I was reading a post yesterday and someone said that they claim no higher power. That got me thinking. What do I claim as my higher power?

I’m stumped. I came into Alcoholics Anonymous as an agnostic, and I guess I still am. I don’t have a clue. But I have looked into it.

I am an artist by trade, and in my education, I studied the great masters, Raphael, Michelangelo, Peter Paul Rubins, Dour, etc. Each one painted masterful images of God. A beautiful old man on a throne of clouds or the like. I never thought that that was an actual representation of reality. They are beautiful, but they are only artifice,

The Calvinists believe God is out to screw us for all eternity if we wander off the path only a hair. Among Christians, they are not alone in this. That can’t be right.

The Hindus have so many Gods even they aren’t sure how many. In fact, each household can have it’s own personal God. One of my favorite parts of Hinduism is an individual can claim that they are God. It seems the idea is God is a playwright, and dreamed up this entire world. But because God is a very good playwright, God forgot that it is just a play. And all of us are players in this grand play, and in that, we are nothing less than God ourselves. That one pleases me a lot. I like the sound of that. I don’t believe that the dreaming God is the be all and end all of it, but it works for me on many levels.

The Buddhists were borne out of Hinduism. They took it to the next logical level. If there are so many Gods that on one can count them, in fact we are all of us God, then the idea of identifying God is not entirely useful. Buddhists, Zen Buddhists in particular, don’t spend any time trying to understand God. The job at hand is to wake up. Like the Hindus, they believe we are asleep to our true natures, and the goal of Zen meditation and study is to wake up to it.

And this just scratches the surface of different ideas on God. So many ideas on what God might be. How is one to know?

I try not to confuse myself between the map, (any idea if what God might be) and the territory.

Just speaking for myself, my spiritual path has become very simple these days. I get up in the morning, and I try not to lie, cheat, or steal all day long. And at bedtime, if I have managed to cut way down on my lying, cheating and stealing, and I haven’t gotten drunk or stoned all day long, I tell God thank you.

It doesn’t matter to me that I don’t know to whom or to what I say thank You, it just matters that I do.

Richard
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replied October 15th, 2007
My understanding of a higher power is something that one defers to.... An acceptance of what is...that events will unfold as they will. A realization that the big picture is beyond us. In the scheme of things, we are like toddlers wanting what we want, unable to comprehend the consequences. Knowledge is outside of us. We need to recognize that we don't possess the knowledge and learn how to be quiet and invite it in. It seems to me that often we come to the table of recovery (whether we are substance abusers or codependents) with a chip on our shoulders re: organized religion or the popular view God. We initially fight the concept of a higher power....feeling justified and misunderstood. Then, it comes to us...we can't control things...we don't have to control things...and such a huge burden is lifted.

I really needed to think about this tonight. I have been trying to control things (again). My behavior creates unhappiness for me...and I forget that I bring it on myself. Nobody's fault but my own. Let go...give it to my higher power.
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replied November 2nd, 2007
Experienced User
How bout "Good Orderly Direction?" I mean at first that's kind all you need anyway, if you are getting sober. Then there is "Group Of Drunks" sort of referrign to the group, which you have to admit is kinda more powerful than you at this point any way you look at it.

That's how I saw it. I mean, I guess what I really saw as more powerful than me was the PROGRAM. The steps. And I SAW that because I heard what teh people were saying--they had done the things I had doen, thay had felt the things I had felt--I KNEW that tehy were like me, and something had happened to them so that they were different now. It was so gut-overwhelming, so feeling-true. They were SMILING and had jobs--they went to those jobs--and stayed there ALL day!!! They did what they said they were gonna do. and most importantly...they had needed to drink as badly as I had, and they didnt' any more.

And you knkow what else?? they said if I did what they did , I would get what they got. And because I SAW that they were like me, an dhow they got better, I believed them, AND IT WORKED!!!

If there's not SOME kind of something that's MORE powerful than I am in there...shoot me. And you know?? There' salways "fake it til you make it." I've always found that to be EFFECTIVE. Just morning and night connection with SOMETHING--throw it out there--please keep me sober today adn Thank you at night USUALLY ends up with full-blown belief.

Try it, you'll like it!!!
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replied November 20th, 2007
"It doesn’t matter to me that I don’t know to whom or to what I say thank You, it just matters that I do."

I couldn't agree more. The Higher Power question is one that's plauged me for quite some time. The conclusion I came to is this.....it doesn't matter if your Higher Power is a bottle of pickles, just that (as you said) one does it.
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replied November 21st, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Inferior_Decorator wrote:
"It doesn’t matter to me that I don’t know to whom or to what I say thank You, it just matters that I do."

I couldn't agree more. The Higher Power question is one that's plauged me for quite some time. The conclusion I came to is this.....it doesn't matter if your Higher Power is a bottle of pickles, just that (as you said) one does it.


Very well put. Religion since it's start, has branched out in so many directions, it makes one think what believe in. I also believe in a higher power with no name. Just something more poweful than I and soemthing that can change my life if I follow and try and be an honest and upstanding person.
I think you will see a time in the near future when AA is going to be taking out the word "God". And just using the word "Higher Power" in it's place. I will agree that working the 12 steps are probably the most improtant thing in AA. It almost makes you feel like you have had a ton of bricks taken off your chest.

Carrie

Carrie
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