"God cannot be thought but God can well be loved." - The Cloud of Unknowing
The gambler's addiction consists of unconscious thoughts such as: "I'm due!"; "I feel it coming!"; "When it finally hits I will be able to live the life I imagine - life as it should be!" In sum, the gambler's addiction rests on some sense of being on the verge... near completion, fulfillment of some sort. It is a feeling of perpetually living on the precipice of living. Hence the gambler says, over and over again, "Let it ride!"
There is a similar phenomenon for many on the spiritual path. Like the gambler, many spiritual sojourners feel as though they are perpetually living on the precipice of living. They, too, have some sense of being on the verge... near completion, fulfillment of some sort. So they keep searching... for that one last bit of esoteric knowledge that will finally deliver the goods. Then life will be as they imagine - as it should be! They, too, say over and over again, "Let it ride!"
The people to which I refer are those - and there are MANY - who "think the path." That is, they are those who believe, consciously or not, that they can think their way on the spiritual journey. The truth is, however, that the spiritual journey is not a thing that can be thought, as the opening citation from The Cloud of Unknowing advises us. That is, spiritual experience is not a mental experience nor, for that matter, is it an emotional experience. Rather, it is an experience that is had when the mind, emotions, and the body are at rest. In other words, spiritual experience is a received experience, which suggests such notions as devotion, surrender, and grace (more on the role of these notions in spiritual experience at a later date).
None of this is to say that the mind does not have a place in the spiritual life. It certainly does. For instance, the mind is needed to acquire information about the path. Nevertheless, spiritual experience is paradoxically dependent upon the ability to relinquish the mind, to resist the temptation to confuse information about the path with the path itself.
To receive spiritual experience is to have direct experience of spiritual reality. Such direct experience is not only not dependent upon the mind, it has the prerequisite of "no mind." Returning to our opening metaphor, direct experience requires that one stop rolling the dice! Then and only then will one know that one knows that one knows what it is that one seeks to know - which truly cannot be "known!" Sit (don't think) with that for a while.
Give up that bad gambling habit, friends, and sit instead. You've already hit "black 17" and just don't know it yet.