The Power of Now

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Layne
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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Layne » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:06 am

Jim1991 wrote:For me, it's kind of hard to talk to someone about finding that God when you don't believe in a god. The best I can do is say that yes, I've had this change of mind that has enabled me to see the world differently. But I can't credit a god for that change.
Can't say that I disagree or don't understand this line of thought because I do relate with it, but I also know that I can't credit myself for that change.

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Layne » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:19 am

My beliefs about god, start with accepting the fact is that as far as god goes, bottom line is that I am not. That simple kernel has given me freedom to move forward in this simple program.

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Layne » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:28 am

Tosh wrote: As soon as I start thinking about what's happening in the present moment, I'm adding a layer of conceptual imputation (thinking) over that reality.
Yeah, as soon as I start thinking about the present moment, I am no longer fully present.

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:43 pm

We dont think about presence, we are present by being present.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by PaigeB » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:51 pm

Jim1991 wrote:
For me, it's kind of hard to talk to someone about finding that God when you don't believe in a god. The best I can do is say that yes, I've had this change of mind that has enabled me to see the world differently. But I can't credit a god for that change.
I can credit AA as a Higher Power and the Great Reality Deep Within for that change. Meditation helped me get there. AND I remain an atheist ~ that does not separate me from my fellows.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Tosh » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:39 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:We dont think about presence, we are present by being present.
Then the mind kicks in with something random...

:lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Tosh » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:53 pm

Layne wrote:My beliefs about god, start with accepting the fact is that as far as god goes, bottom line is that I am not. That simple kernel has given me freedom to move forward in this simple program.
What about being a bit 'god-like', being made in His image 'n' all that?

I'm weird in that I'm also an atheist in that I don't believe in some external magical entity with human-like attributes, but I can go with 'God' being things like love or the divine in humans (maybe even in some animals too; we are not the only creatures who show compassion).

I recently listened to Richard Rohr talking about Jesus; he said at the 2nd Council of Nicea it was decided that Jesus was both human and divine, but since the west has no real tradition of non-duality, no-one could understand how Jesus could be both human and divine; so over time Jesus became more divine and less human.

I think his point was that we humans - inversely - see ourselves as being more human and less divine and he thought that a shame.

Mahayana Buddhist's reckon we all have something called 'Buddha nature' inside of us, only that it's covered with ignorance and delusion (an inability to realise reality); the Sufis reckoned when God created us, He put a spark of himself inside each of us. And the Big Book talks about the Great Reality being found deep down inside.

My point is, maybe we're a bit like god; not some magical Creator of the universe, but each of us certainly creates our own individual universe with our concepts; we can love one another without looking for something in return; we can be a bit divine on occasion.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Layne » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:31 pm

Tosh wrote:Mahayana Buddhist's reckon we all have something called 'Buddha nature' inside of us, only that it's covered with ignorance and delusion (an inability to realise reality)
I shared in a meeting last week that I was traveling on a journey back to my original self. The one that first popped into this world, before all my neuroses and psychoses started to kick in. :~)

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Jim1991 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:27 pm

clouds wrote:Part of my family are from the Southern Bible Belt. I had the wonderful experince of taking care of my southern grandfather after my grandma died. He was in his late ninties and very young for his age. He was a sincere realist, never mentioned God or Jesus at all, which surprised me because he and my grandma were so active in the baptist church. My mom moved into aetheism from Christianity when she entered a mid west University and then, meeting my Dad, a scientist, felt that science had dissproved god entirely.
One of my brothers became a christian missionary which surprised my parents a lot, since we never had any religious ideas in our home.
I was given a book on yoga from my aunt as a teen and studied it and meditated according to the directions. It was basically like the ideas in the PON book as near as I can glean from what I hear on e-AA. Shortly after sobriety I learned from a neighbor about meditation, she was from India, so I recovered my original meditation with more insight. I was keen to dive into Step 11. I enjoy my times of meditation, I think its really been great having that conscious contact.

I don't ever feel compelled to disagree with anyone's God or their belief that there is no god. I'm in the shallow end where religion is concerned. I'm happy to worship or pray with people who do so wherever they are. Its all ok in my mind.

Its sometimes hard to give up taking sides and/or feeling superior to groups of people.

Usually in AA, because of our comman problem, (alcoholism), we put aside differences for the greater good of staying sober.
Once again, well stated. I have several friends who moved from evangelistic Christianity to atheism. One of them was a bible scholar is president of the Oklahoma Chapter of American Atheists.

My own story in regards to religion is pretty common. I was not raised in a religious household and for the most part was pretty indifferent to it. A few summers I did attend vacation bible school and during one them, I think I was about eleven years old, I was baptized. Looking back, it meant little to me, although I do recall having trouble reconciling the "Jesus loves me this I know" from bible school with the hellfire, eternal damnation, and gnashing of teeth that was preached in the big church. I tried to believe but I couldn't. When I finally got sober at age 31, I was still pretty indifferent to religion and the existence of any kind of a god. But I was desperate to stay sober, so I went along with it all, getting a good big book sponsor and "doing the deal" as they say. I became very involved in all aspects of AA and remained so until about five years ago, at twenty years of sobriety. Looking back, it was the action and the community that worked, not any God that I pretended to turn my will and life over to and that I kidded myself about for years, until that time about five years ago when I came to the conclusion that I am an agnostic and that I am OK with that. I think that I got free that day. My experience with step 11 is much the same as yours. This is the short version of the story, there is much in the way of spiritual exploration as I call it, that I haven't written about.


<<I don't ever feel compelled to disagree with anyone's God or their belief that there is no god. I'm in the shallow end where religion is concerned. I'm happy to worship or pray with people who do so wherever they are. Its all ok in my mind.>>

It is not so much a believe in God that I disagree with or even feel superior to. And I respect everyone's right to relate to whatever God they believe in in their own way. What I do not agree with, and will not take a live-and-let-live approach to is the use of religion as a tool of oppression. I know that AA has no opinion on outside issues, but I do. I've been involved in social activism for several years now, and here I am involved with a group that is active in speaking out against those that wish to use their freedom of religion to oppress others. I do not find that it conflicts at all with my sobriety. I don't talk about this in AA. I will talk about my journey as someone who went from kidding himself about god to being an agnostic. For the most part, the AA members here have been welcoming and with the exception of a few, no one has made much of a fuss about it.

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Jim1991 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:29 pm

Layne wrote:
Jim1991 wrote:For me, it's kind of hard to talk to someone about finding that God when you don't believe in a god. The best I can do is say that yes, I've had this change of mind that has enabled me to see the world differently. But I can't credit a god for that change.
Can't say that I disagree or don't understand this line of thought because I do relate with it, but I also know that I can't credit myself for that change.

I take full credit for the change because I took the action. That being said, I am extremely grateful for the people that walked beside me.

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Jim1991 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:31 pm

PaigeB wrote:
Jim1991 wrote:
For me, it's kind of hard to talk to someone about finding that God when you don't believe in a god. The best I can do is say that yes, I've had this change of mind that has enabled me to see the world differently. But I can't credit a god for that change.
I can credit AA as a Higher Power and the Great Reality Deep Within for that change. Meditation helped me get there. AND I remain an atheist ~ that does not separate me from my fellows.

I tried that, it doesn't jive with me. AA is a community that meditation helps me stay connected to, but it isn't a higher power to me.

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Spirit Flower » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:01 pm

Thanks for sharing Jim. Very honest.
...a score card reading zero...

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Tosh » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:29 am

Jim1991 wrote: I take full credit for the change because I took the action.
In another post you accuse me of being judgemental (I'm not bringing this up to cause a fight, but to explain something which may lead to a further discussion).

But if someone doesn't take 'the action', I infer from your post - giving yourself full credit - that this failure to take the actions and recover would be their fault? That's a logical inference from what you've written.

However, the reality is that we can't take full credit for taking the actions; for example how did we know what actions to take? And what gave us the faith for taking those actions?

Lady luck - via our genetic inheritance and all of our experiences (which we've had very little control over) led us to a point that we could take the actions.

In a very real sense - even though it may feel like it was all 'me' - I had no other choice but to recover from my alcoholism. And I can't take credit for that because it's down to my genetic inheritance and all of my experiences from birth that are to 'blame' for my recovery.

Fundamentalist Christians say we get to choose stuff, like God, or our sexual preferences (I can't force a belief or choose who I find attractive); but we don't. I love kebabs, I have no idea why, I'm just 'created' that way.

When the Big Book says:
They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.
It's spot on. And those of us who recover aren't at 'fault' for that either; we can't take the credit for being born that way.

I'm not showing 'false humility' here, neither am I saying I'm wonderful for 'choosing to recover by taking the actions', I'm talking about the reality of the situation. I think science backs me up on this too; we don't have freewill. If we had, we could then take the credit, but the will isn't free, so we can't.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Jim1991 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:05 am

Tosh wrote:
Jim1991 wrote: I take full credit for the change because I took the action.
In another post you accuse me of being judgemental (I'm not bringing this up to cause a fight, but to explain something which may lead to a further discussion).

But if someone doesn't take 'the action', I infer from your post - giving yourself full credit - that this failure to take the actions and recover would be their fault? That's a logical inference from what you've written.

However, the reality is that we can't take full credit for taking the actions; for example how did we know what actions to take? And what gave us the faith for taking those actions?

Lady luck - via our genetic inheritance and all of our experiences (which we've had very little control over) led us to a point that we could take the actions.

In a very real sense - even though it may feel like it was all 'me' - I had no other choice but to recover from my alcoholism. And I can't take credit for that because it's down to my genetic inheritance and all of my experiences from birth that are to 'blame' for my recovery.

Fundamentalist Christians say we get to choose stuff, like God, or our sexual preferences (I can't force a belief or choose who I find attractive); but we don't. I love kebabs, I have no idea why, I'm just 'created' that way.

When the Big Book says:
They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.
It's spot on. And those of us who recover aren't at 'fault' for that either; we can't take the credit for being born that way.

I'm not showing 'false humility' here, neither am I saying I'm wonderful for 'choosing to recover by taking the actions', I'm talking about the reality of the situation. I think science backs me up on this too; we don't have freewill. If we had, we could then take the credit, but the will isn't free, so we can't.
You were being judgemental, but that is beside the point regarding this discussion.

I'm not quite getting what you are saying. I didn't choose to be alcoholic. I did choose to drink. And I did choose to do the work that led to recovery. I did the work, no one else did it for me. So I don't know who else to credit. Not my sponsor. Not the group. Certainly not a god. I made the choice. Not because I'm such a great guy, but because I didn't care for the other choice.

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Tosh » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:54 am

Jim1991 wrote:I did choose to drink. And I did choose to do the work that led to recovery. I did the work, no one else did it for me. So I don't know who else to credit. Not my sponsor. Not the group. Certainly not a god. I made the choice. Not because I'm such a great guy, but because I didn't care for the other choice.
That choice you're talking about is an illusion. Science shows this; there's a famous experiment using MRI brain scanning equipment that shows that our brains make choices upto 7 seconds prior to us becoming consciously aware of the decision. And just where exactly do our wants that we 'choose' come from?

But rationally and logically freewill does not stand up to scrutiny. If you like Sam Harris, listen to him talk about the subject on youtube (search for Sam Harris Freewill).

If you think about it, nothing exists in a vacuum; therefore our will can't be free to just make choices, it's dependant on many many things (The Buddhist philosophy of Dependant Arising explains this one well). If we could just 'choose things', what is the point of A.A., the steps, the fellowship; we'd just choose not to drink and it'd be 'job jobbed'. But as we all know, it's not that simple.

For our will to be free to choose what it wants, it needs to be outside of the realm of feelings, emotions, our genetics, our culture, our experiences (etc).

My will certainly isn't free; I know that from the times I've snapped and drank when I'd made a prior firm choice to not drink. I did not choose to recover; I didn't have any options other than to recover. And for those who don't, I don't think they had a choice either.

I'll go further, I don't think there's such a thing as an "I" either; it's just another illusion (a very good one though). :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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