Mr Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a beloved favorite as a person and an actor, leaves behind a loving family and a multitude of friends and fans. Mr Hoffman also carries away with him the characters of the loveable, odd and somewhat troubled family member he so perfectly portrayed in his many roles. That character that represents a secret part in all of us kept at bay or tucked away. Characters hard for us to admit exist, characters better kept as fantasy and not acknowledged as a reality among us.
To play a character successfully an actor must identify with it to some degree. Actors find a mutual affinity so as to understand the entity's state of being and then portray it as a reality. After which these characters can be admired as a cherished valance for all to revisit and remember their essence.
In Hoffman's case, many films were made with his examining a darker side of a human social experience. Most artist define their very existence by their craft or body of work. Many artist are most alive when in their element of creating or performing and it is intoxicating when at it's best. In-between projects however, an artist experiences a downtime. During the downtime an artist can let the experiences subside and prepare for the next. To the degree the artist is successful in releasing the experience determines the speed of the rebound. Consequently, how that downtime is dealt with is a crucial part of an artist survival.
Interestingly, it seems primarily famous men wind up overdosing during substance abuse. Phillip Seymour Hoffman sadly joins the fallen few of our artists ...still yet too many... whose lives have terminated due to addiction. Just think, he was winning the battle with twenty years being sober, accomplishing great works of art before his relapse. The reason why, is what we need to know. Even if it were an accident of receiving "Bad Drugs", the need to understand the relapse is what may save another life.
It has been said, " With every great light, there is a great shadow'. Like yin and yang represents light and dark, beings possess equal parts of both. Staying balanced between the two poles of opposites is hard for anyone, especially when the struggle within vacillates so drastically. To read more about yin and yang:
As a creative being living daily in the spotlight, it may be hard to find that quiet place to re-coop or recharge. We know that most addictions are an attempt to find a blissful comfort. Many addicts realize this kind of comfort is artificial and short lived, thus explains the need to reuse in search of that special stimulation towards the ethereal. Which leads, in most cases, to a "believed" inability to confront without "it".
So the puzzle remains in how to turn around the dreaded catastrophic downward spiral of addiction.
The origin of the word addict according to the online Etymology Dictionary is very interesting:
(v.) 1530's (implied in addicted), from Latin addictus, past participle of addicere "to deliver, award, yield; give assent, make over, sell," figuratively "to devote, consecrate; sacrifice, sell out, betray" from ad- "to" (see ad-) +dicere "say, declare" (see diction), but also "adjudge, allot." Earlier in English as an adjective, "delivered, devoted" (1520s). Related: Addicted; addicting.
See also related terms for slave www.TheFreeDictionary.com : addict - To addict originally meant "to award as a slave"; an addict now is a slave to his/her habit, from Latin addictus, which, in Roman law, meant "a debtor awarded as a slave to his creditor."
Seymour Hoffman's last hours may be viewed on this CNN link:
Some have said perhaps prolonged supervised solitude in a non-abrasive setting, giving a person time for physical and emotional healing, is a possible answer. Others say therapy combined with herbal supplements to cleanse the body, re-train the brain and confront the deeper emotional issues. Of course there is also the most popular fail-safe: the twelve step program which has helped so many hundreds of thousands who suffer to help themselves.
Whatever the answer, the truth still remains, to lose someone this way seems tragic; simply put.
If there is a silver lining, perhaps it is to remind us the value of being timely in giving and receiving comforting help, and to confront issues of understanding lovingly, whenever possible, with one another.
Rest In peace Mr Hoffman. You are a favorite to many and will be deeply missed.