Gabor Maté Quotes



Best 21 In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts Quotes by Gabor Maté

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts Quotes

“Adults envy the openhearted and open-minded explorations of children; seeing their joy and curiosity, we pine for our own lost capacity for wide-eyed wonder. Boredom, rooted in a fundamental discomfort with the self, is one of the least tolerable mental states.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“At the core of every addiction is an emptiness based in abject fear. The addict dreads and abhors the present moment; she bends feverishly only toward the next time, the moment when her brain, infused with her drug of choice, will briefly experience itself as liberated from the burden of the past and the fear of the future—the two elements that make the present intolerable.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Being cut off from our own natural self-compassion is one of the greatest impairments we can suffer. Along with our ability to feel our own pain go our best hopes for healing, dignity and love.

What seems nonadapative and self-harming in the present was, at some point in our lives, an adaptation to help us endure what we then had to go through.

If people are addicted to self-soothing behaviours, it's only because in their formative years they did not receive the soothing they needed. Such understanding helps delete toxic self-judgment on the past and supports responsibility for the now. Hence the need for compassionate self-inquiry.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Boredom, rooted in a fundamental discomfort with the self, is one of the least tolerable mental states.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Even our 24/7 self-exposure to noise, e-mails, cell phones, TV, Internet chats, media outlets, music downloads, videogames, and nonstop internal and external chatter cannot succeed in drowning out the fearful voices within.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“I needed to write, to express myself through written language not only so that others might hear me but so that I could hear myself.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“In the real world there is no nature vs. nurture argument, only an infinitely complex and moment-by-moment interaction between genetic and environmental effects.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“It is impossible to understand addiction without asking what relief the addict finds, or hopes to find, in the drug or the addictive behaviour.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Many of us resemble the drug addict in our ineffectual efforts to fill in the spiritual black hole, the void at the center, where we have lost touch with our souls, our spirit — with those sources of meaning and value that are not contingent or fleeting.

Our consumerist, acquisition-, action-, and image-mad culture only serves to deepen the hole, leaving us emptier than before. The constant, intrusive, and meaningless mind-whirl that characterizes the way so many of us experience our silent moments is, itself, a form of addiction — and it serves the same purpose.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“No society can understand itself without looking at its shadow side.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours.

It is present in the gambler, the internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden — but it’s there.

As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Not every story has a happy ending but the discoveries of science, the teachings of the heart, and the revelations of the soul all assure us that no human being is ever beyond redemption.

The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists. How to support that possibility in others and in ourselves is the ultimate question.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Passion creates, addiction consumes.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“The difference between passion and addiction is that between a divine spark and a flame that incinerates.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“The greatest damage done by neglect, trauma or emotional loss is not the immediate pain they inflict but the long-term distortions they induce in the way a developing child will continue to interpret the world and her situation in it.

All too often these ill-conditioned implicit beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives. We create meanings from our unconscious interpretation of early events, and then we forge our present experiences from the meaning we’ve created.

Unwittingly, we write the story of our future from narratives based on the past. Mindful awareness can bring into consciousness those hidden, past-based perspectives so that they no longer frame our worldview.

Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious. In present awareness we are liberated from the past.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“The heart of addiction is dependency, excessive dependency, unhealthy dependency — unhealthy in the sense of unwhole, dependency that disintegrates and destroys.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

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“Life's two most important questions are 'Why?' and 'Why not?' The trick is knowing which one to ask.”


More quotes by Gordon Livingston

“We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“We see that substance addictions are only one specific form of blind attachment to harmful ways of being, yet we condemn the addict's stubborn refusal to give up something deleterious to his life or to the life of others.

Why do we despise, ostracize and punish the drug addict, when as a social collective, we share the same blindness and engage in the same rationalizations?”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“What we call the personality is often a jumble of genuine traits and adopted coping styles that do not reflect our true self at all but the loss of it.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“When I am sharply judgmental of any other person, it's because I sense or see reflected in them some aspect of myself that I don't want to acknowledge.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

“Your worst enemy cannot hurt you as much as your own thoughts, when you haven’t mastered them,” said the Buddha. “But once mastered, no one can help you as much—not even your father and your mother.”

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts