Wednesday, July 1, 2009
(part 175) SPEAKING ONLY FOR MYSELF
I want to make perfectly clear that I am not promoting sobriety, AA, the book Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other 12 step program, even though I am writing about them. What I say here is merely a factual account of what happened to me in 1976.
I am not promoting God or suggesting that anyone believe or disbelieve in God. I do not know what any other person should do or believe. Each person has to decide that for him or herself. What I believed and hoped for in 1976 has little to do with what I believe now.
What I did then was what I believed was right for me. The struggle I faced was based squarely on my need to acquire a new philosophy for living, so I wouldn't die or end up in prison. How I was then has nothing to do with anyone other than me.
Again, I am reporting facts not solutions. The fact that something phenomenal occurred preventing me from taking another drink, even though I wanted to and tried to, was at the center of what followed, which was some sort of transformation in my personal life.
If you understand what I was like at that time because you have kept up with the story, then you may grasp how significant this was.
The dynamics of change cannot be relegated to any easy answer, or explanation, simply by deciding such a thing after the fact. The truth is, I still don't know what happened other than it happened, and that what followed was tangible change.
To say it was God or something of a "spiritual nature" may be tempting to some, but would also close all other doors of inquiry as to what else it may have been.
The possibility that human beings possess qualities that at some point come into play in times of crisis, is another slant on the same subject.
Faced with destruction, an individual may, for whatever reason, make a decision to prevent their own demise. The point is, it may be impossible to determine exactly what the cause of such an effect was. What is determinable, is the effect.
I'm not trying to split hairs here as much as I am trying not to paint myself into a corner by simply saying it was an act of God or any other specific. It is not specific. It is open to interpretation and that is where it needs to stay, open to any and all interpretations and possibilities.
You may think that I'm making more out of this than is necessary, but the fact is that it altered my life absolutely, so it dominates, on a stand alone basis, all that transpired in my life after it occurred.
It was and still is the bedrock on which I built everything else. In writing these things I encountered great difficulty in trying to say what I mean as opposed to just vaguely stating, in a round about way, that this incident took place in 1976.
I don't know what happened, but I know that it happened. I am unwilling to say that God intervened in my behavior, but on the other hand, that is a possibility.
There is always the danger that some will apply the notion of God to every inexplicable occurrence, while at the same time there will be those who would eliminate, without question, such a possibility. Because of this, I am determined to clarify my position and not allow either of those conclusions to be assumed.
The subject of God, and or spiritual beliefs, is a delicate one, if not downright impossible. On one hand, God is made to appear positive, while on the other, countless believers have joined in or agreed with the slaughter of those who don't share their beliefs.
To speak about God as if everyone knows what is being referred to, is as troublesome a question as I have ever encountered. What I believe, I'm sure, is vastly different than what others believe, and I'm sure that what many believe is something I have found akin to a closed doctrine of absolute nonsense, if not outright insanity.
Therefore any reference I make about God is my own and does not signify in any way my belief or acceptance of anyone else's position or belief, including Alcoholics Anonymous or any of it's members. God in no way means the same thing to all people.