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Philip Seymour Hoffman died trying to find a way to live

CNN published a story on Feb. 4, 2014 that provides a description of the last hours of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s life. Wikipedia has a description of Hoffman’s life from birth to death including his many awards and accolades in the performing arts.

A Most Wanted Man portrait of Philip Seymour Hoffman
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Part of Hoffman’s story is that he was clean of heroin for nearly 25 years, and then he wasn’t. He was 46 when he died. Wikipedia provides a thorough accounting of his Oscar and Oscar nominations and his Tony awards. There is not any mention of the spiritual pain that got Hoffman doing heroin or the purpose that kept him sober for a long period. There is no mention of why he was back doing heroin.

Addiction is a vicious handmaiden. It demands attention whenever consciousness is present. There is lamentation from fans about what great things that Hoffman might have done. Perhaps the greatest thing that he did was to die on a bathroom floor with a needle in his arm. It is a warning to the many that skirt death in order not to feel the pain of living.

This is not to criticize Hoffman for his overdosing. There has been no mention of a suicide letter. He was self-medicating and he made a mistake. Spiritualists believe that nobody is ever beyond redemption. It is going to take some time for his partner and their children to release the pain of losing Hoffman. We believe that his life had a purpose, and that purpose continues after his passing.

Many years ago, there was a brilliant man in Columbus that went by the name of Fox. Fox made wonderful kinetic art machines out of scrap parts, motors and pumps. He also died of a drug overdose. Before he died, he was asked to critique the poem below. His comment was that it was pretty good for someone that had never been an addict. That was a wonderful compliment to receive on several levels.

Smoke Ring

The candlelight dances on the silver spoon
borne in no mouth, but cherished by many
as the candle of tranquility and the substance of life.
There is no need for other things or for you.

The sharp, happy pain winks as the needle slides home;
big breath in, now wait…slow sigh out.
Warm, wet, floating easy into the arms of a lazy lover,
and The Lover smiles with you like she is your very best friend.

But then you look closely and find
her teeth are all needles;
her tongue is a rubber tube, and she screams
feed me, fuck me, fill me.

You sweat, you smile, you ache, you cry,
and then you hit the street
looking for the Candy man and hoping
that he won’t mind that you are a dollar short.

But, he does mind, and you only have the deposit
on six Coke bottles; you’d kill for a dime.
“Friend, spare change? Thank you.”
The candlelight dances on the silver spoon.

© Copyright 1972 All rights reserved.
Jim Hetzer

This article is written to advise you that there is always a purpose for your life. You are here as part of the creation, and the world is unique in part because it includes you. You deserve life. You cannot hide from it or the consequences of your existence. Live as happily as you can and give and receive love in all that you do.

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