Addictions are what happen when an unhealed ego attempts to let go but does so in the wrong way.

“Whenever we function from our Real Self, we are in truth and we are joyful. Our most constructive and creative contributions to life arise from our inner self. So everything that expands life—everything wise and beautiful and generous—comes from here. This is worth contemplating, as it cannot be emphasized too much. It’s essential we understand this truth, not only with our mind—we need to feel this.

If this is so, then what is the function of our outer personality—our ego? This is the part of us that operates on a level we have direct access to. Since we are directly, or consciously, aware of our ego, this is our conscious awareness. This is the part of us that thinks, acts, sorts and makes decisions.

If we have a weak ego, we’ll have a hard time coping with life. If we have an overgrown ego, we’ll be lost from our Real Self. In other words, both extremes of ego-weakness and ego-inflation will result in being separated from our inner essence. And this essentially is our problem. All our conflicts in life stem from having too big an ego, or too small an ego.”

–After the Ego: Insights From the Pathwork® Guide on How to Wake Up

Strengthening the ego

Because the unhealed ego exists in duality, our ego mind tends to think in black and white. So at the level of the ego, everything is either/or. As such, our ego may think we can either live from our ego or from our Higher Self, or Real Self. In reality, we need both. It’s a question of which part of ourselves we identify with, or align with.

Many parts of a spiritual path overlap. We can’t do everything in sequence. That said, one of our first tasks will be to develop a stronger, more healthy ego. Eventually, the ego will develop the ability to let go of itself. For a weak ego will follow the path of least resistance, which is the way of the Lower Self.

Often, starting out, we need to develop our ego’s ability to take care of the necessities in life. The ego is the part of us that attends to chores, makes a living, handles finances, gets to places on time, takes care of our bodies, and such. It is our ego that perseveres in healing ourselves, opening us to the guidance available from our Higher Self.

It’s important to understand that when we are living from our Higher Self, we are connected to the greater truth. We have abundant wisdom, deep love and remarkable courage. But we can’t live from this inner place until we have cleared away those obstacles. And it’s our ego that must lead this effort.

“It’s only after we’ve sufficiently developed our egos that we can be done with them. Maybe this sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not. Because if our ego is not well-developed, all our efforts to compensate for this will wind up leading to more weakness. So we’re kidding ourselves if we think we can dispense with our ego before we’ve learned to walk straight in the world. For as long as we lack a strong enough ego, we lack the ability to think, sort, decide and act appropriately in any situation that comes up.

If we hope to reach the holy grail of our Real Self by rejecting the effort needed to develop a healthy ego, we’re coming at things from a place of poverty. The correct way forward is to fully own and operate our outer selves first. If we hope to skip the creation of a healthy ego—perhaps because we’re too lazy—we’re in error. And this is going to cost us, as all errors do. Make no mistake, developing a healthy ego is no easy thing. But this work simply can’t be avoided. Doing so only delays reaching our goal.

To restate the situation: Only when we are in full possession of our outer ego-self can we let go of it and reach our inner self. This is not a theory; this is a spiritual law. And it’s actually a logical law that pushes us to act from a place of strength and abundance, rather than from a place of neediness and poverty. Then, once we reach this mini-mountaintop—when we are in full possession of our outer ego—we’ll have the much-needed perspective that, hey, this is not the final answer. This is not the end-all and be-all of who we are. Now, with the use of an ego that’s neither underdeveloped nor overemphasized, we can start to transcend ourselves and reach a higher state of consciousness. But not before then.“

–After the Ego: Insights From the Pathwork® Guide on How to Wake Up

Letting go the wrong way

Addictions are what happen when an unhealed ego attempts to let go but does so in the wrong way. As a result, addictions take us down a wrong path that leads to a self-made prison rather than to freedom. Many people who come to the Daime have addictions, and the Daime is available to help with with healing them. For we must let go of any and all addictions before we can learn to live from that deeper place within, the Higher Self.

One of the things Madrinha Baixinha addressed in her hymns was addictions, as in hymn #18 of Hinário da Fé.

The Guardian O Guardião
Here we do not raise mocking spirits Aqui não se cria zombeteiro
We do not feed the sufferers Não se alimenta sofredor
The addicted are to be healed Os vícios é para ser curado
This house is of God Esta casa é de Deus
And God has no addictions E Deus não tem vicio nenhum

Casa da Calma is a church that does not support the use of marijuana (often referred to as Santa Maria) or rapé in healing ceremonies, as these are so often used in an addictive way. We also prohibit the use of any other plant medicines before, during or after a work.

Here, the Daime is available to those who are working to let go of their addictions. But it may be necessary to attend another addiction support group for a time before entering a Santo Daime work. We will speak with all participants about your relationship with addictions during our interview process.