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7 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2007 - 11:34AM #31
jonesg
Posts: 504
"The Big Book "We Agnostics", "

They are confused. That title is meant to be inclusive.

Agnostic means without knowledge.
Gaining knowledge of God will not recover an alcoholic.
Gnosticism is not a path to recovery, at least not the AA path.

A direct conscious experience with God is the result of working the steps,
not mere knowledge of God.

Many alcoholics have a great wealth of knowledge about God but still drink like a fish.
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2007 - 11:34AM #32
jonesg
Posts: 504
"The Big Book "We Agnostics", "

They are confused. That title is meant to be inclusive.

Agnostic means without knowledge.
Gaining knowledge of God will not recover an alcoholic.
Gnosticism is not a path to recovery, at least not the AA path.

A direct conscious experience with God is the result of working the steps,
not mere knowledge of God.

Many alcoholics have a great wealth of knowledge about God but still drink like a fish.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 2:10AM #33
propanepaul
Posts: 3
This seems to be a topic of great debate. I've got a drinking problem and decided to familiarize myself with the 12 steps. I happened across a site called MyrecoverySpace.com. I posed the question via blog, "where have all the Agnostic's gone?".  One person stated that they all read the BB. That' seems to be the prevailing attitude. If my sobriety depends on a "spiritual Awakening" I'm hosed.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 6:41AM #34
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
Having been in Alanon for a few years in southern Kansas, I had somewhat the same experience as Rider and ultimately concluded that Alanon simply wasn't workable for me since the only convenient meeting to where I lived persisted in "God this, God that," concluding each meeting with the Lord's Prayer. (The nearest alternative meeting was thirty miles away over open country highways, a scary prospect for a woman driving home alone late on bitterly cold nights in winter in the days before cell phones were available.)

Heavily into New Age spirituality and religious agnosticism at the time, I just never did feel comfortable with all that. Yes, I know I was supposed to develop a "God of my understanding" or simply some comprehension of a "higher power" even if it was only the group of Alanon and AA members as a whole working toward saner living.

Why did any of that have to be identified at all with the word "God," I still wonder, if the ultimate point wasn't to imply that the Christian deity was the actual underpinning of the program? I think much of the use of "God" as an equivalent of "higher power" reflects the fact that just about everyone was at least nominally Christian in the U.S. when AA was founded, a time when few were bold enough to dissent from the common acceptance that either everyone was Christian or had sense enough to keep their mouths shut about it if they weren't.

Eventually, after several months of working through my codependency problems with the aid of a good therapist, I concluded that Alanon hadn't been a good fit for me from the get-go. Nothing wrong with that, IMO. What's important is to find what works for you and stick with it.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 8:06AM #35
jonesg
Posts: 504
Propanepaul,

I went to that website, its quite good,
one thing I saw there which might help you with your thought on being hosed if recovery depends on a spiritual awakening.

"Don't believe everything you think".
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 8:36AM #36
proserpina
Posts: 137
PropanePaul.Don't worry about that.You really want to stop drinking?Give us a shake.:-)
You do'nt *have* to do anyhting.
When you hear "higher power"  in the AA rooms the idea is that we stop worrying, and fretting, obsessing and plotting to get what we want and need, or to stop something we fear will be bad news for us.Know what I mean?
We leave it "there" in the hands of --God, or Goddess, or the Universe or whatever.
That's the idea.
We alcoholics tend to think we're alll there is, and yet we don't like ourselves so very much.
This AA stuff;-) gets us off ourselves.
But really--even having said all that--forget about having to apply it .
Try a meeting, see how you feel just listening to people's stories.
An Open 3 speaker meeting will help you perhaps just because you can sit back, and listen.
But do what you need to do--not what everyone and anyone  says.
However bear in mind--I'm sober.
And I'm not fighting the craving daily, actually--it's almost never!
I wasn't into God or religion, and  am still *definitely * not religious!
If you want what we have--take what you can use for now.Just try it for a day or two.
Don't worry about the future for right now, OK?
Anyway--even a spiritual awakening is not a burning bush or a strike by lightning usually.
It's awareness  and enlightenment deep within yourself.
And you can't be anyone else but you.
Good luck to you! I mean it! :-)
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 9:33AM #37
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393
And I just celebrated 14 years. Hell, I don't have the same concept I had 3 months ago. I may be agnostic today, tomorrow athiest, and quaker the day after.  It doesn't matter.

That's why I'm grateful my friend was adamant - as soon as I began spinning myself up around step 2 and the word "God" - he stopped me cold by simply saying  "The step doesn't say God, it says a power greater than. Let's look at powers greater than you" But very few in AA are truly willing to take that approach, even though the Book encourages it. We're still a bunch of chicken-s#!t$ who are scared we're going to "hell" - never quite putting 2+2 together and realizing we're already in hell. ;) I do find it frustrating within the fellowship that folks speak to being open on religious matters, then speak only of Christianity. What about the zillion other approaches out there?

"A power greater than me". That was enough to open my mind - to allow me to find a power by which I can live. I still avoid the word "God". Too much resistance and confusion. It's not as helpful in my view. Plus I find it's inaccurate for what I've discovered. So Paul, don't believe everything you hear in an AA meeting. No one but you has any say in the matter. As my friend Dot says, the important thing is to find what works. In spite of sometimes awkward wording and misunderstandings, the approach of the 12 steps does work for many - but not all - people.

Good to "see" you Dot.
Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 3:37PM #38
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393

propanepaul wrote:

If my sobriety depends on a "spiritual Awakening" I'm hosed.



Don't know that it does. Last time I checked, sobriety depended on not ingesting alcohol;)

Of course - if you're like me and just "not drinking" seems to be beyond your grasp, then another avenue might have to be considered. Perhaps even something as terrifying as AA. - Yes terrifying. The prospect of living without the drink was terrifying for me.

In practical application, I find the 12 steps requires me to be open-minded much more than it requires me to conform to any one particular set of beliefs.

Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 6:56PM #39
propanepaul
Posts: 3
Thanks to you all, I found your advice very helpful. I'm been told I'm in "analysis paralysis"......Give me a break, "I do not like green eggs and ham, said Sam I am", keeping my sense of humor...Till Later, Farewell, Paul
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2007 - 12:52AM #40
lsweetland
Posts: 2
I am a born-again Christian, who had trouble understanding what exactly you were told or why.  I'm also a "recovering" alcoholic (7 yrs sober in December) and a recovered drug addict (6 yrs clean in February.) and here's my point:  I didn't know God when I stopped drinking and I did know him when I stopped doing drugs.   While I credit AA with showing me I was an alcoholic (I knew I had a problem but was in denial about how bad it really was) I give God all the glory for my strength to  stop drinking (after 15 yrs) and doing drugs.  You know what-find your strength...whatever it may be, wherever it may come from, to get clean.  I wholeheartedly believe the rest will come  once you're in the right place to receive it.   Please don't worry yourself with too many things at once, as stress more then likely puts more pressure on you to use/drink to escape.  Peace and blessings to you, brother.
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