All of addiction is based on an experience, often unknown to a person, of feeling separated from the truth of the Divine. It is an effort to compensate for a sense of loss, a sense of separateness, a sense of aloneness.
We have come to think of addiction primarily as a physiological process with emotional roots. Yet, most addictions are deeply founded in a sense of spiritual emptiness that conveys a painful awareness that one’s life is not meaningful in some significant way. That the question of meaning arises is fundamentally a spiritual question, having to do with who one is and what one’s connection with life is as a whole. We find meaning when we belong to ourselves, and when we feel our sense of connection with the rest of life.The spiritual quest that is pursued through addiction may not be consciously known to the one pursuing this direction, yet beneath all other justifications and explanations lies the longing to return home to God. This longing is so intense that it fuels a process, addictive process, that creates more pain than it relieves. It is only the return to the original search for Divine encounter that truly relieves the painful emotions that are the underpinning of addictive process.