Endigar 485 ~ “To Thine Own Self Be True . . .

. . . And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82 ~ William Shakespeare


One of the religious weeds that the 12 step recovery program uprooted from my life was the need to “eliminate self so that God could shine through.”

“Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62)

For me, it became important to see that alcoholics had a particular brand of selfishness they must be rid of.  Self preservation and self esteem are good and necessary for success in the program.  Isolated self exaltation with self-will run riot is life threatening for the alcoholic.  I do not believe that God has ever been an advocate of spiritual suicide.  When the Big Book talks of getting rid of self, I believe it is speaking of a fearfully disconnected version of self.

If we don’t have a sense of psyche and a developed sense of self and a sense of ego to begin with, there’s nothing to transcend and it makes it really hard to function in day-to-day life and relationships. There are those who want to “transcend” as a way to disassociate from the feelings of grief and sadness and anxiety….when often this sadness and anxiety has so much to do with a under-developed “self.” So rather than attempting to “transcend” (as a way to avoid life)
I would encourage us to develop a “self” (through many self-defining acts…figuring out what we need, what we want, what we love, who “we” ARE, what our mission is, what we value etc) and THEN transcend it by acknowledging that underneath all these definitions lies pure love, pure awareness, pure consciousness itself…that connects us all. BOTH these ideas can live together at the same time: that we have a sense of “self”–small S—and that we have a sense of “Self”, of our godliness and innate consciousness and goodness—big S. ~ [ https://www.facebook.com/alanismorissette ]


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