Borrowed Wings: Cocaine
Cocaine is a perilously addictive stimulant, derived from the leaves of the coca plant found in South America. Commonly called coke, and once included as a star ingredient in the recipe for Coca Cola (as the name of the product clearly indicates) cocaine used to be included in common household medicines intended as over the counter “elixirs” (often mixed with opiates for a complete effect) before coca’s true destructive power was completely recognized.
Although largely cleared out of the pharmaceutical canon, except for use as a local anesthetic, cocaine enjoyed a revival as an illicit drug in the United States during the 1970s, earning the reputation of being an “upper class” drug because of the exorbitant expense of maintaining a cocaine habit. However, since the more affordable version of the substance was created, crack cocaine, cocaine addiction is no longer limited to the high-end market. Cocaine is brought into the United States through an extensive network of smaller and larger drug cartels and is one of the top products trafficked worldwide.
Cocaine can be dissolved and injected intravenously, snorted in powder form,
and smoked as crack or freebase. Through its direct action on the brain, cocaine is highly habit forming and results in numerous health problems affecting heart, brain, and respiratory systems, and creates psychological wreckage for users – intense depression, anxiety, and psychosis. In smoked forms, cocaine has an even more direct route of entry and its powers are concentrated, including its addictiveness.
Cocaine originally lures us in by appealing to what can be thought of as our more masculine, action and thought-oriented side (as opposed to feelings and receptivity). The side of us that likes to direct and control environments, to be in charge and to experience effectiveness, will like cocaine.
It is no accident that cocaine is often used in business circles, as it tends to aggravate those qualities already welcome in the business world – competitiveness, narcissism, and extraversion. Many people “work well” under the influence of cocaine for a short period of time, as the euphoria and the mental-body stimulation allows them to fly, for a time, on borrowed wings in their social and work worlds.
Needless to say these wings fall off, and the person begins to experience the stunning drop, which involves depression, or ego deflation, where the person’s sense of themselves as well as the energy and ability to have positive thoughts about the self is now impaired and comes to depend on the presence of the substance. Cocaine works like a pump, pumping air into the ego, inflating it into a big bouncy castle of optimism, but equally deflates when absent.
When looking at women who are drawn to cocaine, we may be seeing people who for whatever reason look for and enjoy a boost to their masculine pole, to the part that likes to be “large and in charge”, the part that wants to be gregarious, productive, and high energy. This is the side within us most valued by our culture, whether we are born biologically male or female. Cocaine boosts the part of us that can succeed in society.
The spirit of the substance of cocaine has to do with ego inflation – or what might be called feeling “up”. Not just energetically, but specifically in terms of self-perception. Under the influence of cocaine people become more confident, verbal, assertive, and perceive themselves as powerful and capable in ways that they wouldn’t feel without it. In short, a cocaine trip is an ego trip.
However, cocaine destroys the personality in the long run, including the ego, which becomes ever more brittle and fragile, disordered and dysfunctional. The organic infrastructure of personality is converted into a house for the spirit of addiction. So although cocaine temporarily loans feelings of direction, focus, high energy and self-esteem, it also directly destroys our ability to get there naturally, leaving us, as all drugs do, less able to focus, feel emotionally ok, and enormously weakened.
Whatever a woman’s true soul pattern is, prolonged use of cocaine fosters a negative, entitled, violent type of masculine principle energy pattern to live inside a woman instead of her real soul. Over time, the woman that this negative parasitic spirit of addiction rules is subject to ever more fractious, abusive thoughts, including psychosis and paranoia, and of course, the increasing drive to use the substance, not infrequently to the point of death.
Cocaine often appeals to those who need to feel that their self is a winner, not just inferior but actually superior, a real contender. As such it will always be an enormously addictive substance as long as humans are born with the “ego program” pre-installed in us. The ego will always like something that increases its reign of influence. We are all wounded in our self-esteem, and something that seems to take away that pain will be intriguing to us.
Ego inflation is not true self-esteem, however, and feeling that one is above others, more successful, more of a winner than they, however much the ego likes it, is isolating and does not actually create happiness. Instead, it creates a drive to fly higher and higher, to become more and more selfish, competitive, and self-centered, and to push more and more loved ones out to the periphery, until all are kicked underneath into the “less than” position, just in order for the poor ego-possessed person to feel safe. Having a large, over-inflated, strong ego is enormously lonely, as it walls us off from those we actually long to be loved by. That’s why even though people with a narcissistic personality structure seem to have an enviable amount of self-approval, their heart-shattering loneliness makes them deserving of our deepest compassion. And cocaine makes a narcissist of anyone.
Most of us are afraid of our own depression, our own low self-esteem, and the deflated pole, and the way that we conquer that within is to be in an adversarial relationship with it, to try to subjugate that within us which is vulnerable, weaker, what might be called the more feminine or yin qualities of receptivity. Typically we have good reason for this pattern, often owing to trauma from the time in our lives when we had less power (as a child, for example). Finally in charge of our own lives, we don’t want to spend any more time feeling powerless, less-than, and ego-deflated any longer.
But what we resist, persists. Women who use cocaine and become dependent on it go into withdrawals when not able to obtain the substance, and those withdrawals are, as all withdrawals are, the equal and opposite effect of the drug itself. However far high up the drug took us above our baseline, we will swing, like a pendulum, exactly that far down below our original baseline, to the absolute nadir. More profoundly depressed than when we started, more decimated in self-esteem and more powerless, vulnerable, frightened and traumatized.
If you have fallen into the devil’s bargain of cocaine, please know that you have the right at any time to cancel that bargain and sincerely come back to your own sovereignty. You have the right and with help, the power, to stop using the substance completely, and to gradually regrow natural, life-sustaining pathways in your brain and body. You can grow your inner world back to the point where you are able to sustain positive, humble feelings of your worth in connection with others. You can make your inner world a place where it is safe for you to feel your vulnerability without fear of exploitation, to enjoy your influxes of energy, when they come, and to also enjoy and experience your deep-bodied, more relaxed natural cycles of lower energy.
When you remove the substance and collapse the “house” that an addiction has been living in, it cannot continue to live in you. You are in charge of this, only you can say what spirits you permit to live in you. If you are ready to boot out the spirit of cocaine addiction and instead connect to a loving, unitive healing power, a spirit of freedom, love, connection, and true love for your own self and all others in this world too, if you want to take the throne of your inner kingdom again, come to Villa Kali Ma! In time, you will not need any substance to experience your own natural heights. Instead, you will discover your birthright-given abilities to rise, ascending with all the support of the universe under your wings.