King Addict


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He was an addict through and through, addicted to nothing so much as addiction itself. Any activity that caused him to keep secrets, spend money, and kept him in a permanent state of dissatisfaction would do. He could become and remain addicted to anything at all.

Shame was his constant companion. Remorse hounded him throughout the day, but especially at night, when he would review his addictive behaviors and promise himself tomorrow would be different. Tomorrow he would cut back.

But tomorrow never came. At least the tomorrow that would be different from today never came.

All activities, not just addictive ones, left him feeling empty. As time went on, he felt more and more numb. Always there was the hope that some new thing would come along, something he could really get excited about. Then he could abandon all reason and dive right in, smothering himself in the process. But instead of such a new thing arriving, the old addictions held on, and the possibility for excitement waned.

Nothing he was doing was worth the cost, the secrecy, the effort. The only way out of addiction is to go cold turkey, and that as millions of addicts will attest, is no fun at all. So he remained loyal to his addiction to addiction. No matter how bad it got, he never gave up.

Buddhist Lourdes or Fatima


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I began today by listening to Bertrand Russel’s 1927 lecture “Why I Am Not a Christian,” quite a brave thing for the BBC to broadcast at that time. I wish I had heard it when I was in grade school, for I wasted a lot of time practicing Catholic voodoo to ensure salvation for myself and others. Russel takes a dim view of Christian hell.

Today we went to the Wat Doi Kam, which is the Buddhist equivalence of maybe the Catholic shrines of Lourdes or Fatima. The Temple is located on a hill only a few miles west from our house. People come in droves to pray for good luck, facilitated in their efforts by a now-deceased holy monk. You say a short prayer three times, burn some incense, promising to return if your wish is granted and then leave an offering of fifty jasmine flowers. I’ve done it twice, once with my friend Nick last week, and today when I brought Wipa and Ken and his wife Jiew. So far I’m still waiting for results.

We all agreed it was a wonderful, colorful place, and not nearly as crowded as the temple on Doi Suthep which is serviced by tour buses.

Here are some pictures from it. A glorious day, puffy clouds, clean air, not too hot.

they’ve even got a golden statue of me in my present condition. How did they know I was coming?