Monday, November 23, 2015

What Is Spiritual Malady and How Do We Become Well?

How can the co-authors of “Alcoholics Anonymous” rightfully declare, “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically?”

How brazen. How derisive to clinicians, atheists and agnostics. What gall!

They recognized that resentment was the primary, instigating force causing spiritual disease in them – that it evoked from within a terrible selfishness they had to be rid of it or else they would die, and unless they could become freed from anger there would be no life to live except the self-centered, narcissistic lifestyle filled with obsession and misery.

To escape this fate meant they first needed to somehow gain mastery over this horrible universally negative force called resentment. This was first and foremost to spiritual awakening; to being cured of spiritual disease.

But no matter how hard they wished, prayed or desired, the authority to master resentment just wasn’t within them.

Not yet anyway.

That is because we human beings cannot manage resentment. Each of us can only either allow Ego to seize and feed upon it or not through our decision to be either conscious or unconscious. This is the only true choice we ever get to make in this lifetime.

When we are conscious, God means everything to us and His protective Light infills our being as we become God-centered. When we are unconscious, then only Self matters and He is nothing to us. We go dark inside, becoming Self centered.

This is the answer to the resentment dilemma. It was the answer for the first 100 co-authors of the Big Book as it has been for centuries for all who choose the narrow path to the discovery of God and His loving protective care for His children.

By remaining awake and aware, observant of your lower Self as It rises to meet and nourish upon resentment energy, It shrinks under the illumination of conscious awareness. It is unable to feed and cannot enliven to gain control of your thoughts or behaviors. We find we can regulate; a power within us supplying the strength – our “daily bread.”

God-consciousness is the state of awareness essential to becoming free; where negative emotion no longer chips away at the mind and body bringing us to an unhappy, unhealthy human existence full of fear, mental strife or physical illnesses.

This is how the co-authors of “Alcoholics Anonymous” can boldly declare that, “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”

It happened to them. It happened to me. It happens to those who make that leap of faith and decide that from this moment on they are going to live for the improvement of conscious contact with God, placing that before all else. It is a leap that all humanity must make or else die and forever remain dead.

Can you see now what, "Spiritual malady," means?

It means being disconnected from God’s vision and will by living in an unconscious trance, allowing something horrible to take control.

Can you also see how spiritual wellness translates into wellness all around?

To experience this wellness one only needs to wake up and remain awakened and continuing to practice being mindfully conscious - and then from that objective perspective, simply go forward into the stream of life as the God-connected and disciplined being you were born to be – weren’t, and now can become once again

Another Fourth Step ?

The truth about multiple inventories

Before embarking on another fourth Step, we can examine to discover just what happened to necessitate the replay. Seeing why the first run-through failed, where the disconnect in practicing these principles occurred, is imperative. (It can take more honesty than some people have.)

Otherwise, they may not see that they have botched it and may be tempted to characterize the do-over as some sort of progress, when the opposite is true. (Very common in AA)

It is always good to make sure that a protégée requesting the “repeat run” understands that the reason for it is something went wrong the first time around.

If this isn’t made clear, if the protégée is merely looking to take another ride on the "multiple fourth step" merry-go-round in hopes of compensating for a poor step 11 (Usually odd prayer habits, injections of foreign spiritualities inconsistent with the 12 step spiritual principles and the absence of proper meditation) then we do not proceed.

Otherwise shoddy, quasi-spiritual lifestyles are likely to redevelop and in a year or three’s time yet another 4th step could be needed -- this kind of abuse of the process, using rudimentary tools making a hand-hewn, unstable spiritual beginning is highly discouraged. It means the person is dying, WHILE thinking they are "in AA" and have a 12-step practice, when they don’t.

Sometimes protégés must be disabused of the false idea that has somehow leached into some of the 12 Step fellowships, especially AA, that multiple life-inventories represents augmented spirituality.

They need to see that 4th step style inventory can be abused (often is) and is designed for un-recovered, spiritually ill newcomers, not already awakened, recovered folks, and can actually accelerate failure in life, failure in dealing with resentments and anger on an ongoing basis.

With that understanding, we begin,THIS time emphasizing an ardent Step 10 and 11 practice - :"this time" congruent with the experience conveyed by the co-founders of AA in their book.

A fourth step is not meant to be "perfect.” Just thorough. It is a single tool in a "program" of recovery with only one main object; serving as the one-time device integral to a system designed to induce a spiritual awakening and establish (or re-establish) a relationship God.

Any use beyond above its intended design.

A fourth step is “perfect” only in the sense that a spiritual awakening is the outcome; then it has done what it was designed to do. If it is being abused, say as a device for ongoing living, then it is going to fail miserably. It’s good. It’s an invaluable tool. It does the job it is intended to do. But isn’t THAT good.

Only strength, direction, disciple and inspiration through conscious contact with God has the chops for the ongoing, lifelong task. People who expect to become better human beings by continually scraping down the sides of the fourth Step inventory barrel end up with painful splinters in their fingernails.

It comes down to this - the reason you will need another 4th step is you haven't got a functioning 11th Step. You have processes and procedures and ineffective, ambitious activities you believe the Big Book tell you to do. It doesn’t. Its simple. You've "loused it up," complicating something so simple. Here is how to simplify your Step 11:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Does Nicotine Play a Role In Recovery?

by daniel j schwarzhoff sr

 If you are an alcoholic or a drug addict, there is a very good chance that you also either have or had a nicotine addiction. Not everyone. But most.   
For the alcoholic or drug addict, nicotine addiction is a huge element, playing an essential role in any accurate and honest description of their spiritual malady.
Cigars, cigarettes and e-devices inject poison and as with most poisons, taste terrible.
Interestingly, the noxious flavor virtually disappears instantly once the inhaled drug is carried through the bloodstream into the pleasure center of the brain. It has a dulling effect to the senses, awareness and the conscience. Just like booze. Booze doesn’t taste good either when it is unadulterated by flavoring.
When someone is smoking, dosing with the powerful, conscience numbing stimulant nicotine; out of a cigar, a cigarette, and e-cig, in those moments he has escaped God. Right then, He does not exist for them.

It feels soooo good! 

 . . Puff . . . Puff. . . . Puff Puff . . . .

Whenever you see a person sucking on cigar or a cig – he is in that moment indulging in active atheism, altering the mind in ways that accelerates an inner proclivity for dishonesty.

He "thinks" he is relaxing, enjoying the sensation but ironically it places him into a psychotic state also making him susceptible to lies - in those godless, drugged moments of subtle, internal bliss.
He is for all intents and purposes – drinking! Same access to the same reward bundles in the brain for the same conscience numbing purpose.
Cigar smokers are a special kind of spurious personality. We alkies get really good at playing roles you would never in a million years know were not real.  
Believe me, when I was playing the big important musckity muck on Wall Street, puffing giant Cohibas from the back of my limousine, doing fat long lines of blow off the back of my briefcase, I was as phony as they come.
When I got out of that car and stepped into the elevator and rode up to my office on the 38th floor of the Wall Street Tower I looked the part. Fit it me like a champ. And I paled around with equally phony cigar chomping miscreants in pinstriped suits.
Don't EVER trust what a person says while they are smoking-under the influence of the stimulant nicotine. They are open for ANYTHING in those moments. They will take advantage of you and they can be taken advantage of. It’s quite bizarre.
Smoking is more than just an unhealthy bad habit. It provokes an instant, drug induced metaphysical event that the nicotine addict isn’t even aware of as he engages in “smoking” -- and he will deny while he isn’t. It is quite a phenomenon.
Fortunately, smoking is one of the easiest vices to lose. The way I do it anyway. Through God consciousness. But hardly anyone wants that kind of existence. They would rather trade nicotine for doughnuts so they smell better and don’t die of cancer. Of course then they die of diabetes. What world. What a world.
 More incredibly good stuff:

The 12 & 12 Nightmare - Who's To Blame?

by daniel j schwarzhoff sr

It wasn’t Bill Wilson's or AA’s fault that folks in the rooms took the first “Conference Approved” occasion they could to snag onto a device that would keep them from doing what needed to be done in order to have a spiritual awakening and still justify their “Coming Back” to “Work it," because “It works,” if they work it.

It is those folk's own doing. With a 12 and 12, now they could "keep coming back", pretend to be “working the steps,” with that book and have plenty of company sitting in the same stagnant pool of ongoing life’s sorrows--justified in the struggle with mental malady, debilitating stress, fear and illnesses all brought on through their continued bondage to self and the lifestyle that is never free from anger or resentment.

But they can fly the “Working the steps!” banner above their heads and no one will be the wiser. Well, most won't

It’s too bad however, because no one ever recovered through the 12 & 12 and for those who try to combine the Big Book directions with the 12 & 12 essays as some tandem instruction “course,” three things happen. 

First, they take too long, then they get confused in the words, but ultimately they do not get through it; to the awakening and subsequent state of God-consciousness. They might become erudite. They might get hooked into the fellowship. They also are likely to become just one more dead-weight attendee offering good “share” from a folding chair or podium. But a recovered alcoholic who have been given the power to help others? Uh uh.

Incredibly, for the majority, it doesn’t matter because they weren’t real alcoholics to begin with.

The vast main stream of meeting goers in AA rooms are not actual alcoholics but merely hard or heavy drinkers whose problems are combined with a nasty drug habit. They are people too –they need help with their issues, just not AA’s – only alcoholics can become AA members.

They will never go through with the Big Book presentation, even if they think they will, think they have, or think they can.

Which book(s) they bury their noses into are unrelated to any 12 step work I am doing with real alcoholics, because I won’t work with them on the Steps. They can read crap like “Living Sober”; they can dig into “Daily Reflections”, whatever the latest Oprah golden boy or yoga girl at the gym has got – it’s irrelevant. I only work the 12 Steps with those whom I have learned to identify and who are willing to go through them.

For them we don’t use a 12 and 12. Can’t. The 12 Step directions are not in it.

The 12 and12 narrative, as superb as it is to read, is a distraction from the practical presentation of the Big Book. Recovery is a race when we are dealing with real alcoholics, we need to exclude unessential reading material and make good use of precious time.

For the real McCoy, we don’t know when the next “first drink” is coming and so we need to stick with what we know works as fast as possible to expel the obsession with alcohol within the first few hours/days. That means a spiritual awakening! It’s the only thing that works for the real, true, actual alcoholic.

If a protegee is following the directions, there isn’t time to begin taking on bonus materials. We don’t simultaneously read the 12 and12, we don’t read the Bible, (we don’t read my books)– we follow the precise directions delineated in “Alcoholics Anonymous” until we are there is a spiritual awaking experience and we are through them - or the protegee gives up and decides he can’t go through with it (Probably 90% of the time) and needs a watered down version or a different approach all together.

After that that he can read whatever the heck he wants - it's no one's business.

But it is really not reasonable to blame the 12 & 12 or Bill for writing it for the mess people have cause misusing it? 

Look more toward dishonest, lost, un-recovered and broken people’s need for distraction away from the solution so they can do as they always some while drinking: Continue to judge, get approval from others and feed their dark nature with suppressed hate, while still feeling like they are “in the right place” and belong. They are dying and don’t know it.

More incredibly good stuff: