Alice Cooper is a rock musician who continues to perform well into his 60’s. He is also an alcoholic. He tells the story of how he gave up alcohol by taking up the game of golf.

Alice Cooper traded one addiction for another. This is a good thing to the extent that he is alive and playing music. It is unfortunate to the extent that he is not free from addiction.

This man’s life has led to a reflection: is it in the experience of an event, of an emotion, of a high, that we find freedom? Or, rather, is it in the disassociation from that experience?  Giving into a desire or craving results in a certain satisfaction–but it does not last. There is no freedom in this.

In the question of freedom, restraint and self control are pivotal.


The mind

Doing just what you want to
Some of the time
There is a hook, a price you pay

When engaged, driven
Am I free?
Do I control my life
Or does something else control me

From attachment
From association
From fear

Not in experience
Does freedom arise
Rather from disassociation
From experience

by Patrick Gaffney

by Patrick Gaffney