Endigar 183

I have witnessed those who relapse in recovery often return to some old, familiar judgements~ familiar to me because I have also seen and heard it in the stone cathedrals of an angry god. 

“You have learned the answer, and so you can no longer say that your surrender to this disease is the result of powerlessness.  If you have found the source of power, and voluntarily relinquished it – shame on you!  It is all on your head now! ” Wow.  Ouch. 

Is this solid dose of shame given to the relapser to help them recover?  Or is it picking up the church’s bad habits of trying to control behavior, do social damage control, and filter out any deviant concept to “our way” of thinking?  Let’s go back to the beginning:


I often hear that self-knowledge will not save us, when speaking to the new-comer.  But the relapser may be told that you missed something the first time around, and we need to go back through the steps.  There are members who promote the Big Book as being the infallible Word of the Higher Power, and that being “properly armed with the facts” will preserve you.  Maybe the reality is that recovery as a new mental obsession mearly builds a landing strip for the Vital Spiritual Experience.  The VSE was the solution in the beginning, and it is still the solution for those who have suffered the humiliation and demoralization of a relapse.  Self-knowledge was not the answer in the beginning, and I do not believe that it is now the answer after relapse.


Here we see that in the beginning, religious convictions were not the answer.  It was necessary to have the VITAL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.  They are not the same.  And yet this changes somewhat for the relapser.  Learn the principles of the program.  Gain strength of character.  The implied message is the conditional love and acceptance of your Higher Power, and the fellowship, and that the VSE is a one shot deal. 


In this passage the alcoholic / addict is simply asking do you have a better substitute for my drug of choice than a religious labotomy?  And the answer is a very confident yes.  Surrounded by a fellowship of friends and the presence of your Higher Power, you will find release from being isolated and soley responsible  for you own care, so there goes the life of being stupid.  You will find release from detached apathy as your imagination is fired.  So there goes the religious life of safe boredom.  Your life will mean something at last, so there goes depression of pretending to have value.  It is a promise that as you cultivate the Vital Spiritual Experience you first gained in the program, the most satisfactory years of life are ahead of you.  You will  not look with vicarious pleasure backwards to the adventures of your insanity.  They will be nothing compared to the adventures ahead of you. 

In balance, the process requires the confronting and clearing away of our short-comings.  But this is testimony to the fact that the VSE changes us in a very natural way, in conjunction with our free will, in order to make us more useful, and thus more connected, and finally more powerful. 

In the first six months of Bill Wilson’s sobriety he preached to alcoholics as the Oxford movement had taught him, and everyone of them were lost to relapse.  Then the Higher Power got him a job assignment that pulled him away from the Oxford movement, and I suspect, the church mindset of his wife (I suspect this because of the tone of the chapter he wrote called “To Wives”)  and was left alone with his VSE.  He listened to intuitive guidance which led to the connection with Dr Bob, against all odds.  And Bill quit preaching.  He shared from his experience.  One alcoholic to another, confronting the human condition of powerlessness, as it specifically relates to this disease. 


We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense?


As time passes (in this process), our thinking will be more and more on the plane of inspiration.  We come to rely upon it.

So it appears to me that the initial goal of this process is to gain a Vital Spiritual Experience or a “Spiritual Awakening”.  And I must continue to seek after, cultivate, and enlarge it – or I slowly return to isolated stupidity and, ultimately, drug-using insanity.  The process is perfect for that one that first walks in the door, and for that one that comes back in the door from field research.  Welcome home. 




One Response to “Endigar 183”

  1. […] bookmarks tagged vicarious Endigar 183 saved by 5 others     sandninja2007 bookmarked on 02/16/09 | […]

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