The Nature of Addiction by Roget Lockard, M.Ed.

Beginning With Fire

The Story of Addiction, Human Nature, and Evolution

Chapter Sketches

Section Three


Sobriety is all about moving through pain, to fulfillment of longings.

Why use the word “resolution” to describe sobriety? Because the word “recovery” suggests regaining something we once had. In the case of a disease, for example, once the disease is cured we are restored to a prior state of health. But the disease construct is not our model here. We’ve seen above how a misplaced trust in control leads to the downward spiral of addiction. Sobriety, then, is about resolving — literally, re-solving — the problem of self which had seemed to be brilliantly solved by strategies of control during the enchantment phase of the addictive process. In sobriety we relocate our trust through a process of healing and growth involving five stages, or levels. This is not recovery, a return to old familiar ground, but rather discovery; an ongoing odyssey into the three perennial mysteries of self, of choice — and of love.

This section also introduces us to AA, described by its co-founder as “an utter simplicity which encases a complete mystery.” We find that the familiar association of AA with the disease label is more atavistic than essential, and that AA has a great deal to teach us about the re-solving process. AA is not the only possible road to sobriety. It is, however, widely traveled, well known — and especially instructive for our purposes in this book.

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Roget Lockard’s thinking about the complex topic of addiction is both revolutionary and unique. His work abounds with a wonderful mix of down-to-earth knowledge of addiction, and at the same time, a transcendent perspective on the breadth and depth of humankind’s capacity for addictive behavior. Lockard applies his exciting new thinking about the nature of addiction to all levels of planetary survival. I feel invigorated by his ideas — always!

Dusty Miller, therapist with more than thirty years in the addictions field, and author of Addiction and Trauma Recovery; Women Who Hurt Themselves: Your Surviving Spirit; Stop Running From Love; and numerous journal articles.