Non religious?

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Non religious?

Postby jbirdy179 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:57 am

Any advice for non-religious folk trying to start? I went to 1 meeting and they read the steps and it was very religious and that works for others but I don't see myself being able to really relate to these steps for that reason. Thank you
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Re: Non religious?

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:10 am

The book of Alcoholics anonymous has many stories but the story of Bills Story is there to help us arrive at good solution. If you read his story, you will see the struggle Bill W goes through and how his friend talks him about coming up with his own conception of GOD. Another Story is the Vicious Cycle, I believe the protagonist was the main reason to see "God as we understand him" in the steps.
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: Non religious?

Postby PaigeB » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:27 am

As a "firm atheist" I had trouble with much of the 1930's wording. I had to get over it or die.

Religious is different than spiritual... I meditated rather than pray. Any meditative society usually welcomes all folks without questions, or just find someone who does some type of energy work and ask them where to go. You can check a place where you can get a massage with Reiki and use that hour to meditate. Meditation got me closer to the Higher Power that resides within me... like it says in the Big Book Appendix on Spiritual Experience.

As for the words like "God" and "Him" I just had to practice (practice practice) semantics. They say "God" and I hear "AA" or "Good Orderly Direction". They say "Him" and I hear "It" as my HP has no gender. They say Creator and I think of The Void that birthed our physical Universe (Aimlessly rushing no where, LOL).

Having worked the Steps I have found a Higher Power that I can work with and I get to spread the message that even an atheist can work these Steps and live to good purpose! AND be effective for the first time in my life.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Non religious?

Postby Brock » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:54 pm

The word God is what many object to, it has come to be associated with religion, which many including myself have kind of turned away from, so as suggested use some other word like higher power. And as for AA being a religion, I saw an article in the AA book ‘Came to Believe,’ it points out that religion makes promises of good (or bad) things which will happen to you after you die, it’s all about saving your soul from fire and brimstone when you kick off. AA is not the slightest interested in saving your 'soul,' or having it go to heaven or hell, so it can’t be called a ‘religion.’ It knows you came from hell, and it offers a way out, a way to be happy joyous and free right here while you are alive, it says in ‘There is a Solution,’ - “We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.” And that is the truth that everyone who has done the steps, and lives in the solution has found. Try not to let your prejudice against religion or the word God put you off.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Non religious?

Postby jbirdy179 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:10 am

Brock wrote:The word God is what many object to, it has come to be associated with religion, which many including myself have kind of turned away from, so as suggested use some other word like higher power. And as for AA being a religion, I saw an article in the AA book ‘Came to Believe,’ it points out that religion makes promises of good (or bad) things which will happen to you after you die, it’s all about saving your soul from fire and brimstone when you kick off. AA is not the slightest interested in saving your 'soul,' or having it go to heaven or hell, so it can’t be called a ‘religion.’ It knows you came from hell, and it offers a way out, a way to be happy joyous and free right here while you are alive, it says in ‘There is a Solution,’ - “We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.” And that is the truth that everyone who has done the steps, and lives in the solution has found. Try not to let your prejudice against religion or the word God put you off.


So when they say 'Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.' or 'Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.' I'm not exactly how to go forward with these steps as I don't believe in anything
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Re: Non religious?

Postby Layne » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:46 am

Two Monks and a Woman - a Zen Lesson

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his 
journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”

I don't have to be a practitioner of Zen, a Buddhist, nor a monk, to get something out of the story. I can look at all the ways the story does not apply to my life and beliefs, or I can look for helpful ways to apply it to my life and beliefs.
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Re: Non religious?

Postby Brock » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:32 am

jbirdy179 wrote:So when they say 'Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.' or 'Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.' I'm not exactly how to go forward with these steps as I don't believe in anything.

The second question first which is step two, first we believed in #1 that it was kind of insane to do things like you say in your first post - “I know I can't keep doing this to my body but I can't stop.” So we agree in step two we need something more powerful to restore sanity, that power can be anything you can accept as more powerful than you, they give many examples in the books, I like this one from step two in the 12 & 12 -
Many a man like you has begun to solve the problem by the method of substitution. You can, if you wish, make A.A., itself your 'higher power.' Here's a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way. All of them will tell you that, once across, their faith broadened and deepened. Relieved of the alcohol obsession, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power…

So once you accept this group of folks have beaten the problem you are suffering from, so they must have a power you don’t, just believe this group is a higher power.

Don’t look ahead too much to the other one which is #5, just do one at a time, and then you may have started to believe in something more powerful. If not you might be admitting your wrongs by even saying words like ‘if there is a higher power out there, I admit I did this or that crappy thing.’ But like I say that sounds kind of daunting to do, so just do one at a time, when you write the stuff out in #4 then #5 will seem easier to do.

Have no fear just go forward one day at a time, you will start to feel something more powerful helping you along.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Non religious?

Postby beginningagain7 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:15 pm

Do you want your life to go in a Good Orderly Direction? Or do you want your life going here and there and ending up nowhere?

So being non religious God for you would mean "Good Orderly Direction". And that's what the steps are about, getting your life in a orderly direction.

Step One: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol---that our lives had become unmanageable." And if you firmly believe that you are powerless over alcohol and your life has become unmanageable then at least you have opened the door to recovery. With that being said I would suggest that you go to meetings and just listen how others have been able to quit drinking. And you probably hear stories of people like you that are not religious. In Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book there is a chapter "We Agnostics". So I would suggest that you get the Big Book and read that chapter.

The most important thing is when you want to get into recovery you need to have a open mind. And it is the same with any endeavor you would plan to do. Closed minds closes doors and opportunities, where a open mind opens ups doors and opportunities.

Have a good day,
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Re: Non religious?

Postby tomsteve » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:48 am

jbirdy179 wrote:
Brock wrote:


So when they say 'Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.' or 'Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.' I'm not exactly how to go forward with these steps as I don't believe in anything


actually, you believe in a LOT more than you think. you believe in electricity,yet cant see it.you believe when ya flip a light switch the lights will turn on, yet sdont see how that happens.
you believe in oxygen being necessary for life yet cant see it.

on that second step-Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity- theres great stuff in the chapter,"we agnostics."( this is also a great topic for a meeting).
a little something from that chapter:
When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was.

We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. " Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself? " As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.
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Re: Non religious?

Postby Roberth » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:58 pm

Hello Jbirdy and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles alcoholic. There is plenty of wiggle room for all beliefs in AA even mine. Many start with AA as their higher power and develop an understanding of their belief while taking the path the steps give us.
At 3 months I did my 2nd and 3rd steps without even knowing it. On day 87 the obsession hit me and I wanted to drink more than I ever remember. I told my wife to take me to a meeting or I was going to a liquor store. She took me to a meeting and then it happen. I heard my story coming out of someone else’s mouth. I knew this A&A thing would work for me. It wasn’t all things he had done to get sober and to stay sober it was the fact that he was like me and was sober. I made a commitment to AA to keep coming back drunk, sober or crazy.
Right then and there the obsession to drink was lifted and hasn’t returned. I told my sponsor what happened and he told me that I had done my second and third steps. I came to believe and made my decision.
If it works for me it can work for any one I have been able to put together 26 years and I am still an atheist
Robert
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Re: Non religious?

Postby positrac » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:31 am

jbirdy179 wrote:Any advice for non-religious folk trying to start? I went to 1 meeting and they read the steps and it was very religious and that works for others but I don't see myself being able to really relate to these steps for that reason. Thank you

You know maybe just listen and don't take GOD----Good Orderly Direction so personal because I can assure you that in your life you did a lot of stuff that that worked for you and not others. Get out of the way and just go with the flow and in time you will know how to properly handle this "God" thing. Get a 24 hour chip and call it god if it keeps you sane and if that works for you then it is a start of learning how to trust the program and the steps. Many millions of people have gotten sober, stayed sober and even died sober in AA around the world and so you aren't alone and they all figured it out.

Relax
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Non religious?

Postby PaigeB » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:06 pm

JANUARY 9

AN ACT OF PROVIDENCE
It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

My act of Providence, (a manifestation of divine care and direction), came as I experienced the total bankruptcy of active alcoholism—everything meaningful in my life was gone. I telephoned Alcoholics Anonymous and, from that instant, my life has never been the same. When I reflect on that very special moment, I know that God was working in my life long before I was able to acknowledge and accept spiritual concepts. The glass was put down through this one act of Providence and my journey into sobriety began. My life continues to unfold with divine care and direction. Step One, in which I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable, takes on more meaning for me—one day at a time—in the life-saving, life-giving Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Non religious?

Postby Db1105 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:10 pm

I found a Power greater than myself was the good olde Group Of Drunks.
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Re: Non religious?

Postby Jojo2 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:25 pm

jbirdy179 wrote:
So when they say 'Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.' or 'Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.' I'm not exactly sure how to go forward with these steps as I don't believe in anything


The majority of AA members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves.

However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes.

Many people call it God, others think it is the collective therapy of AA, still others don't believe in it at all.

God can be Good Orderly Direction, Group of Drunks, Grow or Die or whatever you want it to be.

There is room in AA for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.

Step Two is a bridge between Step One and Step Three, and the “hoop you have to jump through is a lot wider than you think.”

All you really need is a truly open mind. Just resign from the debating society (page 26)

'I had only to stop fighting and practise the rest of AA's Programme as enthusiastically as I could'. (page 27)

'Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions' copyrighted by AA World Services, Inc.
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Re: Non religious?

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:15 pm

jbirdy179 wrote:I'm not exactly how to go forward with these steps as I don't believe in anything


I'm willing to bet you have, or once had, a pretty strong belief in alcohol.

My Higher Power is a form of consciousness which is higher than my old alcoholic thinking. Feel free to check out things like Buddhism, Taoism, meditation, etc. Nothing Christian in there, and yet there are some spiritual concepts which cross the boundaries of religion. As for God, your conception is probably very different from mine, and both are probably very different from those of, say, a devout Catholic. Yet we can coexist in an AA meeting among all sorts of agnostics, atheists, and folks of all sorts of religious belief.

AA was founded on Christian principles, and early AAs used the King James bible to help newcomers before AA's own literature was written. But AA is not a Christian society.

IMO, it's arguably "better" to come in with the open mind of an agnostic than some strong preconceptions that tend to accompany religion. I've known alcoholics in AA who won't get sober until they get off their knees. Recovery is about action.
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