Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sobriety As A Higher Power

I am a life-long atheist. 50 years I've been an atheist and I only turn 55 this year. I remember sitting in Sunday School class at the age of 4 thinking, "God doesn't exist, and Jesus doesn't love me because he's dead."

Then I became an alcoholic.

Then I got sober by making use of Alcoholics Anonymous. This blog will chronicle my thoughts about being atheist in a god-driven spiritual program.

I have no problem with spirituality. It's just that spiritualism isn't supernatural, and where ever that spiritual feeling within the body comes from neurologically, it is borne from the consciousness of a biological entity and it dies with that body, with that consciousness, with that life.

Atheists are not supposed to believe in the spirit, so I've heard. But then, what do I call that overwhelming feeling of love for my own life, for the lives of other people I love, and for that sense of wonder that is my own intelligent understanding of the nature of the existence of existence?

Since I don't believe in supernaturalism, that makes me some sort of naturalist. The naturalists can't decide on common definitions for themselves; but in any case they all claim not to believe in free will. Since I will stay sober if I do what I'm supposed to do, I guess I believe in free will because I'm free to continue day by day to do one of two things: pick up a drink---or not pick up a drink. So maybe I'm not a naturalist, but I'm atheist and I'm alcoholic.

"Alcohol...bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands," it say in the AA book the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.1 I hate words that rob me of my humanness, and telling me I have no will of my own with which to overcome my boo-boos whether they are physical or mental robs me.

That is, until we find the will to resist its demands. That is the power of being human, I content. The traditional AA will say it is god's will, not ours, or something to that effect.

Well, believe what you will. And within that idea that we believe what we will lies the idea that what you believe is what you will to believe. Otherwise, you would have to say you were forced by god to believe what you will. That sounds contradictory to me.

When I found the will to resist alcohol it was after years of soul searching; and while the actual realization--and the subsequent admission--that I was powerless over alcohol came over me in one brief, explosive moment, it must be admitted that I am powerless when I take a drink, not when I don't take a drink. If I will not take a drink, then I will stay sober.

1 © Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics can get sober without god, since there is none.
Bill Wilson was wrong about self-will; but we must direct our will toward what keeps us sober. A higher power (HP) is no power at all if it doesn't help us. But as you will read in the page titled Higher Power, Part 2, that HP does not necessarily need to be outside yourself. ©

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