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"Willing to go any lengths ... ?"

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Hi John,

Welcome back !!!

I do believe that there should be an alternative to being "spiritual" in order to be sober. Actually, I believe that one can be a good person without spiritual beliefs.

Since I was forced to go to church as a child and listen to stuff I did not believe in order to avoid a spanking---well, I had no trouble disregarding some of the more controversial aspects of AA. So, I suppose that the serenity prayer worked well---I simply accepted the things I could not change, did not have the courage or time or inclination to change the doctrine--and went on about my business. Sort of half fits---kind of like AA.

Yes, there should be other good available options !!! I agree that being sober should have no connection to your spirituality. And it is amazing that no one has come up with a dynamite program that will replace AA and address those issues. We don't have an atheist meeting for non-spiritual people to combat churches around here either.

I just believed that the only requirement for membership was a desire to stop drinking and shut down after that. Should AA be the "only game in town"? NO, but that is how it is many places.

So, welcome back again ---enjoy your kitty---and hope someone with a lot more knowledge and ambition than I have can find a more palatable way of getting and staying sober.


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willing to go to any lengths?

a pretty dramatic and, I think, over the top question. The dramatic nature of the question overrides the importance of devising intelligent and effective means. Not to "any lengths" at all. It is devising effective means.

The overly dramatic nature of Wilson's argument raises a question: is the drama the point? I would say that it is the point of Wilson's argument. All drama and emotion; no thought, no logic. I find something very seriously amiss when the best argument put forward is tantamount to shrill emotional blackmail. A five year old does better than that. I have seen a five year old do better.

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the question is a variation on the theme of "is the cure worse than the disease". I guess that the answer has a lot to do with where you are coming from and what resources you have to bring to the table to help yourself with. If you come from a religious background of a particular variety AA won't feel weird at all. It seems to feel very uncomfortable for people of other backgrounds. It ends up being an individual decision, though, I think. Not something that anyone can legislate, whether AA will feel supportive or not. Based on personal experience and temperament and the luck of finding a group that feels supportive rather than exploitive

The term "spiritual" has several meanings - one of them is "religious" (as in "filled with the spirit of the lord", but another is "meditative" as in the development of a meta-consciousness or "witness" consciousness a la what the buddha was talking about (I think). Maybe its gnostic in nature (meaning - knowledge of god that is direct, rather than knowledge of god that is mediated by some book or priest (aka othorodoxy or dogma) at any rate, the buddhists don't have a claim on that state of being - as other religions have similar traditions, and I firmly believe that the state is independent of any religion, and more properly belongs simply to psychology; a potential mental/emotional place that a person can be which gets wrapped up in a lot of symbols that don't necessarily fit. But the point of the state is that when you're in it, you can unwrap some of the rules and shame states and other things that drive you to feel terrible from your neck and breath naturally. I do think that helping addicts of any sort or variety to achieve this state of "mindfullness" is important for recovery; I don't think it is inherently religious; in that sense and that sense alone, I do think that a "spiritual" program is important for recovery.

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yes -- who you are -- and what you bring to the table -- are very important.

AA does appeal to people with a religious/spiritual background. If not, the person will have to learn to fit in. Some will learn well; some, not so well -- or not at all.

AA is gnostic in narure and intent.

Mindfulness is very important: to be aware of oneself at that moment; of others at that moment; of surroundings at that moment. That is a good beginning. To take a decision with awareness of motivation and consequences. Know exactly what you are doing; and, why you are doing it.

What you bring to the table. If you are devoid and bereft -- you have a problem. if you do not know who you are and why you do what you do -- you have a problem.

The topic is AA. How does AA serve as a vehicle for dealing with that sort of anomie? Destructive drinking does indicate a lack of mindfulness and a real deep seated anomie.

I have come to believe that involvment with AA is, at bottom, a relacement for drinking/destructive drinking. The 'cure is worse than the disease" may well apply.

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