Monday, 25 November 2013

5-minute blog: finding God

God is what is revealed when everything that is not God is removed.

The removal process follows certain rules.

Playing God has to stop; playing God involves scripting the universe and monitoring it for compliance; to stop playing God, we have to stop scripting and monitoring, and concern ourselves instead with this: asking God (as director) for our lines (as actors) and getting on with looking for our cues and delivering our lines.

We're on his business, not ours, as our real lives are not buried in the lines we are delivering but extend in all directions even beyond the theatre itself.

The Steps are the fail-safe mechanism that brings this to pass.

Remove the blocks to sight and what is real shows up.

What does not work, however, is insisting that the maintenance of a connection with God and the communication with God that occurs after the connection has been made follow a strict path.

Some see God in religion. Some see God in ritual. Some see God in spiritual readings.

Some see God in trees. Some see God in late Brahms piano music. Some see God in dogs.

Here's the test: if something gives you peace and detachment from the rubbish of the world, and enables you to see clearly your role with no distortion of personal involvement, you've found God.

No need to feel guilty that how you found it is not prescribed by others.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hurts, the making of troubles, and the manufacture of misery

No one has ever hurt me. Sure, people have done things in the material world, but the world, as the world understands the world, is a construct. Money, power, prestige, all constructs. Matter exists, but what it means is imposed, not inherent. The hurt I have felt, with the partial exception of physical pain, is always with my consent and approval. I may not have realised for years that this was the case, but this was the truth.

If you tell me I am a fraud, a hypocrite, a douche, a cad, or a heartless monster, it affects me only if I agree with you at some level, my protests notwithstanding. It is never you who determine how I feel but me. My troubles are of my own making, as the book Alcoholics Anonymous indicates.

If I truly believe I am a child of God, I will look with bemusement on such an utterance as the dream of a sleeper or a fool. And to the extent that I have said or done things to support such an accusation, I myself was asleep and in error, not sinful, not bad.

Where is this sin? Where is this badness? It does not exist. It is a bad dream I have taken to be reality. It is no more real than the fearful visions that can crowd my mind in the night before I awaken to shake them off and get in with the day, unaffected by monstrous 'thoughts' projected onto the internal screen just a few minutes earlier.

I am not a bad person trying to be good. I am not a sick person trying to get well. This latter idea is often carried around by people in recovery for years or sometimes forever as a great chain of quasi-sin, changed in name but not in substance and reflecting on its bearer a dark stain of not-quite-rightness, the hideous wealth preventing us from entering through the eye of the needle into the kingdom.

No. Not bad. Not sick (although in early recovery this may more closely reflect reality). But deluded and asleep.

Behind the dreams that we and others are bad is an arrogance of such staggering proportions that it is almost impossible to perceive, like the fish in the ocean looking for the ocean.

To tackle this simply: have you ever been disturbed and wrong? You may have changed your mind afterwards, but were you ever wrong in the moment of disturbance? Axiomatically, no, even if intellectually you suspected that some irrationality was at play.

What if everything you had been taught were wrong? The whole basis on which you judge good and bad, right and wrong, harm and harmlessness, defence and attack, safety and vulnerability, death and eternal life?

What is happening to you right now, as you read this? Any harm? Any injury? Or is the pain stemming from pictures in your mind you are painting but feel are reflections of an external reality? Can the hydrogen atoms within you that are several billion years old be harmed? Are the electrons orbiting "my" atoms different from the electrons orbiting "yours"?

Behind the world of constructs there is another world. Its contours start to glow when you look hard enough with a open mind at the insanity of what people call the world. And the day to begin is today.

The book Alcoholics Anonymous suggests God may be found now, and it is in that holy moment that release from the world may achieved.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Resentment and fear

A lot of people in AA, years sober, still spend a lot of time in resentment and fear.

The Step Eleven review can sometimes foster this, as it encourages us to talk about both. Meetings can do the same. There can also be a collective counter-signing of this in AA. Because the phenomena are widespread, they are accepted.

However, there has got to be a point where we grow up and stop blaming people and circumstances for our emotional woes.

We've been given a solution. There is no justification for resentment or fear.

There is justification for observing what is wrong in the world, and taking reasonable and appropriate action to fix it, but not for resentment, which is a childish refusal to accept that reality is reality.

There is justification for prudence, caution, and evasive or sometimes defensive measures, but not for fear, which is a refusal to accept that certain things in life are just going to hurt.

Resentment is essentially obstinacy; fear is essentially cowardice.

I have had to stop resisting reality, and I have had to embrace pain as an unavoidable component of life.

Then, there is the rest of the world to attend to. There is to much too do to sit around complaining about my feelings and thwarted egotistical desires.

Watch the news. See how much suffering there is. Make a resolution to fill your days with activities to try and alleviate that suffering, whether close to home or on a larger scale.

God has no hands but ours.

Thank God for growing up!