Archive | June, 2012

SPIRITUAL THIRST – CRAVING FOR A SPIRITUAL CONDITION OUR DAILY REPRIEVE IS CONTINGENT UPON:

28 Jun

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“But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit.” (BB pg 69)

The world of spirit is to be undisturbed. (Dis-couraged is defined as: deprived of hope, confidence and SPIRIT!) So the world of the spirit is also full of hope and confidence!

As alcoholics we have an inheirant thirst and craving for the spiritual! Dr. Carl Jung in his famous correspondence to Bill W. regarding his treatment of Rowland H.:

His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God. . . .

You see, “alcohol” in Latin is “spiritus” and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. –Dr. C. G. Jung

AA is a ‘Spiritual Program” – The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath”, in Greek, forgiveness is exhaling. We quite literally are given a new breath of life! The implication is that respiration is necessary to life, and involves a natural cycle of breathing in and breathing out; ‘Spiritual principles’ have and will solve all of my problems!

By applying these spiritual principles (spirit/breathing and exhaling/forgiving) I apply it in the following two ways, “If I’ve done wrong I need to make amends and hopefully receive forgiveness and if someone else has done me wrong, I need to forgive them.”

Perhaps this is over simplification, but it’s the best I’ve got and as long as I do my best to practice this simple way of life via our 12 Steps my life just keeps getting better in every area of my life!

“Yet we had been seeing another kind of flight, a spiritual liberation from this world, people who rose above their problems… our generation has witnessed complete liberation of our thinking.” (BB Chap. 4)

Psychologist say AA’s 12 Steps potentiate the Alcoholics self-esteem and self- actualization. Ultimately, spiritual redemption, for the real alcoholic can ONLY be found through experiencing spiritual liberation via AA’s 12 steps of recovery. Spirituality has been defined as “that which gives people meaning and purpose in life.”

All roads in AA lead to this and are found in AA members ultimate goal of the 3 parts of the 12th Step;

A. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of taking these 12 steps; 
B. We tried to carry this message;
C. Practice these principles in all of our affairs.

The twelfth step points to only one “result” from working the steps: the “spiritual awakening”. It does not say, “Having gotten sober as a result of these steps–”. Sobriety is not the name of the game, God is.

“Understanding our work, he can do this with an eye to selecting those who are willing and able to recover on a spiritual basis.” (BB pg 162)

AM I NOW WILLING? STEP 6 IS LIKE HAVING MY VERY OWN ‘GOD DELETE THIS FOR ME BUTTON’ AVAILABLE TO ME BUT, IMPORTUNATELY, MOST OF THE TIME I’M TOO AFRAID TO PRESS IT!

27 Jun

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The degree of my dedication to working the sixth step is measured by my willingness to give up my worst defects now and not wait until they cause an excessive misery. Am I willing to give up that defect I said I never would? “At the very least, we shall have to come to grips with some of our worst character defects and take action toward their removal as quickly as we can.”~Bill W 12 & 12 pg 69

1. (Pride-lack of Humility) Do we do or say things that will make us
feel a little (or a lot) superior to someone else?

2. (Greed-lack of generosity) Does our greed masquerade as ambition?

3. (Lust-Lack of purity of intention) Do our dreams of romance really
cover up imaginary sex excursions?

4. (Anger-Lack of love) Do we use justified resentments as an excuse to
criticize others and enjoy self-righteous anger?

5. (Gluttony-Lack of discipline) Do we enjoy milder forms of gluttony
that are not totally ruinous?

6. (Envy-Lack of gratitude) Do we wish for what we do not have rather
than working for it? Are we angry over attributes we do not have rather than accepting that fact?

7. (Sloth-Lack of Action) Do we procrastinate? When we do work hard,
is our motive to be secure and slothful later on when we retire?

WHY IS SELF-WILL/EGO SO HARD FOR THE ALCOHOLIC TO LET GO OF?

27 Jun

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“We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him.” BB pg 70

Self-will is defined as: Self will describes being stubborn or sticking firmly to your own opinion and ideas. An example of self will is when you are confident you are right about a subject and you will argue the point with anyone who disagrees. It is a resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires. Stubborn adherence to one’s own will, desires, etc., esp at the expense of others, as in pursuing one’s own wishes, aims, headstrong, intractable, obstinate, opinionated, pig-headed, refractory, stiff-necked, stubborn, stubborn as a mule, ungovernable, willful.

HOW MUCH MORE CONVINCING DO WE NEED FOR GOD’S SAKE?… WE’RE IN AA! lol

“The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.”(BB pg 60)

What does it mean to give all of yourself?

Not to worry about personal consequences.

Not to worry about what will be lost or gained.

Not to worry about what will be consumed in the fire.

To let your entire self be consumed in the fire if it is God’s will.

To put yourself entirely in God’s hands—to be led by spirit, not by mind.

To accept the possibility of failure.

Not to cross your fingers behind your back.

Not to have a Plan B.

Not to hold anything screwed up in your hand.

Not to keep secrets.

Pre-emptively to say ‘thank you’ for what has been good and may be taken.

THE PRISON DOOR OF YOUR MIND ISN’T LOCKED – WALK OUT TO FREEDOM!

25 Jun

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Spiritual Freedom What keeps us from experiencing real freedom? Emmet Fox reveals the reason in the following memorable story: Set in the Middle Ages, the story is of a man held prisoner in a dark dungeon for 20 years. During all that time, the man saw no one except a jailer who came to his cell once a day with bread and water.

Finally, the prisoner became so distraught that he decided to attack the jailer, hoping that the jailer would kill him in self-defense and end his misery. As he prepared for the attack, the man examined his cell door and found that it was not locked. In amazement, he discovered that it had never been locked! The man opened the door and quickly escaped by passing some guards who completely ignored him. He made his way home and lived happily ever after.

As Emmet Fox explains: “He could have done this anytime through those long years if he had known enough, but he did not. He was a captive, not of stone and iron, but of false belief. He was not locked in; he only thought he was. Of course this is only a legend, but it is an extremely instructive one.”

Fox continues: “We are all living in some kind of prison, some of us in one kind, some in another; some in a prison of lack; some in a prison of remorse and resentment; some in a prison of blind, unintelligent fears; some in a prison of sickness. But always the prison is in our thoughts and not in the nature of things. The Jesus Christ teaching … comes to us and says: ‘You are not locked in a prison of circumstances. You are not chained in a dungeon. In the name of God, turn the handle, walk out, and be free.’”

Is your prison door isn’t locked – so walk out! by Emmet Fox

Freedom is the quality or state of being without thought or restraint, bondage, limitation, or repression; having a sense of complete well-being. It is a result of regulating one’s life according to Principle, not according to what anyone else may think or say.

We can never know the full meaning of freedom until we abide in the Christ consciousness. Without prayer and spiritual meditation there can be no concept of spiritual freedom and, therefore, no demonstration of it. It is gained only through spiritual development gained in long hours of communion with God in the silence. Liberation from bondage comes as we seek first the perfect Mind of Christ. “If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

 

When you love another person, something in that person feels it and responds to it in some way. And when you think about the person you love, there is a response in that person to your thought.

25 Jun

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Research has revealed that plants in a room show a measurable response on an EKG to strong thoughts and emotions about them. Praise and love them, and they tend to flourish. Curse or criticize them, and they may be stunted. If it is true of plants, it seems more than likely that it is also true of people.

Praise and love them, and they tend to flourish. Curse or criticize them, and they may be stunted. If it is true of plants, it seems more than likely that it is also true of people. .

Thus, when you worry about a loved one —the child on the way home from school, the wayward youth who has run off to some commune, the husband with the alcohol problem, the friend in the hospital—you are putting the full weight of your consciousness on the side of their difficulty. You are hindering their progress . . . you actually become a part of their problem.

When you want to help someone about whom you are concerned, the important work is to be done in you. As far as you are concerned, the problems out there, no matter what or whom they involve, exist in your mind, your prejudices, your fears, and your anxious concern. So your work, initially, is to change your thoughts, to heal and resolve your concern. In short, we must learn how to begin “Living Above The Problem” in order to be of maximum service to others… Consider this verery interesting quote:

“If we’re going to work with alcoholics, we can’t afford to become emotionally involved in their problem, or we lose all of our possibility for help. You’ve got to stay above the problem. Now it seems like, maybe, that would be a cold attitude. It is not. You have to love more to stay emotionally uninvolved in the problem than you do to become involved in it. The answer is not in the problem; the answer is in the answer. I worked on my problem for ten years, and the more I looked at the problem and the harder I worked on the problem, the greater the problem became. It was just like fertilizing and watering and cultivating a weed. It grew out of all proportions. I think we have to be able to live above the problem to be of value to those that have it. We don’t get emotionally involved in the problem. It’s not that we love less; it’s that we love more. I think it takes much more love to release than it does to hold onto.” (Chuck C.)

‎As my friend the late Don P from Colorado used to say, “Go Slowly, Rest in God Often, Claim the Power to Work Miracles in the Lives of People, Everything in Order, Go Slowly From Duty to Duty, Everything in Order, Rest and Pray Between Duties”

Love is the essence of life, and therefore we do not live until we love. We talk of love, not realizing of what we are talking; “believing that they speak the truth, and not believing” in that which is true, namely Love. Therein lies their “sin and shame.” We are starving for love with love all about us; “blind covetousness has cast its spell upon us and has made us like unto a little child who drives off its nurse and dies of hunger.”

Light is Love. We live and move and have our being in Love, and its divine light “so penetrates the universe according to its merit that naught can be an obstacle against it.” Not sleeping, we nevertheless dream that there is a dearth of Love on earth, when Love is Life, and the earth is teeming with life, but having eyes we see not. Your Lord, your Christ, your God of Gods is Love. Love is the “spirit divine which in the way of going up, directs us without asking.” Love is the divine healer and the universal pardoner of all that is unlike good, for the love of right causes mankind to forsake sin.

Love, just love, be love, that’s all we Are. Love your way through the shadow of your ego’s selfish bloated nothingness to the present majestic dawn of Heavenly Horizons of the Now – then rest There, realizing It’s right where you’ve always been, in communion with All – awaken, be alive… Be!

To love one soul is like adding its life to your own; your life is,
as it were, multiplied, and you live in two centers. If you love
the whole world, you vicariously live in the whole world.

Life and love are inseparable from each other. Where there is
life, there is love.

“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.”

AA’s 100% SUCCESS RATE: “IT NEVER FAILS…”~BB pg 181

25 Jun

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The only AA recovery statistic is mentioned in the foreward to the second edition of the Big Book and in Dr. Bob’s Story which state:

“Of alcoholics who came to AA and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.” That suggests a 75% recovery rate.

I believe the 75% statistic is even higher today, but with an important caveat: “and really tried!” In fact it is my opinion and experience that AA has a MUCH higher success rate, in fact 100% success rate and cannot, never has or ever will fail – AA DOES NOT FAIL!

Simply put, it is people who fail to fully apply AA to their lives that fail NOT AA – It certainly has been 100% successful in my life! Dr. Bob seems to confirm the 100% success rate as well when he concluded his personal story on page 181 of the Big Book with the following quote:

“IT NEVER FAILS, if you go about it with one half the zeal you have been in the habit of showing when you were getting another drink. Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!”

5 SPIRITUAL LEVELS – I have experienced all of these levels in the same day, maybe the same hour:

24 Jun

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SPIRITUAL INFANT: In the beginning my cry for help was purely selfish. I was totally dependent with little or no choice. Unable to do anything of value for myself alone and unaided.

SPIRITUAL CHILD: This is when we are wanting God to take care of me and to fulfill my every want and need. It was a time of forming, learning what would please our Father. A time filled with questions about Him and about the need for rules, guidance, structures, safety and belonging.

SPIRITUAL ADOLESCENT: demanding that the universe be as I adolescentwanted it at the moment without being responsible, wanting to be a little creator, but couldn’t. I was looking for a Higher Power everywhere except where He is most intimately found: at the center of our being.

SPIRITUAL ADULT: I knew I was responsible for the decisions I made, but remembered our Father was/is the only real Source. By this time I had stopped being a user and became willing to be used by this Higher Power. I often persisted in seeking Him by my own ef- forts, demanding too much of my human condition. I had come to know a lot about God through study, prayer, meditation, and sharing with others. I experienced many manifesta- tions of His Presence thinking that these effects were the same as God’s Presence, the Cause.

Just before his death, Sir Isaac Newton made this remark: “I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself by now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me”

1 Corinthians 13 – ON LOVE:

 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.