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A little fuel for the Higher Power controversy? Very interesting, in any case. A Guardian article.

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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 05:46 PM
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A little fuel for the Higher Power controversy? Very interesting, in any case. A Guardian article.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 06:25 PM
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1. Thanks . Tears here.
'I sat with my sponsor and argued and objected until she said: either do this thing or I'm dropping you, because I don't know how to sponsor someone who won't do this. I said the words. Did I mean them? Well ... does it matter? On the one hand, it matters a whole lot, this is supposed to be your soul here and whatnot. On the other, admonitions to "fake it till you make it" are correct. Was I desperate enough to plead in my heart for something, anything to save me from the hell of my miserable life? Yes. Is that enough? Yes.


I felt embarrassed to tell my husband this. I still don't pray in front of him. Why should it be embarrassing? Because it's obviously ridiculous, that's why. But here's the thing: I decided it was more important to be happy and useful than to have an internally coherent worldview. I just carved this (infinitely!) vast portion out of the rest of my life and said, I'll just do whatever you nice AA people say. Because if I don't do that, I will die.


I have been sober for nearly four years now and to say that the change is like night and day. I have "sponsees" myself, and they struggle with all these things, and I just patiently tell them to do what I say, and if they do this they never have to drink again. I have had one sponsee overdose on drugs she bought with money I had trustingly given. She was only 22. I am unwilling to consider that some deity decided she wasn't trying hard enough. There's just life, and death, and things we can do to be loving people. I am happy to endure the most flagrant ontological inconsistency in exchange for my living children, who have a good mother, who is breaking the chains of abuse passed on from generation to generation. Not a perfect person, but a useful one. That's enough.'
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Reminds me of this post by Fire Walk With Me a little downthread,
Edited on Tue May-18-10 05:28 PM by Joe Chi Minh
entitled, What have I become?
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 07:03 PM
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2. Pleasure Elleng. Such a realisation of our helplessness can turn around our lives in
the direst contexts; not only alcoholism.

Strange that a realisation of our helplesness can serve as a springboard to our enjoyment of the most radiantly sunlit uplands. Of course never that radiantly blissful for long in this life, but often enough, but an even level of peace and contentment - fulflment - is fine for most of us.

For those who aren't offended by relgious quotes, how about St Augustine's:
'Oh God you made us for yourself, and our hearts will find no rest until they rest in thee.'
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-10 03:54 PM
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4. that's how it worked for me at the start
my HP was a 6' tall invisible white rabbit for months :evilgrin:
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-10 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I like the robustly agnostic way she accepted the Higher Power, not because she personally didn't
think it was a ridiculous concept, but that the choice facing her was as simple as it was stark. Sink or swim. The way she expressed that would surely resonate better with agnostics and atheists than if she'd turned to her Higher Power on the more orthodox basis of an overt, full-bore religious conversion.
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get the red out Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-20-10 02:07 PM
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6. The problem I see right now, spiritually, is
the attitude of "you're either with us or against us" and I get a sense of that attitude from religious people and atheists alike. For me the point of that article is "who cares?????" she's doing what works for her. The reality for me is that nobody really knows EVERYTHING regarding spiritual truth, so the spirituality (or lack thereof) that works for me simply works for me. There is no untruth to that! If someone does something that improves their lives greatly why the fuss? If someone is agnostic and the thing they believe about a higher power is that it isn't them and they are sober and happy, so what?

People just fuss too much about these things. I fuss a lot myself, usually about politics though, LOL (and politics in AA too, imagine that). But sometimes a good old fashioned "I don't know the answer to everything", is the best way to go for me, and someday I might even become consistent in following my own damn advice.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-22-10 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Amen to you, brother.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-10 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. But that's the beauty of the article. It's just a matter of what works.
She's recoils at the thought of subscribing to any kind of formal religious belief; any belief other than the existence and potential life-saving assistance provided by this deliberately vaguely-conceptualised entity - one's Higher Power.

To formally religious believers, there may be something almost comical about recoiling in horror like that from a belief in God, but most believers have lived through periods of unbelief in their own lives, so understand and respect the nous of those able, as this woman has been, to at least see if this bare minimum works.

On the other hand, I expect there are people who simply cannot even subscribe to that, although without any sense of an emotional revulsion - simply a mixture of incomprehension (to them, because there is nothing substantive to comprehend) and indifference.
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