Saturday, March 13, 2010

Paul in Romans 7; and My Addiction

My higher power is my self---when I am sober and sane. It isn't supposed to be that way in Alcoholics Anonymous; you can't be your own Higher Power because "The alcoholic at certain times has not effective mental defense against the first drink. [ ] His defense must come from a Higher Power." Chapter Three

Incredibly, there is no mention of Higher Power in chapters 1 or 3, and not again until chapter 7 where it says, 
"Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances."
Well, that is what I do every day, and the way I saw through to my higher power as myself was brought to my attention two days ago, by someone who heard me speak at a Third Step meeting. He said I had incredibly spoken the ideas of Paul in Romans 7.

I only read parts of the Bible, when I need to research something it may (or may not) say. So let me tell you what I said, then relate it to what Paul said.

I said that we all do things when we are using that we don't like, not the least of which is to use at all. We wake up with hangovers, having been in blackouts we don't remember things, we sometimes wake up jail wondering how we got there, and I said we use "descriptive egoism" to explain it.
Those "explanations" would be "My wife pissed me off so I went to the bar." "I hit the wall so I wouldn't hit my kid, and broke my hand." "I wrecked the car" or I threw a tantrum or I quit or got fired, or I spent all my money because...

That because those are "descriptive" of what we think were our reasons, but when we get sober we know they were all just excuses and rationalizations. Somewhere inside each of us is the knowledge that there is something better, because when we do what we rationalize, we ask ourselves why we didn't do what we knew was the right way, or the better way, instead of doing the way we did it.

We see other people doing things the right way. They're relatively happy, sometimes ecstatically happy. And they don't ever seem to do the wrong thing. We wonder if they even have a concept of "the wrong thing", or if they do have it, whether they are ever tempted to follow it.
When we hit bottom it is the horrible realization that all those thoughts of goodness, of the right thing to do, of the better way to do things that we knew in our minds and felt in our hearts, was what we could have done if we had hit bottom sooner, or if we had never chosen the irrational path of destruction in the first place.

St. Paul, in Romans 7, in the New International Version, said this:
15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, [i.e., "stay clean"] I agree that the law is good. 18[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil [the using, in our case]  I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." 
That "sin living in me" is the powerlessness I have when I take the first drink. But it is also the lack of desire to prevent that first drink, by whatever means necessary. Call your friends in AA or out of AA if they understand; call your sponsor, or call somone and ask her to be your sponsor; but do something.

When I am clean and sober I am doing what I did not want to do before, as seen in Paul's verse 16; or what I could not do before I saw, or before I knew, how to do what was the opposite of the way I had always done before. 
The difference is, that after I get sober and work the Steps or my own customized program, I am no longer like Paul who does what he does not want to do without him knowing why--because now I do not want to do what I used to do, and I do know why.
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. ©

are all © or SM of the
Free Assemblage of Metaphysical Naturalists LLC

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