10.20.09

Archive for the ‘Santa Christ’ Category

the doorknob debate

with one comment

For millions of addicts around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous’s basic text – informally known as the Big Book – is the Bible. And as they’re about to find out, the Bible was edited.

via AA original manuscript reveals debate on religion.

Well, of course it was edited. It was a book manuscript.   Jesus.

As for purposefully de-emphasizing the “religious” facet of the Program, the directive in the BB to not talk about God too much or share the BB right off the bat is right there in the book.   This is not news. The publishing of the original manuscript is news; that’s awesome and cool.

In my readings I’ve been over all kinds of AA deprogramming/debunking material, looking specifically for  helpful advice about changing one’s attitude and safely steeping out from the AA sphere while continuing to grow and not regress into “white-knuckling it.”   For me, whether or not AA is a “cult” or “religious”  is as stupid a debate as a drunk figuring out if they are “alcoholic” or not.  The name is not the reality, the reality is the reality.

The only part of the “spiritual program” that sits wrong with me, for me, is the sheer bullshitness of stating “god can be whatever you want, god can be a daisy” then presenting steps 3 and 7. Could any rational person easily turn their will over to a daisy, and then pray to the daisy to supernaturally change their personality? Come on. The truth is God can be what you want for a while but the expectation is eventually one will come around to the Real God.  I personally have no problem with God as God or praying to God.  In a beginner meeting last week a new visitor piped up at  discussion open: “I am having trouble with the God part.” The room became home to an award-winning smug expression collection at once.  The woman was then cross-talked over and over about how there was room for all beliefs and non beliefs….but she would eventually see the light.  The obligatory “doorknob” statement made its appearance.  I was struck at how not open -minded the group is.  I saw sanctimonious dismissal and disinterest in a newcomer’s worldview and honest questions, and a blind assertion of The One Truth.  My acceptance of AA as a place of open-mindedness was destroyed. The only open-mindedness in the Program  is admonished upon any who think or act in any deviation from the written instructions or conventional wisdom.

The point is that I don’t care if AA is a religious cult or not. I care about its humanity and honesty.

Written by xty

September 23, 2010 at 09:55

once again, it’s all true

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Not that the element of freedom and therefore of sin is absent from alcoholism. It is present, but in a complex and obscure way. There is a mental element in alcoholism; there is probably a physical element in it in many cases; but a third element, the spiritual one, must also be considered.

via Grace Is Sufficient – Why Alcoholics Anonymous?, The Furrow, January, 1952.

Therapist K said to me a couple weeks ago (she works sometimes at the detox I was in twice this summer) she had talked about me some with Dr. V, my Dr there and now outside, and they were in agreement that I had a ton of psychological mess tangled in my alcoholism. ( I knew that, but I wanted to see how long a sentence I could write.)

It’s deadly clear to me – my decisions to drink are acts of violence, deeply ingrained self-debasement rituals. They are also decidedly medical; the physical aspect is most clear to me when I consider memories of lying drunk in the dark, compulsively picking up an empty bottle and trying it over and over all night, a genius of alcoholic sorrow.

The remarks block quoted above intrigued me – I may not have ever seen any writing, commentary, or speaker throw in a matter-of-fact reference to freedom (sin!) in the middle of an essay about powerlessness. I love it.  I believe it’s all true and everyone is right.  I am a real alcoholic, yes, but I have to live with what I could live with. (What I still could if the supernatural Santa Christ stops favoring me.)

The paradox is as comfortable and friendly as your neighborhood “make a decision.”  Which I say 100% not tongue in cheek. For real.  Even in powerlessness, I have to decide.

Which is spiritual sounding, so probably spiritual really.  Brilliant how it all comes together.  Seriously, though, it makes sense that this wheel of categorically ridiculous wastrel abject torment is equal parts mind body spirit. And spirit is moving itself up in priorities. I tried meditating today. I listen to zencast. I do the mindfulness thing all the time! Plus,   somehow I want to go to meetings, so I’m rolling with it these days. Disillusionment is wary faith for now.  I seem to care about others sometimes. (That’s another post.)

Written by xty

September 13, 2010 at 23:49