It is so easy to hypothesize and make assumptions why something happened when there are so many unknown variables, case in point the recent transition of Phillip Seymour Hoffman of what officials have called an apparent drug overdose.
As metaphysicians, mystics, lightworkers, and such we are supposed to see things from a “different” level of consciousness and yet it can be challenging when our human side feels the tragedy of this loss though our spiritual side realizes nothing and no one can ever be lost. That darned paradoxical limbo can be quite the metaphysical morass to sludge through especially when something like this hits close to heart.
No, I did not know Phillip personally and yet I felt hurt. Why? Was it because I know what addiction can do to a person? Was it because I have seen drug and alcohol use and abuse up close and person in my family? Was it because of my own personal addictions? While I did not develop a drug addiction or become an alcoholic, I did develop forms of escape by way of different addictions thanks to the paradigm of an addictive personality. Is that why his transition stunned me?
I mean, as a result of my own addictions I went places in my life experience that I equate in many ways to the gutters and crack houses that many addicts find themselves. I found myself in places where I felt shame and guilt for having entered; associated with people I knew were not healthy for me, doing things I knew I would regret.
I found myself rotting in the acid of self loathing where I added injury to insult by repeatedly punishing myself for being “weak” and succumbing to the addictions once again.
Why am I telling you this? As I said in the beginning, it can be easy to theorize and hypothesize why someone as talented as Mr. Hoffman would or could relapse after being clean and sober for so many years. It is easy to assume despite the fact that no one could ever know what was in his mind and heart that day he decided to buy and later inject heroin into his body.
I found myself dumbfounded and selfishly questioning WHY!? I found myself revisiting all of the pain I have witnessed as family and friends experienced addictions of all sorts. I revisited my own, dare I say torment with my own addictions. On top of this I was upset with Phillip because I would no longer have the pleasure of what his craft, artistry, and gift as an actor would bring to my life.
In that state of shock and anger, I entered into meditation and prayer and after a period of time was able to reconcile and remember those truths that I have spent years studying, such as; death is not what I have been taught.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
In such moments of clarity, it becomes easier to remember that everything has a “Divine Purpose” and that quite often this purpose is beyond my “human” understanding. Despite my lack of understanding, the Universal Power has planets aligned, cells of the body working precisely, and quantum particles all moving without MY input. I am able to breath and trust that everything, like an well trained orchestra, is playing just as it is meant to; even those seemingly off notes. . . are not by accident, are not random, or out of what many would call God’s Will.
I do not diminish the pain we feel or the healing his friends and children will undoubtedly have to go through because grief is real. What I am emphasizing is that it is important to celebrate his life, embrace him as the gifted artist he lived as, and not to judge or label him as a relapsed drug addict because we may not understand how or why that was what caused his “life” to end.
It is said once an addict, always an addict and while I definitely understand that concept, I also make it clear for myself not to label, identify, or categorize a person based upon that term because to a certain degree it can be enslaving. I do not think that I (and I am speaking solely of myself) could have healed from several of my addictions had I not been willing to let that label and identity go.
We each have our own journey, our own choices, and as some of my Christian friends would say, our own crosses to bear. . . and while there is a certain factual aspect to this, it is also true that we can lay down those burdens, crosses, and labels. We can reinvent, rewrite, and literally rewire the brain to work and produce different series of circumstances and choices that take us where we would prefer to be.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
That is one big thing I remembered as I sat in the stillness to honor and appreciate Phillip Seymour Hoffman for what he gave to me.
May his next adventure in life after life be one of love, joy, peace and artistry and may his family, friends and fans be comforted in the realization that though he is not physically present with us, we have his art and his love and his spirit with us forever. . .