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I worked my 2nd step this weekend.

Old 10-23-2006, 07:58 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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this is an excellent thread!

I would have never gotten involved in AA or have done the 12 Steps if it weren't for the fact that Bill W took LSD. I figured anyone who took LSD fully grocked the experience of a spirtual overhaul. Under the influence of LSD it is very common to feel that you personally are a significant part of a much larger picture. It's the concept of the "larger picture" that I used to replace all the Gawd and higher power used in AA/NA

I needed a spiritual overhaul... but I had to it without the drug this time.
The turning point in my experience with the steps was discovering that I was totally self absorbed and I needed to become involved with others and stop living only in my mind. I was loaded for so long that I had forgotten how to be part of the real world. Because my parents were addicts I never learned a comfortable set of rules to live by and amazingly enough I did find them in the 12 Steps. I have a wonderful life now! I have learned another better and more thoughtful way to engage myself in my life even though I have absolutely NO belief in the general concept of any external diety or god.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:06 AM
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I believe there are many things that are more powerful than I am. However, I do not believe that they have a 'will,' or intervene in lives of humans.

SMART is a therapy. It has no will, and doesn't act on people. It has no more power to intervene in our lives than a hammer does to build a structure.

I can't think of anyone who thinks that they are the most important, most powerful person in the world, that I would consider sane. That's just silly!
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:08 AM
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Just curious Michski, have you taken LSD?

And also... thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:31 AM
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SMART does have a will, it has a purpose...to help addict get and stay clean. If SMART didn't affect people, why would it still be around? Some people credit SMART with saving their lives, if that isn't a power greater than theirselves working in their lives, then what is? Living by "SMART's will" would be simply applying what is learned in your daily life, using the tools gained, not using.

The "power greater than yourself" talked about in NA has absolutely no restrictions on it, ic and be whatever you want it to be....even a doorknob ...It doesn't have to be this angry father figure in the sky that swoops his hand down to save you from yourself...
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:41 AM
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1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that SMART could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of SMART as we understood Him.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to SMART, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have SMART remove all these defects of character.

7. We humbly ask SMART to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with SMART as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:59 AM
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i never could do those step things too good
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:00 AM
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I didn't get too far myself, Windy.
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:02 AM
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I'm sure there are a few addicts out there that could benifit from that....but I think that it's best to work one program of recovery, it's less confusing that way....most of us are confused enough as it is....

When it all comes down to it, ALL recovery programs work b/c of spiritual principles (honesty, openmindedness, willingness, patience, tolerance, hope, faith, love, ect...), NA/AA, SMART, et.al. work b/c the person using them has hope that the program can work for them, even if it's just a little glimmer of hope to begin with. Slowly and with time that hope turns in to faith through experience, I KNOW NA works for me b/c it has proven itself in my life that way. I KNOW SMART works for some people b/c it has proven itself in their lives and kept them clean. Both are powers greater than myself, that I MAKE A DECISION to follow (read: turn my will and my life over to...3rd step) or not.

RELIGION has nothing to do with the 12 steps....it can, if you CHOOSE to make it a part, but it will NEVER be a part of my working of the 12 steps.
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by doorknob
makes more sense to me than doorknob .
maybe to you it does, which is a great thing....but for somepeople doorknob makes perfect sense.

To each his own, the proof is in the pudding. B/C of NA and the steps of NA, I am clean today, I do not have a desire to use, and I actually like the person I am for the most part....I have grown a conscience and some self esteeme.....NA goes FAR beyond the dope
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:30 AM
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I don't consider SMART a power greater than myself, at all. SMART just offers tools and it's me who opens the toolbox and works with them thru daily life.

And the ocean isn't a power greater than myself, it virtually has no influence on me. There are not many things that aren't explained by science yet and the things that are, well it's cool to think about 'em but I'm kinda confident that science will reveal Earth's last secrets, anyhow. Perhaps a lil sad. But only me controls me, nothing else.

However, I think it's just great you got clean thru NA and have gotten so much out of it, Blake. I also like how you speak up on this forum without being judgemental at all.

Marte
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:48 AM
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Just something to consider, The toolbox that SMART has given you, did you come up with it yourself, or was it created after much research and from the experiences of those that came before you? Is it something outside of yourself that you have adapted and made your own? Something outside yourself that you have "faith" in?

The ocean has a huge influence on you, the tide, global warming, the fish you eat, the ocean gives life, gives energy, and can take life in scale far exceding that of any single person.....if a tsunami is heading right at you, can you stop it?

I know this is a little abstract, but for someone like me that has a somewhat abstract view of recovery, abstract is where it is at.

only ME controls ME too...NA taught me to take responsibility for my actions.

Yes science can explain a whole lot about life, quatum physics is one of the most interesting field of study going right now as it pertains to the creation, destruction and behavior of matter and energy on a subatomic scale....some really really wierd stuff is being discovered and I too believe that our understanding of the universe will be helped way more in a lab than a church....but that isn't in conflict with the 12 steps, that was the point I was getting at in my original post.

And thanks for the compliment Marte, I know I don't have the market cornered on recovery, different things work for different people....the important thing is that people find what works for them and stop using, ya know?
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Blake
maybe to you it does, which is a great thing....but for somepeople doorknob makes perfect sense.
Thats not fair! I edited that post almost immediately!!

I can kinda see the logic of using a group of people or an ideal as a HP, but the inanimate object worship I don't quite get. For me, either is a stretch, given the original intentions of the Steps.

When it all comes down to it, ALL recovery programs work b/c of spiritual principles (honesty, openmindedness, willingness, patience, tolerance, hope, faith, love, ect...), NA/AA, SMART, et.al. work b/c the person using them has hope that the program can work for them, even if it's just a little glimmer of hope to begin with. Slowly and with time that hope turns in to faith through experience, I KNOW NA works for me b/c it has proven itself in my life that way. I KNOW SMART works for some people b/c it has proven itself in their lives and kept them clean. Both are powers greater than myself, that I MAKE A DECISION to follow (read: turn my will and my life over to...3rd step) or not.
For me, the virtues you mention can be secular as well, although I prefer using confidence in the capacity that many use faith.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:41 PM
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Just something to consider, The toolbox that SMART has given you, did you come up with it yourself, or was it created after much research and from the experiences of those that came before you? Is it something outside of yourself that you have adapted and made your own? Something outside yourself that you have "faith" in?
Hmm interesting. I guess I do have faith in those tools offered but that doesn't mean it's something abstract and larger than myself, cuz after all it's just me using them or not. That's how I look at it. I don't use certain tools offered at SMART, they don't seem useful to me, and others I use a lot, there's no demand to use those tools and yes one can come up with his/her own ways to tackle a problem, too.

The ocean has a huge influence on you, the tide, global warming, the fish you eat, the ocean gives life, gives energy, and can take life in scale far exceding that of any single person.....if a tsunami is heading right at you, can you stop it?
I think with all the warning devices for Tusnami's and what not, we're pretty much gaining control. I think it's in humans to control a situation, no matter how big the mountain each and every one of us faces, we will climb it, eventually. Only the weak will stay in the valleys moping around and eventually die. Darwin's Laws.

I know this is a little abstract, but for someone like me that has a somewhat abstract view of recovery, abstract is where it is at.
lol I like abstract!

only ME controls ME too...NA taught me to take responsibility for my actions.
Now SMART and NA don't seem to different to me all of a sudden, same outcome.

Yes science can explain a whole lot about life, quatum physics is one of the most interesting field of study going right now as it pertains to the creation, destruction and behavior of matter and energy on a subatomic scale....some really really wierd stuff is being discovered and I too believe that our understanding of the universe will be helped way more in a lab than a church....but that isn't in conflict with the 12 steps, that was the point I was getting at in my original post.
You are just a very open minded person it seems to me, Blake. I know for many others all these things you just mentioned will conflict each other while applying The 12 Steps.

And thanks for the compliment Marte, I know I don't have the market cornered on recovery, different things work for different people....the important thing is that people find what works for them and stop using, ya know?
Eventually we're all having the same goal in mind, staying clean and/or sober. This is just a really neat discussion I truly enjoy having with you.

Marte

Last edited by BSPGirl; 10-23-2006 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:47 PM
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Hiya Paul.

So, for you - "the virtues you mention can be secular as well".

That would be those ones like "honesty, openmindedness, willingness, patience, tolerance, hope, faith, love, ect..."?

I don't know very much about any other programmes of recovery so I can't speak about them. But I can say that AA unlocked the power of these values in an entirely secular way. I didn't "convert", and it seems to me that no-one expected me to. I didn't "find G*d"" and again, no-one held it against me. I found nothing more and nothing less than a way of life. And I suspect that's what Blake is saying - is that once we find a way of life which we fully embrace, strangely we feel much happier and at peace (perhaps because we're "harmonising" with the Higher Power that is Michski's "larger picture"?) - and perhaps that's a principle that's common, rather than all the other stuff which is simply dogma?

I paid lip-service to those values we mentioned, for a very long time. I was an active addict, and nothing mattered but me. Those values came alive for me, and G*d has nothing to do with it. I started to live differently, and slowly slowly those values are practised better in my life one day at a time. And that is better than asserting - "oh, I'm a humanist" and thinking that that sets me apart as superior to the poor deluded believers in the world. We're all just trying to find our tao, right?

PS, Michski, your "larger picture" metaphor resounds with me. My personal metaphor is "mighty river". Anything that lets us escape from the tyranny and the delusion of the self as master of the universe!
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Old 10-23-2006, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
And that is better than asserting - "oh, I'm a humanist" and thinking that that sets me apart as superior to the poor deluded believers in the world.
Who's mind are you reading?
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:55 AM
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lol, I was maklng a statement about myself. It follows from the start of the paragraph, "I paid lip service to those values".

Why, whose mind did you read I was reading?
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:03 AM
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Yes I truly think that I'm superior to the poor deluded believers in this world. Well the ones following their beliefs blindly without questioning and without reasoning, at least. lol

Marte
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:22 AM
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Marte,
I'm really glad you made that exception at the end!

I think this is a great discussion. And it clearly shows that there does NOT have to be acrimony between the secularists and the 12 steppers.
We ALL have the same goal.

Again, anyone who says theirs is the only way, or the highway, whether secular or 12 stepper, speaks more about themselves than they do about their program of recovery.

Thanks for a great discussion. What a bit of sharing honestly can bring forth, huh?

Shalom!
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:35 AM
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I can't think of anyone who thinks that they are the most important, most powerful person in the world, that I would consider sane. That's just silly!
Unfortunately, I can think of many who do, without being the least bit snide. Egomania is rampant in our society.

Blake, with all good will, one cannot give a human attribute to an inanimate object. SMART - or any other program of recovery - does NOT have a "will" of it's own. It's a program; a thing. You are personifying it by claiming it to have it's own will.
People have a will to become clean and sober. They apply that program, SMART or any other, to fulfill their will.

But, I completely agree that religion is NOT an aspect of the 12 steps unless we make it one.

Shalom!
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Old 10-24-2006, 06:18 AM
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Teach does a rock have a will? It sits there and will not move untill an outside force acts upon it, if it is in motion, it will remain in motion till acted on by an outside force. It's not a cognitive will but forces such as inertia and gravity, laws of physics, are sort of a "will of the universe"....maybe there are other forces that we haven't quantified yet, coincidence, fate, karma, destiny, ect...
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