Drug overdoses are like suicides.
They are a needless waste of human life.
They make us feel sad, angry and helpless.
They leave us in shock with the unexplainable.
We ask ourselves where did they cross the line from instant gratification to self destruction? When does enough become enough? What made them seek their edges, their horizon, and their boundaries? Didn’t they include us in their decision?
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely drug over dose death bears a gift for all of us.
We can see how he took his illusion over the edge in a way that we do not have to do. Instead, we can use his life experience to gift our own lives. By doing so, we give even more meaning to his professional ability as an actor to make us think and feel in the grand stage of life. We can self reflect to see how his passing relates to our lives too. He always wanted to do the impossible. Let’s give him what he wanted.
Do we ourselves have behavior that we get instant gratification but that is self destructive too? Do we eat sugar when we are diabetics? Do we drive even when we have been drinking? Do we have sex ‘just this once’ without a condom? Do we jaywalk on a busy street because we are late? Do we ignore a shooting pain or an unusually looking mole because it is a nuisance to call the doctor?
The list is endless.
We all have our secret personal reasons. We play games with ourselves.
We deny it.
We rationalize it by comparing it to something worse.
We justify its necessity.
We put it off until tomorrow.
We ignore it as if it is not there.
We pretend the worst scenario will never happen to us.
We cling to our youthful idea that we are invincible and nothing can harm us.
We isolate ourselves to make it artificially OK that no one will get hurt but us.
We take away anything or anyone that reminds us of the consequences we might have to face.
We forget the ‘close calls’ in the past, that gave us a reality check, and we promised to change our ways.
We say we have lots of time to get to it.
We tell ourselves it is because we have earned it and it is a time to celebrate.
We convince ourselves that our close ones who are warning us, threatening us, or giving us ultimatums just don’t understand, or are jealous, ignorant or sheltered.
We minimize that one small choice could not do that much damage.
But call a rose by any other name and it is still a rose. By the same token, call destruction by any other name and it still destroys.
Go moves you. Death kills you. Love enlarges you. Forgiveness connects you.
But it is your decision….to what?
As a Classical Homeopath, my colleagues and I make prescriptions based on the type of destructive behavior of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger, Cory Monteith, John Bulushi and countless others. We prescribe remedies that fall into a ‘Syphilitic Miasm’. A syphilitic miasm does not mean that the person has syphilis. A syphilitic miasm is a state of being where the organism has tried everything else possible to heal them and it has not worked. So their last ditch option is to kill off the thought that keeps them coming back to the edge of destruction where they left the healthy part of themselves. That thought resides in the brain. They think, “If only I could eliminate that one compulsive thought, then I can get myself back. I will be OK.” Suddenly, the person in the syphilitic miasm kills himself or herself in a drug overdose, suicide or some other risky behavior. This person just wants to kill off the compulsive thought like a cancerous tumor. This compulsive thought is like the end stages of syphilis, a disease that ultimately destroys the brain so that behavior looks destructive and insane.
The innocent quest underneath all the destructive behavior is really just a quest for life. The person just wants to excise the cancerous thought so they can get back to themselves. The self destructive behavior is not just for pleasure, not just for a quick out or wanton abandon. No, underneath it is all just the soft whisper and hope of life to spring forth like a weed through the concrete. It is a desire for life under the heavy weight of self destruction. Just like chemotherapy that destroys all cells to start from a clean slate, sometimes the patient dies in the process of trying to ‘clean the slate’ to start anew.
For Philip Seymour Hoffman, he couldn’t live long enough to extinguish every last destructive thought.
As his audience, let us stand and clap together, in unison for an encore, by soaking his very last profound performance for all of us to see and reflect upon our own destructive ways. Let us look to ourselves. What thought are we trying to excise with destructive behavior, that in so doing we are destroying ourselves little by little; extinguishing our whisper of life, and our unique, beautiful spark of God?
Philip Seymour Hoffman was mesmerising to me. His was the kind of acting that I love, that I love to do and there can be nothing less when you are wholly focussed as an actor, when you concentrate every fibre of your being to be someone else while accessing parts of yourself that you synthesise into the created character. The idea is that you don’t give the audience an opportunity to question that character’s reality and all of us are highly tuned to what is authentically the presence of another person. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performances were nuanced, all those ticks and twists he gave the character to show the underlying frailties, hesitancies and humanity. His delivery was seamless. It was an immersed journey you joined him in. And he never cut corners . I saw him when I was working background on a film set. He came in and took some food from the general food pans that were for crew. He had emerged from where ever he was – his set trailer , which can be an isolating place having been in one myself. He was looking for food, for delicious morsels in the general mix of the populace, us, and I saw him and wanted to talk to him. I stared at him. Talking to and staring at a principle actor are against the rules for any background person and I am not star struck but Philip Seymour Hoffman’s talent was another matter.