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OUR COLUMNIST AVILA ON ANGELA LYN’S WORK:

‘Angela’s paintings remind me the essence of an addiction…

Imagine yourself riding a two thousand foot tall wave on a surf board. The roaring noise of the water, and the white foam that it produces down in the base of the wave, shelters your fear from falling into the abyss. You keep your eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to maintain your equilibrium atop of the wave, and you wonder, how am I going to get out of here? At the same time, you enjoy the rush of Nature and you would like it to last forever.

The beginnings of an addiction has those characteristics. You would like to get away from a particular situation or action, and at the same time, you would like it to last forever. Every single soul on the planet has some sort of addiction, even if it is only mild and temporary, which in appearance drives individuals to do things they don’t really want to undertake. The common understanding of its meaning refers to a compulsive habit or action that is not completely necessary for the survival of the individual, but is being realized anyway drove by some physical or mental impulse, often resulting in the harm of the person’s body and soul.

The essence of any addiction’s beginning, is based on the cognitive process of knowledge. An individual reiterates the same action because it produces some sort of satisfaction. This gratification is completely subjective to the individual, and usually requires numerous trips up and down the stairs of understanding. On each step we make, a connection of ideas is reached producing pleasure, which is the compensation from our imagination for the energy and risk spent on the process. After a while, our minds decide that the repetition of the same process is no longer attractive; that the knowledge acquired by the same activities doesn’t produce new reasoning because we wear down the platforms of understanding, falling in the space left between the steps. Still, our stubborn minds redevelop the same process because that is the way in which we have learned to survive since childhood, by repeating actions and events until we reach our goals.

Societies demonstrate similar characteristics because they reflect in a communal manner the actions of the individuals that form them. For example, the addiction to petroleum represents so many gratifications for the community, that the choosing of a different pathway developing alternative energy solutions is frequently disregarded. The society as a whole accustoms itself to the same habits, even though overtime, those practices could cause great damage to the environment and to the population.

The established usual behaviors are very difficult to transform because they are engraved in the memories of the individuals, particularly if the benefits of having those traditions are more numerous than the drawbacks. Most of what an individual does since he wakes up in the morning, until he goes to sleep at night, are routine applications of customs and behaviors, which unconsciously reinforce his security against surprises from the environment. Our minds like to have an easy access to their thoughts and repeating frequent paths to approach reason in our endeavors facilitate this response. To our minds there is little difference in behavior if the routine that we adopt is to have a double shot of Jack Daniels in the morning, rather than a cup of coffee. The effect may be different in our bodies and in our minds, but the familiar process of selecting a morning drink is the same.

Ninety percent of what we do every day, like politics, religion, etc. is based on the repetition of conducts and traditions established throughout our lives. They represent the bridge that connects us to reason, and in which we founded our routine knowledge. If for whatever circumstance we need to change that bridge, we have to endure a process of adaptation that usually affects our entire disposition. What was normal, turns into oddity, because we have lost the reference on each step of our understanding, resolving in most cases to set up new ladders of knowledge.

The pleasure and satisfaction that we could obtain riding an enormous wave is part of the problem; but also part of the solution. Without it, our chances for survival will decrease due to the fact that our brains recognize pleasure as a sign of stability and equilibrium, hanging on to our dear lives by simple wonder’

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