God/Higher Power

For recovery discussion
Indianapolis
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:42 am

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Indianapolis »

D'oh wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:57 pm
And yet here I am, sober. And thousands more atheists and agnostics with no "god", still sober through AA. Either that means (1) us agnostics are all doomed to fail, or (2) that the Big Book was written by one guy with three years sobriety who thought God was his answer, and maybe we shouldn't assume it as gospel on this issue.
It does not say "God" is needed, only Sought.

It does say that a "No Human Power could"

A Higher Power, needs not be God. But it isn't Me or a Human.
I agree! I was responding to Theos comment. I'm comfortable with non-God higher power. He did not seem to be.

Edited: rereading in light of subsequent comments, I see how I misunderstood you here. I dont accept that I have to seek god to stay sober, nor that a higher power has to be theistic. Sorry if I created confusion by reading too quickly.
Last edited by Indianapolis on Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

D'oh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1023
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by D'oh »

Indianapolis wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:33 am
D'oh wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:57 pm
And yet here I am, sober. And thousands more atheists and agnostics with no "god", still sober through AA. Either that means (1) us agnostics are all doomed to fail, or (2) that the Big Book was written by one guy with three years sobriety who thought God was his answer, and maybe we shouldn't assume it as gospel on this issue.
It does not say "God" is needed, only Sought.

It does say that a "No Human Power could"

A Higher Power, needs not be God. But it isn't Me or a Human.
I agree! I was responding to Theos comment. I'm comfortable with non-God higher power. He did not seem to be.
Ever watch "Horton hears a Who"?

I very well might be a "Who", but I am not "Horton" Even though I may once have believed that.

Indianapolis
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:42 am

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Indianapolis »

D'oh wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:15 am

Ever watch "Horton hears a Who"?

I very well might be a "Who", but I am not "Horton" Even though I may once have believed that.
I get the reference. This borders on one of my pet peeves as an agnostic AA -- the argument that "if you don't recognize God, then you're assuming you're god." Nope. I am definitely not god -- not a "Horton" in your words. I'm a Who, who's very comfortable not knowing if there's a Horton.

I explained my non-god higher powers in my first response (second post) above. To the extent someone tells me that a more god-like higher power is required based on the words in the Big Book, I refer back to my follow up re agnostics doomed to fail, etc.

DaveP1951
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:08 pm
Location: WhiteRock British Columbia Canada

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by DaveP1951 »

avaneesh912 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:21 pm
This is from power of NOW:

The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead."
The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something.
Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?



The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being. It is your very essence, and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own presence, the realization I am that is prior to I am this or I am that. So it is only a small step from the word Being to the experience of Being.
Read it, understand it, and fully agree with your comment. As Bill Sees It Spiritual Kindergarten, p. 95
"We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect. Each man's theology has to be his own quest, his own affair."

DaveP1951
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:08 pm
Location: WhiteRock British Columbia Canada

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by DaveP1951 »

D'oh wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:57 pm
And yet here I am, sober. And thousands more atheists and agnostics with no "god", still sober through AA. Either that means (1) us agnostics are all doomed to fail, or (2) that the Big Book was written by one guy with three years sobriety who thought God was his answer, and maybe we shouldn't assume it as gospel on this issue.
It does not say "God" is needed, only Sought.

It does say that a "No Human Power could"

A Higher Power, needs not be God. But it isn't Me or a Human.
"It does not say "God" is needed, only Sought." That is a very important point. I believe that ever since man evolved to the point of where he could process thought he has been seeking answers for the explainable. That is when he started "seeking" outside his realm of knowledge. The God question is not only a spiritual one but also a intellectual one.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5326
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by avaneesh912 »

Joe and Charlie talk about being Powerless, we are now seeking Power. How we do is, by cleaning our side of the street. Then we tap into this inner resource.

On page 25, bill doesn't waste much time. He right away throws that idea. Then he says GOD/Power/HP/Being starts working within us.

If we want to spin around and keep deliberating this god concept, we need to go back to step 1.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8835
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by PaigeB »

DOG is GOD spelled backward!

My Dog can certainly teach me about unconditional Love.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

D'oh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1023
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by D'oh »

PaigeB wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:53 pm
DOG is GOD spelled backward!

My Dog can certainly teach me about unconditional Love.
Great analogy. "The Door only needs to be opened a crack"

That's what got me to an Understanding of something Larger than the Fellowship. An Open Mind (and Joe). Opened my Mind to the Fellow Members, being just that "Alcoholics" No better, no worse than I. But they have a belief in Something, and it shows in their Serenity Caring and Unconditional Love. They want to Share it Unconditionally.

Besides, My HP doesn't seem to have my Cell #

tomsteve
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 574
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by tomsteve »

DaveP1951 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:25 am
"For those of you who have been sober for a while, in looking back over your sobriety, how much of your sobriety do you attribute to a belief in a Higher Power/God?
all of it

User avatar
Layne
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1794
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:20 am
Location: British Virgin Islands

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Layne »

I believe my higher power provides a road map but the legwork is up to me.

User avatar
BA Lodi
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:41 am
Location: Smyrna, TN 37167

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by BA Lodi »

My drinking killed my special feeling for Nature and my woman's intuition. Being a loner and a "worshiper" of self-sufficiency, I was atheist by my mid-twenties. My desperation to get sober made me willing to try something different. For Step 2, I took on the Home Group as my HP. For me to accept AAers' feedback on anything was a major change in my attitude.

I had a lot of anger about what I thought was a religious undercurrent in AA. My then-husband was chasing me around the house quoting Bible verses and insisting on a hellfire and damnation sermon on the radio early every morning. Perhaps, working Steps 4 & 5 with sponsors, I realized I had rejected my parents' and husband's religion, not the God concept itself. And somewhere in there, I saw that I had played God in my own life since nobody else was in charge.

It was fairly easy to limit my responsibilities to people, places, and things and then to turn them over even though I didn't know where they went. I still want to be in charge of Barbara, but I had to learn to trust myself and love myself the way I am. I got back my special feeling for Nature. And it took decades, but I've got a "god" of my understanding now too. I now relate to my intuition the way a religious person relates to their Holy Spirit. And I don't pray or relate to God's will...it's more not being in charge and trying to do the next right thing with the Steps as my spiritual framework.

My God is a cosmic Creator Energy thing. And it's hard to think outside the box when the culture I was raised in provides all my ideas and vocabulary!
So, mostly I don't know the details about the IS. And that's okay. I am human, however, and need to feel personal contact, and that's hard to do. I do believe in the Big Bang Theory and evolution, that Man is not God's pet species. But these details are important only to me. And normally I don't discuss this any more than I would expect religious folks to discuss their details in an AA framework.

Thanks for listening and letting me be me! Barbara D, alcoholic

User avatar
Jojo2
Trusted Servant
Posts: 1499
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:25 am

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Jojo2 »

DaveP1951 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:25 am

For those of you who have been sober for a while, in looking back over your sobriety, how much of your sobriety do you attribute to a belief in a Higher Power/God?

The word "God" was frightening to me when I first saw it associated with A.A.'s Twelve Steps. Having tried all the means I could to stop drinking, I found that it was not possible for me to sustain that desire over a period of time.

Yet, how could I believe in a "God" that had allowed me to sink to the deep despair that engulfed me — whether drinking or dry?

The answer was in finally admitting that it might be possible for me to know the mercy of a Power greater than myself who could grant me sobriety contingent on my willingness to "come to believe".

By finally admitting that I was one among many, and by following the example of my sponsor and other A.A. members in practising faith I did not have, my life has been given meaning, direction and purpose.



From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. Inc.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5326
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by avaneesh912 »

By finally admitting that I was one among many, and by following the example of my sponsor and other A.A. members in practising faith I did not have, my life has been given meaning, direction and purpose.
Again one will seek if they realize deep within they are doomed. That realization is critical. Why would one go through the whole process otherwise?

Also want to point out, the 10th step has 3 parts right? The way we are to conduct ourselves through out our life, the promises and the warning. The warning talks about what we have to do and that is "to be in be in fit spiritual condition".

For me its about not be restless irritable and discontented and other manifestations of unmanageability. If I am in that state of mind, sanity would be in check. Any absurd thought (not obsession) can be nipped in the bud. If not, I will act on it or keep adding more energy into into and convert to an obsession and eventually drink.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

User avatar
beginningagain7
Trusted Servant
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 2:01 am
Location: middletown, ohio

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by beginningagain7 »

The word god simply means Good Orderly Direction.

Now for those that are religious in nature, that statement might be offensive, which I am sorry.

The reality is that the Jewish and Christian religion the God they worship has a name. Jehovah for the Jews and Jesus for the Christians. Where Ali is for the Muslims religion. Etc..

Unfortunate when people see the word god they immediately think of a religious organization. Which is one reason that A.A. likes to use Higher Power. A power that is greater than ourselves. What you determine to be your higher power is up to you. As stated some will use the A.A. group they attend, etc. By doing that the Atheist and Agnostics will have the benefit of getting sobriety.

The important part of a Higher Power is to get our life in a good orderly direction in life without alcohol. And that's what the 12 Steps are meant to do. Get our life in a good orderly matter, so we can live life without alcohol. That there is a way to live life without it. That will be a more productive life.

One reason that we came to A.A. was because our life was way out of direction and heading us to a non-productive life. A life of misery, with no true peace. So now we are learning to live our life in a good orderly direction without alcohol.
Beginningagain4
John T.

DaveP1951
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:08 pm
Location: WhiteRock British Columbia Canada

Re: God/Higher Power

Post by DaveP1951 »

Layne wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:52 am
I believe my higher power provides a road map but the legwork is up to me.
That sounds like an interesting analogy Layne. Does each person have a different road map and if so how does one know how too read and navigate it?

Post Reply