most hopeless point of despair such that they can break all chains and choose to wholly and fully experience the good and the strong and the beautiful.
- Average: To me, this is the most common person here in the U.S. This person may live through masks, but doesn’t know death’s true despair and so his or her masks never really need to do much other than present mildly annoying symptoms. Average functioners know neither despair nor bliss and they don’t want to know. Theirs is a life lived, not experienced. They’re never faced with the choice required within the CC.
- Low: Low functioners live through despair plow through their lives confused and hopeless. They often present as opiate and/or alcohol addicts, but can present as an addict of any type. They are isolated from love and their being is at risk of becoming their masks. They are not free and often their choices are not unfettered. Mostly, they just want the pain of their existence to end. They simply do not have the means to access the CC.
- Sinister: Here, people have not only lost hope for themselves, but also, they seek to end all that’s good and strong and beautiful for all humanity. They can be addicts, but their addiction is just another form of destruction. They seek to end the CC in themselves and in others and live lives completely devoid of any potential for love.
As the CC is dynamic, so is all of humanity and life itself. These categories, with the exception of the divine and sinister, ebb and flow and a person can love in any one of the others at any given point. A person can be a high functioner, but then become overwhelmed with death’s grip and succumb to despair, as can a low functioner grow in the CC and become a high functioner. Functioning is a continuum and only in the extremes: Divine and Sinister; can I see real end points.