Archive | August, 2012

Seven Spiritual Laws by Emmet Fox

25 Aug

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1. The Law of Substitution
2. The Law of Relaxation
3. The Law of Subconscious Activity
4. The Law of Practice
5. The Two Factors
6. What You Think Upon Grows
7. The Law of Forgiveness

1. The Law of Substitution

There are a few great laws that govern all thinking, just as there are a few fundamental laws in chemistry, in physics, and in mechanics, for example.

We know that thought control is the Key of Destiny, and in order to learn thought control we have to know and understand these laws, just as the chemist has to understand the laws of chemistry, and the electrician has to know the laws of electricity.

One of the great mental laws is the Law of Substitution. This means that the only way to get rid of a certain thought is to substitute another one for it. You cannot dismiss a thought directly. You can do so only by substituting another one for it. On the physical plane this is not the case. You can drop a book or a stone by simply opening your hand and letting it go; but with thought this will not work. If you want to dismiss a negative thought, the only way to do so is to think of something positive and constructive. It is as though in order, let us say, to drop a pencil, it were necessary to put a pen or a book or a stone into your hand, when the pencil would fall away.

If I say to you, “Do not think of the Statue of Liberty”, of course, you immediately think of it. If you say, “I’m not going to think of the Statue of Liberty”, that is thinking of it. But now, having thought of it, if you become interested in something else, say, by turning on the radio, you forget all about the Statue of Liberty — and this is a case of substitution.

When negative thoughts come to you, do not fight them, but think of something positive. Preferably think of God; but if that is difficult at the moment, think of any positive or constructive idea, and then the negative thought will fade out.

It sometimes happens that negative thoughts seem to besiege you in such force that you cannot overcome them. That is what is called a fit of depression, or a fit of worry, or perhaps even a fit of anger. In such a case the best thing is to go to a good movie or play, or read an interesting book, say a good novel or biography or travel book, or something of the kind. If you sit down to fight the negative tide you will probably succeed only in amplifying it.

Turn your attention to something quite different, refusing steadfastly to think or rehearse the difficulty, and, later on, after you have completely gotten away from it, you can come back with confidence and handle it by spiritual treatment. “I say unto you that you resist not evil” (Matthew 5:39)

From Make Your Life Worthwhile Harper & Row publisher. Copyright 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946 by Emmet Fox

2. The Law of Relaxation

Another of the great mental laws is the Law of Relaxation. In all mental working effort defeats itself. The more effort you make the less will your result be. This of course is just the opposite of what we find on the physical plane, but it will not surprise us because we know that in many cases the laws of mind are the reverse of the laws of matter.

On the physical plane, usually the more effort we make the greater the result. The harder you press a drill the faster it will go through a plank. The harder you hammer a nail the sooner does it go into the wall. The harder you work in digging the ground the sooner do you have a ditch. The exact opposite, however, is the case with thought.

Any attempt at mental pressure is foredoomed to failure because the moment tension begins, the mind stops working creatively, and just runs along on whatever the old habit pattern is. When you try to force things mentally,when you try to hurry mentally, you simply stop your creative power. To enable your mind to become creative again you must un-tense it by consciously relaxing.

In all mental working be relaxed, gentle, and unhurried for effort defeats itself.
“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”. (Isaiah 30:15). From Make Your Life Worthwhile Harper & Row publisher. Copyright 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946 by Emmet Fox

3. The Law of Subconscious Activity

As soon as the subconscious mind accepts any idea, it immediately begins trying to put it into effect. It uses all its resources (and these are far greater than is commonly supposed) to that end. It uses every bit of knowledge that you have ever collected, and most of which you have totally forgotten, to bring about its purpose. It mobilizes the many mental powers that you possess and most of which you never consciously use. It draws on the unlimited energy of the race mind. It lines up all the laws of nature as they operate both inside and outside of you, to get its way.

Sometimes it succeeds in its purpose immediately. Sometimes it takes a little time; sometimes it takes a long time, depending on the difficulties to be overcome; but if the thing is not utterly impossible, the subconscious will bring it about — once it accepts the idea.

This law is true for both good and bad ideas. This law, when used negatively, brings sickness, trouble, and failure; and when used positively, brings healing, freedom, and success. The Bible teaching does not say that harmony is inevitable no matter what we do — that is Pollyanna — it teaches that harmony is inevitable when our thoughts are positive, constructive, and kindly.

From this it follows that the only thing we have to do is to get the subsconscious to accept the idea that we want reproduced, and the laws of nature will do the rest; will bring forth the healthy body, the harmonious circumstances, the successful career. We give the orders — the subconscious mind does the work.

From Make Your Life Worthwhile Harper & Row publisher. Copyright 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946 by Emmet Fox

4. The Law of Practice

Practice makes perfect. This familiar proverb embodies one of the great laws of human nature and — being a law — it is never under any circumstance broken.

To become proficient in any field you must practice. There is simply no achievement without practice and the more practice, provided it is done intelligently, the greater will the proficiency be and the sooner will it be attained. This is true in the study of music, in the study of a foreign language, in learning to swim or skate or ski or fly. It is true in every conceivable branch of human endeavor. Practice is the price of proficiency.
In business life and in any kind of management or administration, experience is the form that practice takes, and here again it is practice that makes perfect. That is why, other things being equal, an older person is usually to be selected for responsible positions rather than a younger.

In metaphysics the effects of this law are particularly striking. Thought control is entirely a matter of intelligent practice. And true religion may well be summed up as the Practice of the Presence of God. But note that I said intelligent. Violent forcing is not intelligent practice, nor is monotonous plodding.

Practice is the secret of attainment. We might paraphrase Danton and say practice! … and more practice!! … and still more practice!!!

“Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22) From Make Your Life Worthwhile Harper & Row publisher. Copyright 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946 by Emmet Fox

5. The Two Factors

Every thought is made up of two factors, knowledge and feeling. A thought consists of a piece of knowledge with a charge of feeling, and it is the feeling alone that gives power to the thought. No matter how important or magnificent the knowledge content may be, if there is no feeling attached to it nothing will happen. On the other hand, no matter how unimportant or insignificant the knowledge content may be, if there is a large charge of feeling something will happen.

This universal law is symbolized in nature by the bird. A bird has two wings, neither more nor less, and they must both be functioning before he can fly.

It makes no difference whether the knowledge content is correct or not as long as you believe it to be correct. Remember that it is what we really believe that matters. A report about something may be quite untrue, but if you believe it, it has the same effect upon you as if it were true; and that effect again will depend upon the quantity of feeling attached to it.

When we understand this Law we see the importance of accepting only the Truth concerning life in every phase of our experience. Indeed, this is why Jesus said, “Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” Now we realize why negative feelings (fear, criticism, etc.) are so destructive, and a sense of peace and good will is such a power for healing.
From Make Your Life Worthwhile Harper & Row publisher. Copyright 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946 by Emmet Fox

6. What You Think Upon Grows

What you think upon grows. This is an Eastern maxim, and it sums up neatly the greatest and most fundamental of all the Laws of Mind. What you think upon grows.
What you think upon grows. Whatever you allow to occupy your mind you magnify in your life. Whether the subject of your thoughts be good or bad, the law works and the condition grows. Any subject that you keep out of your mind tends to diminish in your life, because what you do not use atrophies.

The more you think about your indigestion or your rheumatism, the worse it will become. The more you think of yourself as healthy and well, the better will your body be.

The more you think about lack, bad times, etc., the worse will your business be; and the more you think of prosperity, abundance, and success, the more of these things will you bring into your life.

The more you think about your grievances or the injustices that you have suffered, the more such trials will you continue to receive; and the more you think of the good fortune you have had, the more good fortune will come to you.

This is the basic, fundamental, all-inclusive Law of Mind, and actually all psychological and metaphysical teaching is little more than a commentary upon this.

What you think upon grows (Phillippians 4:8)

From Make Your Life Worthwhile Harper & Row publisher. Copyright 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946 by Emmet Fox

7. The Law of Forgiveness

It is an unbreakable mental law that you have to forgive others if you want to demonstrate over your difficulties and to make any real spiritual progress.

The vital importance of forgiveness may not be obvious at first sight, but you may be sure that it is not by mere chance that every spiritual teacher from Jesus Christ downward has insisted so strongly upon it.

You must forgive injuries, not just in words, or as a matter of form; but sincerely, in your heart — and that is the long and the short of it. You do this, not for the other person’s sake, but for your own sake. It will make no difference to him (unless he happens to set a value upon your forgiveness), but it will make a tremendous difference to you.

Resentment, condemnation, anger, desire to see someone punished are things that rot your soul, no matter how cleverly you may be disguising them. Such things, because they have a much stronger emotional content than anyone suspects, fasten your troubles to you with rivets. They fetter you to many other problems which actually have nothing whatever to do with the original grievances themselves.

Forgiveness does not mean that you have to like the delinquent or want to meet him; but that you must wish him well. Of course you must not make a “door mat” of yourself. Of course you must not allow yourself to be imposed upon, or ill treated. You must fight your own battles and fight them with prayer, justice, and good will. It does not matter whether you can forget the injury or not, although if you cease to rehearse it you probably will — but you must forgive.

THE GREAT ADVENTURE – By Emmet Fox

13 Aug

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Any people seem to have the impression that the sole object of metaphysical study is the overcoming of difficulties; but to suppose that, is to lose all sense of proportion. The Truth is to be sought for its own sake. The knowledge of Truth is its own reward, and that reward is health, harmony, and prosperity, to begin with; but this is only the beginning. The real object of the seeker should be the development of his own higher faculties and powers; in a word, his Spiritual Evolution.

Now it so happens that as fast as one acquires spiritual understanding, his circumstances improve in every respect—his health, his temper, his happiness and his material surroundings rapidly and automatically change for the better. Per contra, a want of true understanding automatically and necessarily expresses itself in some sort of difficulty on the physical plane, culminating in sin, sickness, and death.

When people find themselves in any difficulty, should they have some glimmerings of spiritual truth, they realize, however dimly, that a way out is to be found along the path of spiritual enlightenment, and consequently they study books, consult friends in the movement, ask for treatment or guidance, or take whatever step appears to be appropriate at the moment. This is the natural and proper course to pursue, and, provided they understand what it is that they are doing, it is only a matter of time before their difficulties—their ill-health, their poverty, their trouble, whatever it is—must disappear. They are, in fact, seeking spiritual enlightenment; they are working for a change in, consciousness; and one cannot seek for an improved consciousness without getting it, nor get it without making a demonstration.

Misunderstanding and disappointment arise when people mistake the teaching for some kind of elaborate conjuring trick. When a man supposes that by a wave of the hand, or the repetition of an incantation, his circumstances can be changed for the better without any corresponding change in his own mentality, he is doomed to disappointment. He has not come into Truth, and the Truth movement has nothing for him.

During the past few years a large number of people of all sorts have consulted me about their difficulties, and they easily divide themselves into those two groups. Some people, for instance, are in trouble owing to some very obvious defect in character, but are quite unwilling to overcome this defect, or even, in many cases, to acknowledge it; they wish to continue in their mistake and to have prosperity or happiness as well. Needless to say, for them there is no relief until they have suffered a little more, and have been punished sufficiently to make them do what is necessary. The man who drinks, for example, is certain to ruin his business, and you cannot help him as long as he prefers whiskey to prosperity. Of course, if he is trying to give up whiskey, you can help him to do so, and then all will be well, but otherwise he will just have to go on suffering until his lesson is learned. Other people complain that they have no friends, cannot keep servants, and that they live unhappy, isolated lives; and a few minutes conversation makes it obvious that there is an atrociously bad temper there which has driven everyone away. If such people are prepared to work to change themselves, the road is clear; but until they are, there is very little to be done for them.

Most of you who read this, however, will be seeking the Truth in the right way, and to seek the Truth in that spirit is really to have come into Truth. “You would not have sought Me had you not already found Me.” That being so, you should not allow yourself to be worried or depressed merely because the demonstration is delayed. If you have sufficient understanding to believe in treatment, you have sufficient understanding to know that it must be only a matter of time before you are out of the wood—and what does it really matter whether it is a little sooner or a little later. Any delay in getting results can only be due to one of two things: Either the mental cause of your difficulty is very deeply seated in your consciousness and is requiring a good deal of work; or else you are not yet working in the best way, and if this is so, again it will be only a matter of time before you find what is the best way for you. In other words, once you are on the Path there is no hurry. “Oh, but,” says someone, “in my case there is the most urgent hurry, because unless I make my demonstration by Saturday the verdict of the Court will be given against me,” or “my creditors will foreclose,” or “I shall lose the boat,” or what-not. But the answer in Truth is still—There is no hurry, for the gates of hell shall never prevail. Let evil do its worst on Saturday; let the Court give its verdict; let the creditors strike their blow; let the boat sail. When Monday comes, prayer will still put everything right, if you can get your realization, and if not on Monday, then Wednesday, or Friday, or the week after next. Time does not really matter, for prayer is creative, and will build the New Jerusalem for you anywhere, at any time, irrespective of what may have happened, just as soon as you can get your realization of Truth, Omnipresent Good—Emanuel, which is God with you. This is the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven like a bride adorned for her husband, and is independent of any conditions of the physical plane.

When you are in difficulties, look upon the overcoming of them as a great adventure. Resist the temptation to be tragic, to give way to self-pity or discouragement; and approach the problems as though you were an explorer seeking a path through Darkest Africa, or an Edison working to overcome difficulties in connection with a new invention. You know that there is a way out of any difficulty whatever, no matter what it may be, through the changing of your own consciousness by prayer. You know that by thus raising your consciousness any conceivable form of good that you can desire will be yours; and you know that nobody else can by any means hinder you from doing this when you really want to do it—relatives, customers, employers, the government, bad times, so-called—nothing can hinder you from the rebuilding of your own consciousness—and this rebuilding is the Great Adventure.

FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS FANTASY!

13 Aug

A newcomer wanting to get sober by going to meetings only, not getting a sponsor and working the steps, is like a starving man being given a free world class dinner banquet and just looking at the food!

“Here are the steps we took which are suggested as a program of recovery.” the starving man can actually believe the food can restore his his health and strengthen him, but unless he takes the necessary actions to get the plate, eat the food, etc he will starve to death even though he is in a room full of food.

I see this happen all the time when it comes to the food of the spirit. Newcomers and many here for years just going to meetings suffering from spiritual malnutrition. Recovery means taking the steps… Here are the steps we took which are suggested as a program of recovery! TAKE THE STEPS – RECOVERY ISN’T A SPECTATOR EVENT IT’S AN ACTION… KEEP ON TOOKING!

Like the people in my first meeting told me, hit the ground running! They pointed me to page 28 in the book that says we seek recovery with the desperation of a drowning man… They said the USS Joe’s ego has sunk… START SWIMMING BOY!

FORGIVENESS WITHOUT REVENGE -No ifs, buts and ands. God’s forgiveness is unconditional:

13 Aug

 

A friend of mine who happens to be a Priest once told me, “Three parts to forgiveness -Forgiveness is a triangle. There are three parts to it: God the higher power, the self and the other.”

For forgiveness to be integral and complete, it can’t be just with God. It also has to be with the self and with the other. This is where it is so vitally important I think that we have our idea of God biblical and correct. The Bible says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged.” “Condemn not, and you will not be condemned.” “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Now that’s what I read. “Love one another as I have loved you.” “If you have anything against your brother, and you’re off to church, to the temple, to worship, and on the way you remember that your brother’s got something against you, stop, don’t go to the church. Be reconciled first before you come to offer your gift.” I didn’t make those up. Jesus did. That’s what it tells us.

Part of the process that I take people through goes like this: In your understanding of God, is God’s forgiveness total? Supposing you’ve committed adultery 100 times and had one abortion and have done this, that and the other thing. You say, “I think God can forgive me for everything, except the abortion.” It doesn’t wash. Everything. The abuse, too. There’s nothing in Scripture that says that that is an unforgivable sin.
We need to think about this in this great state of Texas, about the death penalty. There is nothing in Scripture that says that people should be punished that way. Total. Absolute. When God forgives, God forgives. He doesn’t come back tomorrow and say, “Well, now, wait a minute.” They call up a week later and say, “Are you sure? Are you sure?” Absolute. No ifs, buts and ands. God’s forgiveness is unconditional. “I will forgive you, if…” God’s love and forgiveness are unconditional.

We make God into our image and likeness. I’ve had terrible struggles in my life about forgiving somebody. I’ll tell you a story. This is Good Friday. I was in the retreat house office. The Serra Club came on Good Friday for lunch. I’m sitting in the office. What in the world am I going to talk about? I’m looking through Scripture and I say, “I’ll give a talk on forgiveness.” I start writing out all these beautiful words on forgiveness. I’m coming along real well and the secretary buzzes me and says, “So and so wants to receive confession this morning. You got time?” I said, “Sure, send him on out.”

So he gets out and the guys are assembling in the lobby there, and my office is just off the lobby. I said, “Let’s go down to room 12. We’ll do the sacrament down there.” We get two-thirds of the way down out of earshot of everybody, and he stopped me, and said, “Father, before I ask you to give me God’s forgiveness, I’ve got to ask you to forgive me.” I looked at him and I said, “What for.” He said, “I’m the one that’s been spreading the rumors about you.” There were some juicy rumors going around about me and my conduct. My instinct was to haul off and hit. Here’s the guy asking me to give him God’s forgiveness. It was Good Friday and I’m going to give this beautiful talk on forgiveness and here’s the Lord saying, “Practice what you preach.” Thanks be to God I was able to forgive him. For the next three years, every time I saw him I said, “Oh, there’s that …” That’s what came to mind.

Forgiveness without revenge:

There is a difference between forgiving and forgetting, and there are times when it’s not easy. I’m sure I don’t know what it means for those folks that were abused, what they’ve gone through. I’m sure that it’s traumatic and terrible. I think it’s wrong and everything should be done that needs to be done to rectify it. But some- where along the line they’re going to have to confront the issue of forgiveness without revenge. I don’t see Jesus up on the cross saying, “You s.o.b.’s, I hope you all go to hell.” What I heard him say was, “Father forgive them. For they know not what they do.” In the Scripture, we have our mandate for forgiveness.

I remember going to my doctor back in the early 70s. This guy was an Irishman brought up in England, and he’s got a dry sense of humor. He said, “Father I don’t understand something. When Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth, he didn’t cure every evil, rectify every wrong. He reached out and did whatever He could and He got others to work with Him to improve and better the world, but not every evil was rectified or healed. Why in the world do you have to try and do better than Him?” Ever since then I do what I can do. I do as much as I can do, but I know that I am not going to empty the treatment houses of every drug addict. I am not going to empty every pub of drinkers. I am going to be ready to do everything I can to help those, when the Lord invites and calls me to do that.

Every clergy person that I’ve talked to that has come out of treatment, when they go back to their ministry, one of my suggestions is this: You now have a unique gift you didn’t have before. Before it was a curse for you. Now it’s a gift. There are many people out there who are in recovery in 12-step programs that are not gong to be touched by the ordinary flow of the parish, but who will be touched by you because you are one walks with them. Now you are a wounded healer. Folks, if we’re not wounded in some way we can’t become healers. When we are wounded, when we accept our wounds, when we let the Lord heal our wounds, then we can go and become wounded healers. There are all kinds of ills and problems and difficulties out there that need God’s healing.

You and I have been called and invited to be involved in a marvelous manifestation of the mercy and the compassion and the goodness of God. How many people have you touched? We can sit back and say, “The government doesn’t spend enough money, or the diocese doesn’t spend enough money, parishes don’t do enough.”

A couple months ago I had a supper with one of the general staff members from New York. I asked her, “As regards the churches, what’s your general perception as you travel all over the United States and the world about the role of the churches?” She said, “Carl, the Catholic Church is the one that is the most open. The Catholic Church is more open to working with people with alcohol and drugs — that we find all over the world. Right after that are some of the Protestant churches.”

I have never met more loving, caring, wonderful people in all my life, than in the years that I have dealt with people in recovery. I have met so many marvelous people. To look back and see that you have been an instru- ment of God’s love, forgiveness, and healing, it’s incredible. When I become a priest, the farthest thing in my mind was that I would ever work with alcoholics or drug abusers. Yet the Lord brought that about, and here I stand, 47 years of being a priest, and He’s still doing it, because if we’re willing and if we remember that it’s God’s work … My favorite Sunday in the liturgical year, on a personal level, is Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday Jesus rode a jackass into Jerusalem. I have never forgotten who the Lord is and who the jackass is.

I hope that some of these thoughts will encourage you to continue to be kind, compassionate people, who have a tremendous gift in your lives, the gift of forgiveness. The people out there are looking for it, searching for it, seeking for it; and by opening up our lives to the possibility, God can bring the two together. You can be channels of peace, love, forgiveness, and healing. That’s what happens when you work this program; forgiveness and healing will take place. Thank you.

“We all have sex problems.” BB pg 69 – AAs Should Be Honest About Sex Problems:

12 Aug

In Bill’s Story’s 1st unedited draft, Bill wrote the following of how Ebby asked him to inventory sex:

“I was to examine my sex conduct since infancy and rigorously compare it with what I thought that conduct should have been. My friend explained to me that people’s ideas throughout the world on what constitutes perfect sex conduct vary greatly. Consequently, I was not to measure my defects in this particular by adopting any standard of easy virtue as a measuring stick, I was merely to ask God to show me the difference between right and wrong in this regard and ask for help and strength and honesty in cataloguing my defects according to the true dictates of my own conscience.”

This is one Member’s Plea for More Widespread Discussion and Understanding of a Seldom-Mentioned Subject in the Recovery Program:

“MANY people who write on the subject of sex problems feel obliged to explain that sex is basically good–that it is God’s method of guaranteeing the reproduction of mankind. This startling information is usually supplied defensively, almost as if to combat the grim possibility that sex might be legislated out of existence if somebody doesn’t present a worth-while case for it. The authors, of course, are really pleading for the right to discuss sex difficulties openly. Prudery on the printed page was vanquished a long time ago, but the near-pornography which replaced it is a poor counterfeit of honesty. Truth is still mighty hard to find, and it’s even harder to present.

How the outside world wishes to deal with this subject is not really our affair, but it is important that we face the matter more honestly in AA. AA has a number of supplementary pamphlets for employers, wives, and young alcoholics, but none on what is often the most critical problem in our fellowship. Our speakers thunder eloquently about the need for absolute honesty, but only a few hardy souls ever dare to hint that sex might have been a disturbing problem area. An outsider could easily get the impression–judging by what we print and what we say–that alcoholics don’t have sex troubles at all.

It’s a different matter when we turn to the literature published by outside observers. AA members may wish to evade the issue, but others are more objective about it. They point to sexual confusion as a significant factor in the alcoholic’s personality disturbances. Sometimes their conclusions seem hastily and unfairly drawn; when, for example, a psychiatrist uses a few representative case histories to prove that almost all alcoholics are afflicted with certain types of sexual abnormality. In general, however, sex facts are included as a matter of course in any scientific inquiry into the subject of alcoholism. And a psychiatrist who treats an alcoholic will most certainly concern himself with the patient’s sex history.

However, if we are completely honest about it, we don’t even need outside observers to tell us the extent of our sex problems. We are very familiar with the oft-repeated remark, sometimes heard after an older member has resumed drinking, “Well, the poor fellow has ‘other’ problems.” These “other” problems usually have something to do with sex. When you hear a remark like this you don’t even have to ask for further details; the emphasis on “other” conveys a world of hidden meanings. Extra-marital philandering exists in AA–though probably not on a large scale–and the pretty young woman who joins a group can expect “sponsorship” of a very thorough kind.

The truth is that alcoholics do have unusually troublesome sex problems. It would be almost unbelievable if people plagued by our kind of illness did not have various sex disturbances. We may not like to admit it, just as we did not like to admit our alcoholism. But when we say that “some poor fellow who had ‘other’ shortcomings resumed drinking,” aren’t we admitting indirectly that we understand the tremendous pressures of these “other” problems? Aren’t we conceding that misdirected sex is a formidable threat to sobriety? Aren’t we saying that AA can help a person recover if he isn’t tyrannized too severely by sex? And aren’t we also saying–by implication, of course–that since we are sober ourselves, we aren’t troubled by these problems?

After almost eleven years of continuous sobriety in the AA program, I’ve found myself growing tired of the evasion and hypocrisy surrounding this subject. I have seen the elder statesmen of AA frown their disapproval when a more honest member brought up his own sex problems and discussed them with remarkable frankness and humility. I have known AA members who thought it gay and sophisticated to laugh at an off-color joke told by a visiting speaker, but who became uneasy and embarrassed if another visiting speaker explored the relationship of sex and alcoholism. And I have seen far too many older members working overtime trying to prove that absolutely insupportable notion that alcoholics are generally “just normal folks who drank too much, too often, too long.”

Evasions and hypocrisy may serve certain individuals adequately, but in the long run we progress according to the amount of truth about ourselves we are able to digest. We achieved sobriety by admitting the truth about our drinking problem, and by applying AA’s recommended program of recovery. Do we believe that the truth–which rescued us so effectively in one instance–is somehow pernicious and undesirable if applied to other life problems?
What are these sex problems that defy discussion? Most likely they are a cross-section of the same problems that confront society outside of AA. Many alcoholics feel sexually inadequate, and have always been troubled by fears of sexual incompetence and rejection. Oddly, this may have led to frenzied promiscuity. It may have caused an unsatisfactory sex relationship in marriage. It may also have led to sex conduct that society considers immoral or deviated. In fact, it may lead in any number of directions, but the result is always pain, misery, tension and guilt.

These are only the beginnings of sorrows for the sex-troubled alcoholics who join AA. Unless they are very fortunate, they won’t find much understanding and guidance in this critical problem area. He and she will secretly fear they are sexually “different” from the majority of alcoholics, for their only trouble seems to be that “they drank too much, too often, too long.” They will be urged to take the Fifth Step, but will have to search for many a moon to find an understanding ear for all the problems. They may achieve sobriety, but it will have the characteristics of an armed truce rather than a genuine peace development.

Really, there’s no excuse for it. Sex problems are powerful and deep-seated, but they need not threaten our eligibility for true sobriety and genuine happiness. There are now many older members who have a remarkable understanding on this subject. They need only to tell the truth, so that newcomers will be encouraged to face the truth themselves. This won’t eliminate sex anxiety overnight, but it will be a good start.

We cannot guarantee that our AA program of recovery, even with its strong emphasis on personal inventory and spiritual help, will aid all alcoholics in solving the “other” problems that seem to be such a threat to continued sobriety. But it is not unreasonable to believe that a more candid approach may create a reservoir of understanding that we do not presently have.

I am not proposing that our AA meetings should become forums for morbid recitals of lecherous behavior. I am sure that “boudoir-to-boudoir” descriptions would eventually be as boring and pointless as many of the drink-by-drink accounts we now endure. Nor am I suggesting an open flaunting of intimate facts that might better be left to private discussions between individual members. My main plea is for a general climate of open-mindedness when this problem seems to be inviting discussion.

This would fulfill–not destroy–the spirit and principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.
May 1961 AA Grapevine, Inc.

HERE ARE THE BIG BOOK INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Read big book pg.68-4 “Now about sex” to pg.70-2“would mean heartache.”

2) Pray, make a list, and go with what comes with relationships through your life.
Work on list till you know it’s done.

3) “What can we do about them?”
A) Take the first name from the list and write it on top of a page.
b) Write a brief history of the relationship and include:
• My motives for getting involved were…?
• My specific sex conduct was…?
• The major points that came up in the relationship are…?
• How did it end…? or how it is now…?
C) “We reviewed our own conduct”
Look at each relationship and answer these nine questions in paragraph form with detailed explanations: (ref. p.69-1)
1) Where had I been selfish?
2) Where had I been dishonest?
3) Where had I been inconsiderate?
4) Whom did I hurt? (Look around the relationship, IE: parents, kids, brothers, sisters)
5) Did I arouse jealousy?
6) Did I arouse suspicion?
7) Did I arouse bitterness?
8) Where was I at fault?
9) What should I have done instead?

NOTE: The answer to question 9 is never “I shouldn’t have gotten involved in the first place.” Refer to what you should have done, or how you should have behaved in the relationship. Make sure you’re especially complete with Question #9 you will refer back to it later when writing your Sex Ideal.

SEX INVENTORY WORKSHEET

“God please help me see the Truth about my conduct in relationships”

Name:__________________________________
Relationship:_____________________________
Write a brief history of the relationship:
My motives for getting involved were…
My specific conduct in the relationship has been…
The major points that came up in the relationship are…
How it ended…? or how it is now…

“God please help me see the Truth about my conduct in relationships”

Look at each relationship and answer these nine questions (ref p.69-1)

1) Where had I been selfish?
2) Where had I been dishonest
3) Where had I been inconsiderate?
4) Whom did I hurt? (Look around the relationship)
5) Did I arouse jealousy?
6) Did I arouse suspicion?
7) Did I arouse bitterness?
8) Where was I at fault?
9) What should I have done instead? ( In the relationship. Don’t write “not gotten involved in the first place.” )Make sure you are especially explicit with Question #9 you will refer back to this forwriting the Sex Ideal.
Harm: Write any specific harm that comes to you while writing:
Sane and Sound Ideal Relationship with God Inventory
From this perspective we can discern if our relationship is selfish or not. (Am I using my relationship selfishly?)

A thoughtful review of pages 68:4 to page 71 addresses this (relationship) Inventory where the goal is to shape a sane and sound ideal for future relationships, always asking whether we were being selfish or not.

First, list each of your intimate relationships, maybe all of your relationships with others.

Next, ask yourself these nine questions for each past and present relationship:

1. Where have you been selfish–or less than generous?

2. Where have you been dishonest, or less than trustworthy and sincere?

3. Where have you been inconsiderate? Did you thoughtlessly or selfishly hurt or inconvenience others?

4. Where did you arouse jealousy, feelings of insecurity or envy? How did you make someone close to you resentful of rivals?

5. Where did you arouse suspicion, the feeling something is wrong?

6. Where did you arouse bitterness, pain and resentment?

7. Where were you at fault? (Fault: responsible for a defect or mistake.)

8. Did you behave selfishly, concerned chiefly with your own personal benefit at the expense of others?

9. What should you have done instead?

Then ask yourself, “Who have I hurt as a result of my behavior?” Add these names to your list of “Harms Done to Others.”

From now on:

1. We ask God to mold our ideals and help us live up to them.

2. We make amends where we hurt others, provided we do not bring about more harm by making amends.

3. We treat sex as we would any other problem. This means we treat all problems the same: we pray for guidance from God. In meditation, we get the guidance we need. The right answers will come, if we want them. See Step 11 on p. 86-88.

SEX AND LOVE ADDICTION

The following list is a thought starter to help identify your habits of thoughts and feelings in the area of Sex and Love Addiction. Go through the whole list first marking the questions that cause you to have a strong reaction, good or bad. Go back to these questions and include them in your Inventory.

1. Have you ever tried to control how much sex to have or how often you would see someone?
2. Do you find yourself unable to stop seeing a specific person even though you know that seeing this person is destructive to you?
3. Do you feel that you don’t want anyone to know about your sexual or romantic activities? Do you feel you need to hide these activities from others – friends, family, co-workers, counselors, etc.?
4. Do you get “HIGH” from sex and/or romance? Do you “CRASH”?
5. Have you had sex at inappropriate times, in inappropriate places, and/or with inappropriate people?
6. Do you make promises to yourself or rules for yourself concerning your sexual or romantic behavior that you find you cannot follow?
7. Have you had or do you have sex with someone you don’t/didn’t want to have sex with?
8. Do you believe that sex and/or a relationship will make your life bearable?
9. Have you ever felt that you had to have sex?
10. Do you believe that someone can “FIX” you?
11. Do you keep a list, written or otherwise, of the number of partners you’ve had?
12. Do you feel desperation or uneasiness when you are away from your lover or sexual partner?
13. Have you lost count of the number of sexual partners you’ve had?
14. Do you feel desperate about your need for a lover, sexual fix, or future mate?
15. Have you or do you have sex regardless of the consequences (e.g. the threat of being caught, the risk of contracting herpes, gonorrhea, aids, etc.)?
16. Do you find that you have a pattern of repeating bad relationships?
17. Do you feel that your only or major value in a relationship is your ability to perform sexually or provide an emotional fix?
18. Do you feel like a lifeless puppet unless there is someone around with whom you can flirt? Do you feel that you’re not “really alive” unless you are with your sexual/romantic partner?
19. Do you feel entitled to sex?
20. Do you find yourself in a relationship that you cannot leave?
21. Have you ever threatened your financial stability or standing in the community by pursuing a sexual partner?
22. Do you believe that the problems in your “love life” result from not having enough of, or the right kind of sex, or from continuing to remain with the “wrong” person?
23. Have you ever had a serious relationship threatened or destroyed because of outside sexual activity?
24. Do you feel that life would have no meaning without sex? Do you feel that you would have no identity if you were not someone’s lover?
25. Do you find yourself flirting or sexualizing with someone even if you do not mean to?
26. Does your sexual and/or “romantic” behavior affect your reputation?
27. Do you have sex and/or “romantic” relationships to deal with or escape from life’s problems?
28. Do you feel uncomfortable about your masturbation because of the frequency that you masturbate, the fantasies you engage in, the props you use, and/or the places in which you do it?
29. Do you engage in the practices of voyeurism, exhibitionism, etc. in ways that bring discomfort or pain?
30. Do you find yourself needing greater variety and energy in your sexual or romantic activities just to achieve an “accept-able” level of physical and emotional relief?
31. Do you need to have sex or “fall in love” in order to feel like a “real man or woman”?
32. Do you feel that your sexual and romantic behavior is about as rewarding as a revolving door? Are you jaded?
33. Have you been unable to concentrate on other areas of your life because of thoughts or feelings you are having about another person or about sex?
34. Do you find yourself obsessing about a specific person or sexual act even though these thoughts bring pain, craving or discomfort?
35. Have you ever wished you could stop or control your sexual and/or romantic activities for a given period of time? Have you ever wished you could be less emotionally dependent?
36. Do you find the pain in your life increasing no matter what you do? Are you afraid that deep down you are unaccept-able?
37. Do you feel that you lack dignity and wholeness?
38. Do you feel that your sexual and/or romantic life affects your spiritual life in a negative way?
39. Do you feel that your life is unmanageable because of your sexual and/or romantic behavior or your excessive depend-ency needs?
40. Have you ever thought that there might be more you could do with your life if you were not so driven by sexual and romantic pursuits?
41. Hiding what we feel/do is a major sexual problem. Is this a problem for you?
42. Are you good at communicating your sexual/romantic needs?
43. Were your sexual patterns shaped by what was being said or not being said?
44. How has concealing current dissatisfactions and/or sexual history helped to shape your sexual response?
45. Some hide feelings and desires, others conceal behavior, others sexual history. How do you handle these?
46. What are you willing to reveal? To Whom? What do you choose to keep concealed?
47. Have you formed an unspoken truce to keep secret some of the things you do or don’t with your sexual mate?
48. Do you find misplaced embarrassment a major reason to resist asking for help?
49. What are your sexual double standards?
50. Is the only way you can handle explicit conversation about sex by joking?
51. How do you handle sexual criticism?
52. Are you waiting for your mate to guess what you want or give you permission?
53. Write a list of what currently turns you off. Be very specific.
54. Write a list of what currently turns you on. Be very specific.
55. Describe your sexual fantasy.
56. Are you afraid of being dominated by your sexual partner?
57. Are you so preoccupied with performance anxiety that the joy of sex is lost?
58. Do you spend as much intimate time together with your sexual partner as you did when you were courting?
59. Is your time alone with your partner filled with silence, fighting or talking about others rather than intimate sharing?
60. Do you masturbate to orgasm? Do you feel comfortable doing this?
61. Are you sexually aroused only by people or objects you find inappropriate?
62. Do you worry about being the perfect lover?
63. Do you find yourself blaming your sexual partner when there is a problem?
64. Do you center all your sexual activities on intercourse?
65. Do you believe you have to be able to perform all the time?
66. Do you sometimes think you are the only person with a sexual problem?
67. What are some of the myths, misconceptions, misunderstandings you learned about sex? Who was your teacher?
68. How do you react to sex when you have interpersonal conflicts, resentments, or hostility?
69. Have you ever had a prolonged frustration of your sexual needs? How did you react?
70. Have you ever withheld sex to punish your partner?
71. What happens to your sexual performance when you are under server stress or in a state of depression?
72. Are you aware that chronic alcohol and drug abuse as well as some medications such as some blood pressure medica-tions can cause poor sexual performance?
73. What sexual situations have caused you anxiety, bitterness, frustration, fear or depression?
74. What is it you want changed enough to do whatever it “TAKES”?
75. Describe your ideal sexual mate.
76. Describe your present sexual mate.
77. Describe your sexual image of yourself.
78. When do you make selfish or unreasonable demands on others? On yourself?
79. Do you use sex to end a disagreement?
80. What opinions about sex do you have that run to the extremes?
81. When and how did your selfish pursuit of the sex relation damage other people and/or yourself?
82. What people were hurt and how badly by your selfish pursuit?
83. Did you spoil your marriage and/or injure your children?
84. Did you jeopardize your standing in the community?
85. Just how did you react to this situation at the time?
86. Did you burn with a guilt that nothing could extinguish?
87. Did you insist that you were the pursued and not the pursuer, and thus absolve yourself?
88. How have you reacted to frustration in sexual matters?
89. When denied, did you become vengeful or depressed? Did you take it out on others?
90. If there was rejection or coldness at home, did you use this as a reason for promiscuity?
91. Many of us needed an overhauling sexually; how about you?
92. Did you arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness?
93. Where were you at fault?
94. Do you believe that your sex is God -given and therefore good?
95. Do you feel it is ok to ask God for help in all sexual matters?
96. What do you tell yourself when you experience “performance anxiety”?
97. How do you react to “relationship problems”: blaming your partner, resentments, doubt, mistrust, dishonesty, communi-cation problems, looking like a “10” all the time, “people pleasing”, changing your priorities, or taking full responsibility for your own sex life?
98. What are you doing about your “sexual guilt” stuff?
99. How do you react to the following?
Lack of sexual desire
Sexual boredom
Another lover
Confused sexual orientation
100. Write out your new plan of action and/or inaction.

NOW GO BACK OVER YOUR LIST. SPEND A LITTLE MORE TIME ON THE QUESTIONS THAT CAUSED YOU TO HAVE STRONG FEELINGS OR REACTIONS.

NOW WHAT?

1. When you have finished this workshop review all of your responses, reduce them to as few pat-terns, habits of thoughts and feelings as you can.
2. Share these with your sponsor (Fifth Step) – Continue with the remaining Twelve Steps
3. And/or write out a new plan of action.
4. There will be very little gain unless we practice daily – tools are of no real value unless we use them and keep them in good condition.

The following is part of a daily meditation to be used along with your Step Eleven. If you would affirm and practice these simple elements of love each day for forty days you would experience something very special.

I practice Patience; my love is passive, waiting to begin, not in a hurry, calm, and ready to do its work when the summons comes. Love understands and therefore waits.
I am Kind; my love is active. I enjoy merely doing kind things. Any kindness that I can share with any being let me do it now in a wise and loving way. I shall not defer it nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

I share my Generosity. I am Your son, Father, and a loving brother to all. I do bestow all my goods, my gifts, and my talents. I share freely with all of my heart, mind and soul, out of the abundance I am receiving, as I am directed. My sharing does en-rich, enlighten, heal, awaken and transform those I share with.

I live in a conscious state of Humility as I have the gift of knowing that You, Father, are my/our only True Source. Each time I share, I put a seal upon my lips and go back into the shade again and say nothing about it. I wait for the next gift to receive and share. I am but a channel, an agent of Your Will, Father.

I express Courtesy, the love in little things, thought-ful things; with a gentle heart filled with Your loving Grace, Father, expressing love at all levels, with all beings, in conscious union with Your Will, Father.

I am Unselfish out of enlightened self-interest. By giving of myself I truly am a master receiver. I give but little when I give of my possessions. It is when I give of my Self/self that I truly give.

I have a Good Temper and a Good Sense of Humor. I envy no other, as I have no competition with that individual You created me to be, Father. I do not make capital out of faults, my own or any other. I quickly seek correction; better yet I am non-judgmental of the “sins” of the physical world and the “sins” of the disposition, so there is no need for forgiveness.

I realize the Innocence in others and myself – that Higher Self, and the Holy, Whole Presence. I en-courage all to chip away all that is not our true, Higher Self. I co-create an atmosphere of love and wisdom wherever I am and whomever I am with. Our innocence is beyond the human condition, yet it is ever present.

I am truly Sincere in all I do, say, think, and feel. I search for the truth and a consciousness of Your At-tributes, Father (Life, Love, Truth, Reality, Wis-dom, Spirit, Consciousness, Soul, Intelligence, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Omniscience), with a humble and unbiased heart, mind, and soul. I rejoice in what I find, and I freely pass it on. I bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things, for love never fails.

A NEW BEGINNING

To practice love as a conscious choice, does make a great deal of difference in our experience of life. It is one of the ways we can practice the Presence of our Higher Power, for God is love and so are we, all of us, no matter what the appearance may be.
I was inspired to do this workshop on six loves in a number of ways. Sharing the A.A. Program for many years I realize a common problem and a common solution. The common problem is that most of us do not have the skills to express consistently the love that we are. The common solution is awakening consciously and consistently to a Higher Power that will do for us what we can-not, to share the love we are and to practice these principles in all our affairs. I had been planning to do the workshop on Four Loves but during a trip to the coast I was inspired to add two more loves. I came to realize that one love does not fit all. Trying to generalize love is the root of many relationship problems and limitations.

I have been blessed with so many contributors and references that the list would be endless. Alcoholics Anonymous has been my school and play ground, my way of life. In the early years I was introduced to our A.A. books and a number of others that have play a big part in putting this workshop together: The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet For – The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond – The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran – Four Loves by C.S. Lewis.

Six Loves – What Are They For?

Agape – what’s it for?

Here’s a question – How does Agape, Spiritual Love transform the natural loves into our Father’s service, that His Will can be done in earth and as it was designed to be? These natural loves are: Primal Love, Storge, Self-love, Philia and Eros.

What if Agape, Spiritual Love is just another name for the Holy Spirit, an extension of our Creator, our Father, the Master Builder? This would answer a number of questions for me. For example none of the other loves are really effective unless they have been transformed into our Father’s service. Perhaps each natural love, as a standalone does serve some level of usefulness, a fix (A love as a standalone is an illusion of separation, everything is part of the whole, but sometimes we don’t want God present). Sooner or later they fail because each of these natural loves are need loves, which contains a high degree of self-serving and it has a built in limited value. However these natural loves can be transformed into Agape’s loving service. Agape is the only true give love, perfect, pure love. “Perfect Love cast out all fear.” Agape, Spiritual Love is that perfect Love sometimes called the Breath of Life.

How does Agape use our Father’s Holy Attributes to transform the natural loves into His service? Some of these Holy Attributes are: Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Life, Love, Reality/Truth, Spirit, Soul, Intelligence, and Universal Principles. It is very interesting to note which one of the Holy Attributes we are currently using here and now no matter what we are up to, it is a way to practice the Presence of our Higher Power.

Agape, Spiritual Love (the Holy Spirit), seems to be able to mold Divine Love Energy into a limited edition, a form or expression and still remain infinite, perfect, pure Love. It re-minds me of the principle, when we use a Spiritual Principle it expands with its use. Agape transforms each natural love into its intended mission, using the most effective Holy Attribute(s) and providing the perfect amount of Divine Love Energy to create this natural love into a useful finite tool, which will enable us to complete some part of our Father’s Will.

Primal Love – what’s it for?

I believe Agape uses Primal Love as its basic building block, to create the other loves, Storge, Philia, Eros and Self-love. Each individual has a God created purpose or mission, in which we have a predominate need for one natural love over the other loves. From time to time, this special love will inspire each of us to carry out our individual mission, His Will for each of us. God has a plan for each one of us and He has a plan for you. We are as-sured He will supply us with whatever it takes to carry that purpose out.

Primal Love can be found in the least particle throughout the universe to the most complex of the Master Builders Creations. It is not only the building blocks for the natural loves it is the same building blocks throughout all of nature. With a little reflection we can realize it everywhere present. It seems to be unconditional because it does not care whom or what gains from it’s being. It can be molded into any other form, or love not just in the human but also in all of Creation. Primal Love says yes to Agape’s Yes and no to Agape’s no.
Self-love – what’s it for?

One of the reasons I believe Agape created Self-love is so that we have the ability to love our little personal “reality” self into His loving service. When our Higher Self (our God created Self), and our little personal “reality” self are in conscious union, love may be pre-sent at all levels. Our Higher Self, our God created Self, has many names; in the Western world It may be called the Christ Self and in the Eastern world may be called the Atman. Our little personal “reality” self is the illusionary individual we each made up from every-thing we have ever experienced, real or illusion plus everything in this world we are part of. [18]
Although our personal “reality” self is always part of us in this human condition and is in-spired by the Father within, this pure Love/Light has to pass through our personal “reality” filter system. What we experience consciously may not look anything like the pure Love/Light it started out as.

OF SPECIAL NOTE: So Agape, Spiritual Love (the Holy Spirit) via our Created Self, the Christ Self has a special interest in our little personal “reality” self being joined as love for the whole Self/self. Without this union our mission cannot be completed. Love must be taught and practiced throughout the world, our internal personal world. Agape expresses its Self through each individual in a way that this being will think enough of her/him self to carry out their mission. Love yourself as you love your neighbor or love your neighbor as you love yourself, same, same.

When our Created Self, our Christ Self and the personal “reality” self has experienced atonement, joined with each other we become soul mates. When we share our love with others as one voice we are in conscious union with Agape, the Holy Spirit and each relationship may then become a Holy relationship.

Our Higher Self (our Christ Self) is a pure expression of our Father’s love in this world, not of it but in it. Being the same nature as our Father – we are love, but until these three have joined; the Holy Spirit (Agape), our Higher Self (the Christ Self), and our Personal “reality” self as one, we would be hard put to prove consistently that we are love. When we experi-ence conscious union, even for an instant it feels like perfect love, maybe it is. Our Higher Self, our Christ Self has a need to extend this perfect love to our little personal “reality” self. When we are able to accept this there is a moment of conscious union, the three be-come as one and we are at peace with ourselves. This is the mystical experience of Christ in the world, but not of it.

Storge – what’s it for?

I believe that Agape created Storge for a number of very good reasons. If we did not have this Storge love most likely there would be no humankind. Humans have a very long child-hood, for some it may never end, but that’s another story. Thus, when a child comes into this world she/he will need a lot of special care for a number of years. Storge was created as a need love, the mother needs to be needed, a need to give and the child needs to be de-pendant and needy.

Storge has to be a very powerful love because the care of a child is very demanding and it last for such a long time. In the animal kingdom Storge love is built in but much less de-manding than it is in the human condition. The protection, learning and growing up process is much less complex than it is in the human condition.

Storge like the other natural need loves carries with it an inherent group of problems. For example when a child becomes a young adult the relationship must shift away from dependence or it can get sick. The same is true in A.A. when the sponsored one becomes a young spiritual adult the relationship needs to shift to a more equal partnership or friend-ship.
OF SPECIAL NOTE: Storge love at its best is experienced within each of us as a con-scious union between Agape (the Holy Spirit), our Higher Self (the Created Self, Christ Self) and our made up personal “reality” self becoming as one in our Father’s Will. Agape (the Holy Spirit) and our Higher Self (the Created Self) are direct expression of our Creator, our Father, Which means we have the same basic nature, even as an individual ocean wave and the whole ocean have the basic elements. As with Agape the Created Self is a give love and has a need to give our personal “reality” self that perfect love of our Mother/Father Creator. Our personal “reality” self has a need to receive this love, to depend on it. This inner relationship is the purest form of Storge.

Philia – what’s it for?

I believe, before our Father’s Will is completely done in earth, as it is in heaven there is a great deal to be done. I believe He has a Divine Design, which extends to each of us, as individual creations, a special part, a purpose, even if it is ever so small in relation to the whole of creation, to consciously live in harmony with this individual purpose is a big deal to each of us.
There are lots of projects to be done in earth as it is in Heaven, (great news for those of us that are workaholics). To get these projects done humans and other creators must join in a common purpose. The way this life was created makes it impossible for any of us to sur-vive without others. In fact, just one individual working alone could not accomplish much. (Its an illusion to think we can really be alone). So like it or not we were created with the need for one and other. The foundation for Philia, friendship is when two or more people gather for the same goal, or purpose. The more who come together for a common purpose, the same goal, the better.

A. A. is a great example of people coming together for a common purpose. Out of this joining together the bases of our fellowship, friendship was formed. Each A.A. group is a small fellowship within its self, which has its own mission. [4th Tradition] “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

OF SPECIAL NOTE: When the relationship between our Created Self (Christ Self) and our personal “reality” self have the same goal, and this goal is the Will of our Creator it becomes a Holy love friendship relationship. This is the purest form of Philia within each individual. Is it becoming a little more understandable why it is so very important that we; seek, find, and consciously realize, that our Father’s Will and our will are one and live it the best we can?
Eros – what’s it for?

Eros like the other need loves was created for a very special place in and for the human condition. When two individuals are in love there is a very special type of union between them. It opens a depth of love which is some what like the Mystic’s experience of a direct conscious union with our Father. “When will the kingdom of heaven come? When the two become one – when there is neither male or female.”

In most cases, if it really is Eros, two people form a partnership, which may or may not include children. This partnership helps bring about some stability to our comm(unity). Notice the last five letters of community is unity, which is another word for love. At first, Eros, lovers do not want anyone else around. At some point this may change from a total desire for just each other into a desire for community, family. Eros first brings a depth of warmth and love which draws two people together in a loving union – however this relationship must continue to grow, that is to keep learning to live with one another even after the romance has cooled off or this relationship may end up in a separation.

There is within each of us three major loves:

1) The Holy Spirit (Agape, Spiritual Love)

2) The Higher Created Self (the Christ Self or Atman)

3) Our personal “reality” self

It is when all three of these are at-one-ment in, as our Father’s Will that we find a Spiritual Union, that Mystical experience of a direct conscious union with our Father. The three have become One.

Is this possible? Yes, when it is by Grace, it is simple and easy. So how do we open up to Grace?

There is a Love within us that can answer that question. Be Still.

 

When they said, “all our affairs”, I think they meant it …
If the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps is the function of AA meetings (see Bill W.’s essay on the matter in Language of the Heart), and the primary purpose of a group is to carry the AA message, which, according to the Third Edition of the Big Book, is the contents of the first 164 pages of said book, then, presumably, a discussion of the application of the Steps in practice is a fair discussion topic at meetings.

Agreed? OK. Great. Presumably, we can therefore discuss Step Twelve at meetings. We can discuss a spiritual awakening. We can discuss how we work with others. We can discuss how we apply the Steps to our work life, home life, etc., as, presumably, since part of the Twelfth Step is to practise these principles in all our affairs, and these are our affairs, discussing the application in these areas forms part of our primary purpose.

But here we have a dilemma. Sex is one of the affairs we have. So is sex addiction. Eating is part of our affairs. So are eating disorders. But the Traditions formalists insist that such matters are “outside issues” and not fit for discussion. We can therefore discuss the application of the Steps in all our affairs … except sex, gambling, food, drugs, or anything else to which the Steps are apparently applied with laudable success.

There is an inherent contradiction here.

One argument is that “not everyone will identify.” However, I have never heard the suggestion that one should not discuss the application of the Steps to one’s work life on the grounds that people who are not in employment will fail to identify. A large proportion of the stories I hear about drinking I don’t identify with from my experience, and I’m a bone fide alcoholic. But I don’t begrudge people sharing drinking experiences I don’t happen to have had.

There is a profound inconsistency here, as well.

The result is that there is a hush in AA about sex, gambling, food, pills, etc., precisely in the parts of AA where there is actually a solution available in the form of the establishment and maintenance of a spiritual experience, because these are likely to be the places where the Traditions enforcers come down hardest on “outside issues”.

And so people do not get to hear about how members who DO have a solution to these problems have been healed in these areas too by practising the Twelfth Step of Alcoholics Anonymous. So we push them off to other fellowships, where the experience of recovery can be, shall we say, mixed.

We are now in the perverse position of allowing people to discuss the practising of the AA principles in every single affair of theirs except the ones which are actually killing them.

And people in AA are finding their lives ripped apart, left right and centre, by the silence, within AA, on these very topics. How many people do we know with double-digit sobriety with sex addiction, love addiction, untreated Al-Anonism on the rampage, anorexia, bulimia, gambling and other addictions to risk-taking behaviour, etc. ad nauseam? How many people do we know who cover this up? Why might they be doing that? Are our problems of our own making here too? Are we fuelling these addictions by denying such people openness within AA?

The hounding of people who discuss these matters in AA into other fellowships under cover of darkness (lest they compromise the primary purpose) actually confounds the primary purpose because we are insisting that people’s various other addictions or problems are so separate that they need separate treatment.

I would continue to insist that one be an alcoholic to attend AA. However, I would also suggest that we be permitted to discuss the practice of the principles in all our affairs. NB I wasn’t the one who wrote the word “all” in Step Twelve. That is down to our founders. It appears that the word “all” is inconvenient to the Tradition Five police.

Page 45 of the Big Book insists that we have a single problem. Go look it up. Just one.

Conscious separation is the problem; conscious contact is the solution; unity is our method.

Unless each of us can bring all of himself or herself to the source, there is a risk that true healing will never take place.

 

“Let him see that you want to be helpful rather than critical.” (Big Book page 111)

9 Aug

“Self Surveying and Destructive Critics” Bill W wrote Of Destructive Critics and how we should handle them: 

 

“There are those in A.A. whom we call “destructive” critics. They power-drive, they are “politickers,” they make accusations to gain their ends–all for the good of A.A., of course! But we have learned that these folks need not be really destructive.

 

We ought to listen carefully to what they say. Sometimes they are telling the whole truth; at other times, a little truth. If we are within their range, the whole truth, the half-truth, or no truth at all can prove equally unpleasant to us. If they have got the whole truth, or even a little truth, then we had better thank them and get on with our respective inventories, admitting we were wrong. If they are talking nonsense, we can ignore it, or else try to persuade them. Failing this, we can be sorry they are too sick to listen, and we can try to forget the whole business.

 

There are few better means of self-survey and of developing patience than the workouts these usually well-meaning but erratic members so often afford us.” ~Twelve Concepts, p. 40

“Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation.” Big Book page 25

3 Aug

SIMPLE PROCESS For those of you who wish to be able to find a quick and efficient way to let a newcomer see how simple this process really is, here are twenty questions to ask someone who has just entered Alcoholics Anonymous:

1. Do you want what we have?

2. Will you go to any lengths to get it?

3. Have you ever lost control of your drinking?

4. Have you ever vowed to stop only to go back to it?

5. Can you smash the idea that, left to your own devices, you could ever solve this problem?

6. Are you willing to believe in a power grater than yourself?

7. Can you make a decision to turn your will and life over to that power?

8. Can you make an honest list of your resentments?

9. Can you make an honest list of your fears?

10. Can you share those lists with another person?

11. Can you become willing to let go of these things?

12. Can you ask your higher power to take them from you?

13. Can you make a list of all the harm you have caused?

14. Can you become willing to make amends for that harm?

15. Can you begin making those amends?

16. Can you pray and call someone when you find yourself being selfish, dishonest, resentful or fearful?

17. Can you ask and answer ten simple questions each night?

18. Can you start each day with prayer and meditation?

19. Can you say “Thy will be done” as you go through he day?

20. Can you carry THIS message to others and practice these principle in all your affairs?

If the person can say that those are all things that they are capable of doing, then feel free to let them know that they are ready to do this work and that you are ready and willing to help them to do it just as soon as they wish.

The above hopefully functions as evidence that Alcoholics Anonymous can work the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and, once again, be the Alcoholics Anonymous that our co-founders constructed when they named a fledgling organization after a book called Alcoholics Anonymous