Addictions versus Needs

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What is the difference between something you're addicted to and something you need?

The only difference between an addiction and a need is the perception that the addiction is something we don't actually need.
The things we need and the things we're addicted to function in the same way:
  • We feel compelled to ensure that we can reliably secure them.
  • We do everything we can do ensure that we get them.
  • We feel real suffering when we fail to get them.
The ironic thing is that there actually is no difference between a perceived need and a real need. So the "addictions" are just as real because the person with the addiction is perceiving a real need. Even when they intellectually can say, "I don't actually need this," they still emotionally feel that they do. If they didn't feel they still needed it, they would give it up.
This means that your "real" needs become addictions the moment that you intellectually realize that you don't actually need them. Food becomes an addiction the moment you realize that you don't actually need it.
A person who has mastered breatharianism is someone who no longer emotionally needs food (and thereby doesn't need it physically either). An aspiring breatharian is someone who intellectually knows they don't need food, but feels a painful emotional attachment that they call an addiction.
Someone who never perceives food as a false-need lives in a reality where food is not an addiction, but simply a real need. So you see, the difference between needs and addictions is our attitude – our perception.
Think of an alcoholic. They have a real emotional need for their alcohol, but the moment they realize they don't actually need the alcohol – because, actually, they need deep connection with other human beings and a sense of belonging – then they realize they have an addiction. It remains an addiction up until the point that they no longer have an emotional need for alcohol.
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When reading, the most incredible things I've ever learned came from stories. Stories are more memorable. They create images and time-lines in our minds. They give us all the background information that lead up to a great moment, a great realization, a great break-through.
In reality, we only truly grasp ("grok") something through personal experience. We can not add to our experience through reading dry data. But we really can and do add to our experience with stories. The more detailed, authentic, and dynamic the story, the more there is for us to learn from it. The more it resonates with us and touches us, the more we retain what we've learned.
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