“Science vs Spirituality? No, Science AND Spirituality”
Recreate Life Counseling — So while I was doing my research last week, looking for something topical that fit the spirit of what the fine folks at Recreate Life Counseling do for addicts and alcoholics every day, I found an article about a drug that apparently DESTROYS the euphoric memories associated with cocaine use. It’s only been used on mice so far, at least in this capacity, but it’s actually a cancer treatment drug that humans have used safely for years. It’s neuroscience stuff, and therefore really complicated, but the upshot is this: it’s a drug that shows great promise in eliminating the terrible cravings that make early recovery from the use of cocaine and other drugs. More importantly though, at least for our purposes, is how this experiment points to an unnecessary tension between the findings of science and the spiritual approach to recovery so often emphasized in support and treatment centers. It’s a minefield that counselors at Recreate Life Counseling negotiate constantly, so I wanted to expound on this a bit.
It’s something you encounter all the time, even at Recreate Life Counseling, scientifically minded folks and people who emphasize spirituality and connectedness eyeballing one another suspiciously across the table, as though they were different teams trying to win a game that doesn’t exist. The Science vs Spirituality game doesn’t exist because there’s nothing to contest, nothing to fight about. Science vs Spirituality is a made up distinction, what fancy philosopher types call a false binary. There’s just one team, folks. And the only way to win is to reduce the terrible suffering and social costs of active addiction. Recreate Life Counseling understands this implicitly, and offers the best of both worlds in their therapeutic models, but for some reason the wider world doesn’t get this yet and the phony debate rages on.
Look, I don’t know much. But I can read and I can be open minded when staying all sewn up starts to hurt too much. And everything I’ve read and seen tells me this: that science and spirituality end up doing remarkably similar things and need each other more than they realize. If I go to Recreate Life Counseling for my cocaine addiction, they’re not just going to give me a pill that eliminates my craving for drugs and send me on my way. If they did, I’d be back in a month with brand new cravings from all the coke I snorted while I was away. That’s because I don’t know to live! I don’t know how to connect or treat people. That’s where the emphasis on spirituality at Recreate Life Counseling comes in – it teaches me what I don’t know. And the reverse holds true as well. If there’s a chemical solution to my chemical part of my disease, I want you to give to me!
So what we need is humility, true humility and an honest desire to solve the problem. And both these traits tell me that I don’t have all the answers. They tell me that Science vs Spirituality is a false debate. And they tell me that what the world needs is to heal, not ague.