Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby Tosh » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:24 am

clouds wrote:I think he said HE was too selfcentered to believe in God, not that all aetheists are self centered.


Maybe! Or maybe he/she was couching his/her post as insult to atheists? Apologies if I've got it wrong, but believers have for centuries made a habit out of reviling and disparaging atheists; exposing their hidden 'sins' which, according to them, explain their disbelief.

I guess I'm just sensitive to it, but my self centredness - at least - doesn't claim fault for that; I blame the 'believers' for that. :lol:

My father was a believer, by the way; he certainly believed in a traditional concept God, but he still died as a direct result of his alcoholism.

As I say, I don't rate beliefs.
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: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby clouds » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:21 am

I honestly don't think d'oh was couching the post to revile or disparage atheists, it read like a very real experience, and a spiritual experience. A sortof turning point toward sobriety and toward the solution.

Forget the past. I find the resentments I have to deal with today with real people scaming me and ovecharging, driving like nuts is enough without dragging in historical figures from centuries ago who made disparaging comments on vellum. :)

Sorry D'oh if I missed your gender from past posts. :?
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby D'oh » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:48 pm

Thanks Clouds.

I in no way wanted to upset anyone. Believers or not, in fact quite the opposite. I was just stating how I came to believe.

A storey that I hope doesn't upset anyone.

So I mentioned that my Grandmother passed when I was 2 months sober and in detox. So my Girlfriend and I bought her house (no major decisions for the first year) and moved in together. Where she hung her "Most Christian like Lady" plaque above our bed. She was a devote Catholic spending much of her free time helping out at the church.

1 year later we were in Pre Marriage Consoling, needed before marriage in the church. A husband and wife Minister team were holding it. A total of 3 couples were there. We all sat around a table and stated our concept of God. It came to my turn and I said "Sitting in the outhouse at the cabin one night, the top Dutch door was open, and I have never seen the stars so bright, and I felt like I could reach out and touch the moon." "I wondered who could have made such beauty but God?"

The female Minister almost sent me home right there and then. The male Minister spoke "I was an Ensign on a destroyer escort, I was on deck in 35' seas, and I wondered, who is holding this steel boat up?"

You see, he got me. All along I was looking for the proof of a Higher Power like flicking on the light switch. When his proof was all around me all the time.
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby Tosh » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:11 pm

D'oh wrote:The male Minister spoke "I was an Ensign on a destroyer escort, I was on deck in 35' seas, and I wondered, who is holding this steel boat up?"


I don't wish to upset anyone either, but that minister sounds very self centred if he believes that he's so special that God looks after his boat in 35' high seas, yet kills hundreds-of-thousands of others with one giant tsunami wave.

My mind would ask him, "Why are you so special, yet all those hundreds-of-thousands aren't?"

And then of course, there's all those boats that don't get 'held up'; the ones at the bottom of the sea that are sometimes designated as war graves.

Maybe I require a higher standard of proof? Or maybe it doesn't really matter because God doesn't make hard terms for those who seek him?
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: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:36 pm

D'oh wrote:Thanks Clouds.

I in no way wanted to upset anyone. Believers or not, in fact quite the opposite. I was just stating how I came to believe.

A storey that I hope doesn't upset anyone.

So I mentioned that my Grandmother passed when I was 2 months sober and in detox. So my Girlfriend and I bought her house (no major decisions for the first year) and moved in together. Where she hung her "Most Christian like Lady" plaque above our bed. She was a devote Catholic spending much of her free time helping out at the church.

1 year later we were in Pre Marriage Consoling, needed before marriage in the church. A husband and wife Minister team were holding it. A total of 3 couples were there. We all sat around a table and stated our concept of God. It came to my turn and I said "Sitting in the outhouse at the cabin one night, the top Dutch door was open, and I have never seen the stars so bright, and I felt like I could reach out and touch the moon." "I wondered who could have made such beauty but God?"

The female Minister almost sent me home right there and then. The male Minister spoke "I was an Ensign on a destroyer escort, I was on deck in 35' seas, and I wondered, who is holding this steel boat up?"

You see, he got me. All along I was looking for the proof of a Higher Power like flicking on the light switch. When his proof was all around me all the time.


Loved your story....didn't upset me.
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby katherine7 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:55 pm

Zara wrote:I am in the process of re-working Step 2 and one of the questions I want to ask is how do YOU sense spiritual guidance? In the past, I often avoided actually asking for spiritual guidance in certain important situations like employment. Why? Out of fear I guess....fear that God's will wouldn't be the same as MY will. Sounds weird maybe, but that is one reason I am re-working the steps, and re-meeting my Higher Power after all these years. I guess I never REALLY trusted the concept of the Higher Power that I had. So, now I am trying to be real and honest in my search. But I guess a part of me worries...what if I am given guidance and miss it?

So, how do YOU know when your Higher Power is "nudging you"?




When I have a problem and I will be in a state of depression, I turn to God to supplicate and pray to him.
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby OnPoint » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:38 pm

After reading this thread I realize that I may be the oddball here. I really didn't feel any kind of spiritual guidance when I took step two.

For a long time I didn't know if I could believe. I wanted to believe, I prayed for belief, I even lied and said that I believed. But I just didn't feel anything. And to me feeling was believing. I was stuck. I simply didn't know if I could believe enough to make the steps work. I finally decided to take the small amount of faith that I had and forge ahead with the steps anyway, even if I failed at them. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, I just kept working the steps to the best of my ability even though I knew that I was only faking it. And then, somewhere in step nine, I began to feel something. I began to feel like I didn't have to be that person anymore. In fact I began to feel like I wasn't the kind of person who did those things anymore. I began to believe that this thing might work for me.

Zara wrote:I am in the process of re-working Step 2 and one of the questions I want to ask is how do YOU sense spiritual guidance? In the past, I often avoided actually asking for spiritual guidance in certain important situations like employment. Why? Out of fear I guess....fear that God's will wouldn't be the same as MY will. Sounds weird maybe, but that is one reason I am re-working the steps, and re-meeting my Higher Power after all these years. I guess I never REALLY trusted the concept of the Higher Power that I had. So, now I am trying to be real and honest in my search. But I guess a part of me worries...what if I am given guidance and miss it?

So, how do YOU know when your Higher Power is "nudging you"?
Zara, my point is that I never trusted my concept of a higher power either. What I did was "do the work". I honestly never trusted people who said "God is like this" or God is like that". What I discovered is that if I do the work long enough and hard enough I will come to experience the world in a different way. I am sure that different stuff works for different people. Forging ahead in spite of my fears is what worked for me.
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby ClaireEllison » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:10 pm

Im very confused about the word and the meaning itself. What the heck is it to be spiritual? Or a spiritual person? Ever one Ive asked says "its a personally journey" . To me, its like watching people mediate make a thought that is there own and than call that spiritual guidance..... adele weight Or sub-conscious awakening....I don't really know, its mind-boggling to me. I get there are bible thumpers and religion and those two go hand in hand but being spiritual....what is that? Please enlighten me.
Last edited by ClaireEllison on Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:26 am

Best answer is from Echkart in the book A new Earth:

Many people are already aware of the difference between spirituality and religion. They realize that having a belief system a set of
thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth – does not make you spiritual no matter what the nature of those beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself. Many “religious” people are stuck at
that level. They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of
the truth in a n unconscious attempt to protect their identity. They don’t realize the limitations of thought. Unless you believe (think) exactly as they
do, you are wrong in their eyes, and in the not too distant past, they would have felt justified in killing you for that. And some still do, even now.
The new spirituality, the transformation of consciousness, is arising to a large extent outside of the structures of the existing institutionalized
religions. There were always pockets of spirituality even in mind dominated religions, although the institutionalized hierarchies felt threatened by them and often tried to suppress them. A large scale opening of spirituality outside of the religious structures is an entirely new development. In the
past, this would have been inconceivable, especially in the West, the most mind dominated of all cultures, where the Christian church had a virtual
franchise on spirituality. You couldn’t just stand up and give a spiritual talk or publish a spiritual book unless you were sanctioned by the church, and if
you were not, they would quickly silence you. But now, even within certain churches and religions, there are signs of change. It is heartwarming, and one is grateful for even the slightest signs of openness, such as Pope John Paul II visiting a mosque as well as a synagogue.
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: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:47 am

What the heck is it to be spiritual? Or a spiritual person?


Read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, especially The Chapter To Agnostics and the appendix on spiritual experience. For the purposes of sobriety the book has AA's answers.

You can read the Big Book free online here: http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/read-the- ... traditions
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby desypete » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:07 pm

the answers to the steps became clear to me once i had got to 12 and done them all i couldnt get a real understanding until i got to 12
what made me come to believe in aa works is the fact i was a hopeless 24 / drunk who had not only lost himself but also lost everything and everyone in my life who had ever cared or loved me, i never thought i would ever be sober again until the day i gave in and ended up in the rooms of aa

now they kept it all nice an simple for me as i first had to try to learn how to get past an hour without a drink then a day without a drink, i can remember how joyfull i started to get after a week of being sober, then a month sober then a year without a drink
in that first year my life started to get better i was able to get a job, i was able to get my kids back out of foster care where they had been taken away from me and there mum because of our drink dependency and how far down it had taken us

now i never had a belief in a god, i would hear others tell me in aa there must be a god as it looked after them ? there god protected them from going to prison or losing there family's etc well i couldn't say the same as nothing protected me i went to prison and suffered in prison as its not a nice place to be at all i lost my licence i lost my business, i lost all my money i lost all my kids, i lost my wife

so no god protected me
so the only thing i could come to see or think of a power greater than me was aa as it was only aa when i turned to it in need that was there for me that helped me get my life back again and helps to protect me now that i never go down that road again
once i was told its ok not to believe in a god and its perfectly ok to believe in a power greater than you then it was easy

i must admit i did try looking for this god, i had Jehovah wittiness round my home i had mormons i did bible study all trying to get this wonderful flash of light that would make me instantly happy joyus and free like i had heard from others in the rooms

now i know i am certainly not the only one who doesnt believe in a god in aa and i also know now that its not a bad thing, i am not a less sober memeber because it but i do believe with all my heart in aa and without aa i can not stay sober so its the same sort of belief i have just our names are different

but anyway once i got to step 12 and i had to now start to think and act kindly to others, get into service work, learn how to start to help others it was than i really seen just how selfish i really am and it was other aa memebers who shown me my own selfish streak as even in aa i would try o make excuses as to why i couldn't do service work, i would be happy for others to do all the work in aa but not want to do anything myself
i was a free loader in aa and believe me i got it pointed out to me big time

when i finally started to help others i found i liked it so i did it again and again just like taking a drink i went over board and had to learn some balance as i could see myself as the next bill w

anyway aa and the steps have shown me so much about me but more importanly its shown me a new way of living my life and helping others for me was such an important key that unlocks the soul for good

i dont believe in a god not when you see the suffering around the world i can not bury my head in the sands and pretend the world is beautiful but only in my back yard i look out for others and my wish would be to help those who are hungry, to feed the kids of this world and to try to help in anyway i can

i can pray all day long for this god to try to help them but it he or she doesnt seem able to do anything about it hence i came to the conclusion its the actually belief a person has that is what will work for them in the program.
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:47 pm

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.


So don't be hung up on other peoples experience. Enjoy the freedom by working the 12 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: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:14 pm

Hi Claire

Good question.

I was also very confused about what terms like "spirit", "spiritual", and "spirituality" actually meant when I heard those terms being used in AA. Early on in sobriety, I read this article on the topic and found it very helpful:

....The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a great step in peoples' lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard. The truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it. -- New York Times, A. Einstein, 1930.


Keep coming back.....
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby Duke » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:34 pm

For me, spirituality is defined by community, personal responsibility and faith. I found all of them working the steps and doing my best to practice the principles in all my affairs.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: Step 2 Spiritual Guidance

Postby PaigeB » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:00 pm

I am an atheist who lives a spiritual life. I am not quite sure how to explain it to you, but a Catholic friend of mine says I am a contemplative person, seeing Love in all things all throughout the day. Alcoholics Anonymous is a good Higher Power for me today, (they Love a lot there) and I haven't had a drink - or an overwhelming desire to drink - since August 1, 2009.

This thing works if I work it! So, I try to think of It all day, everyday... aka contemplate It. The Big It.
Whatever YOU need It to be!
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