Addiction to tension and fight


Avikal examines the primordial need to find enemies, create problems and generate disturbance.

Bondi Beach cr Avikal

It’s just before sunrise and I am standing at the beginning of the stairs that go down to the beach in South Bondi. All is quiet, hardly any people, grey and pink clouds intersperse a soft blue sky, I can hear the ocean singing gently. I love this time of the day!

And yet something agitates in my consciousness and disturbs the field of my energy.

I recognize the compulsion of my personality structure to bring up something to fight with, something to confront, something to overcome. How familiar!

Even though I am rooted in a clear and nearly immediate recognition that this is simply the inertia of a basic program in my personality, for few seconds it gets me and my attention is entrapped in it. The clouds disappear together with the gentleness of the sound of the waves and the birds in flight…

I return… and start considering the impulse of attaching to negativity I just experienced…

Is it actually a need? No, it is not. I do not need it and it doesn’t serve me at all. It is a habit, a sort of addiction to tension and fight which I know well and recognize as a core element of my personality structure: I fight therefore I am! I find myself laughing at this… and also somehow humbled… This is the most intimate, well-known, cozy defense mechanism I have adopted to survive since I can remember, and it has served me well. I know that the best way is to simply say yes to it and not reject it, let it be here, make space and integrate, not fight with the fight!

As I keep inquiring, I ask myself: is it primordial? Here I do not have a clear answer, it is, and it isn’t. It is in the sense that it is imprinted in my biology and DNA the need and capacity to respond to danger and protect my survival. And it isn’t as I have learnt to imagine and expect danger, obstacles, waves before they manifest, just in case they ever…

I am walking along the ocean. The couple of minutes of self-inquiry have done their usual magic: space has opened inside to include enemies, problems, disturbances and all the possible related mindfucks, and they have melted in the presence and wholeness of this moment… and the birds are looking for food in the sand as the waves recede.

Previously published as a Facebook post, re-posted with permission by the author
Featured image by the author


Avikal Costantino is founder and director of the Integral Being Institute, active in Europe, Asia and Australia and is the author of several books. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

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