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Old 07-10-2018, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AA and God(spiritualism) for an Atheist


Hi

40 days sober here after around 120 days sober and then a month or so of drinking off and on.

This time around I have started going to AA meetings, however I am finding the whole spiritual emphasis that is in the meetings a bit hard to come to grips with.

Just wondering how other Atheists who do AA have dealt with this?

I don't believe in any sort of spirituality, I believe we are born, we live, we die and thats it.

I do believe in a sort of karma, not in a spiritual sense, but more in that the way you treat people is probably how they will treat you, treat them badly then they are likely to treat you badly.

Anyways any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers
Craig
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can only tell you my experience.

I came into AA an atheist/agnostic. Someone made the point that I had never investigated the worlds religions. Sure I had been exposed to Christianity but I knew very little about any of the others spiritual traditions.

I investigated them with as much of an open mind as I could. This search lead one morning to mystical experience.

Since then I have come to appreciate so much from Buddhism and the Tao Te Ching that my life will be forever better as a result.

Do an honest search. Keep an open mind. I don't think you will regret it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My experience. I came to AA as an Agnostic. I had no belief and no feeling about God. I had some anti religion bias, but this was based in ignorance and prejusice which is to say that unlike some folk who have had bad experiences of religion, I has no particular reason for being antagonostic.

I also was in end stage alcoholism, and if you think about AA's second step, Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, I had a long list of things I had tried or had been tried on me that I had come to believe would achieve this result, but they had all failed. First and foremost was self reliance. As far as acloholism was concerned this was totally ineffective.

There was only one thing remaining I had not tried. AA. So I went to a few meetings and got drunk. Then I went for total immersion. Like a scientific experiment, I formed a hypothesis based on the evidence before me. I had a well defined condition, there were other people who had clearly been in the same place, they had applied a particular method and now were recovered. I hypothesised that if I was to perfom the exact method, I ought to get the same result. I did and I did.

When it came to the God bit, even with my partially opened mind I had walked out of a meeting that used the Lord's Prayer, I caught on to the idea that this was important, in fact it was the whole of AA recovery. They didn't have anything else in their tool box.

It said in the big book that facing an acoholic death or learning to live by spiritual principles was not always an easy choice to make. Surely there is a third option and anyway, how bad can an alcoholic death be?

Well there were not other options for me and I did actually want to live, so I made a deal. I am willing to believe there could be a Power greater than myself that would do for me the same thing it did for the other people I had met, but only as long as I got some evidence.

So, that was fine they said, the way to that is the same as hypothesised, through working the steps. So I began to look for the Power through working the steps. Before I was half way through I had an experience that chnaged my mind, gave me my proof.

I could have stuck by my non-belief, making that non negotiable, but I don't think the AA program works anyother way. It would have left me looking for a non existant alternative and, honestly, I was so close to the end, an alcoholic death was the most likely out come.

Perhaps your second step might read Came to believe I could restore myself to sanity ( mine did at one time). That is a fair enough choice, but it is a choice for something other than the AA path.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LFCNZ View Post
Hi

40 days sober here after around 120 days sober and then a month or so of drinking off and on.

This time around I have started going to AA meetings, however I am finding the whole spiritual emphasis that is in the meetings a bit hard to come to grips with.

Just wondering how other Atheists who do AA have dealt with this?

I don't believe in any sort of spirituality, I believe we are born, we live, we die and thats it.

I do believe in a sort of karma, not in a spiritual sense, but more in that the way you treat people is probably how they will treat you, treat them badly then they are likely to treat you badly.

Anyways any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers
Craig
Look in the AA directory for agnostic meetings. There probably won't be a lot but if you might find one or two. Some AA groups have a strong religious flavor and you don't want to feel the odd man out so try a variety of meetings in your area. I'm sure you'll find meetings where you can feel at ease sharing your concerns.

People like to say AA is this or that but a lot depends on the meetings you attend. The group vibe can be quite different .
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/4132817-post1.html (My experience as an atheist in AA)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...82-post15.html (The God Problem)

see if these are useful to you.

AA offers a spiritual solution, and is up front about that.
how you deal with that, IF you deal with that, if you experience yourself wanting or needing that...all up to you to figure out.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I don't believe in any sort of spirituality, I believe we are born, we live, we die and thats it.
For me the spirituality aspect is the part between "we are born,...we die", I find it in the how "we live".
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