Antiquity and Addiction
Addiction may seem like a contemporary problem, especially with the increased prevalence of prescription drug abuse. In reality, substance abuse has its roots in all humanity, those of antiquity and modernity. Historical accounts of addiction cover a wide spectrum, from the Greeks to Native American Indians. An interesting example here is over 3000 years old:
“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine, those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things and your mind will utter perverse things…”
This excerpt is actually from the Bible, in the book of Proverbs (chapter 23, verses 29-35). Proverbs is an ancient book of wisdom written by Solomon, said to be the wisest man who has ever lived. Religious beliefs notwithstanding, this passage provides some incredible insight into the insanity and irrationalism associated with addictions.
Solomon starts this section by asking five rhetorical questions about life’s circumstances. Now these afflictions of life can certainly occur without the abuse of alcohol (or drugs), but what Solomon is saying is that with active abuse, these things come hand in hand: Woe, Sorrow, Arguments (contentions), Complaints, Self-Inflicted Wounds, and of course, red eyes (physical manifestation of drunkenness)
Lessons To Be Learned
These are the repercussions of the pursuing of alcohol or drugs. Like the Sirens of Greek mythology, the sparkle of wine or the anticipation of euphoria that seemingly accompanies the pills, pot, powder, or rock, this is an illusion destined to crash you on the rocky shoals. It is a snake ready to take your life, to deceive you, and you will be thrown into a world that you see strange things and speak perversities. Is this not the definition of the insane, desperately sick person?
These circumstances do not have to be endured with hopelessness. They do become hopeless when you allow alcohol or drugs to master your life! Unlike Solomon’s time, resources for addictions and substance abuse help are available. Take an ancient insight to heart and reach out for some modern help!
Written By: Watershed Rob