Higher Power

Personal experiences with a Higher Power of your own understanding.
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Higher Power

Postby carbonunit » Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:31 pm

I need some help or insight. I have been a member of AA for 18 years through various stages of relapse and recovery. I now have over 5 years clean and sober but I have a problem. I was once a Christian and through some soul searching, and in the desire to remain sane, I left that particular faith. I seem to resonate with atheist thinkers, such as Sam Harris, but I still believe there is a spiritual truth as I have had some spiritual experiences which lead me to believe there is something. I personally have a hard time with, what Bill Wilson called, a "Czar of the Heavens" and what I see in the physical world we all live in. Easy, cookie cutter, answers such as "God called him home" after a tragic death from an automobile accident just don't ring true for me. Has anyone else felt this way in the fellowship? If so, and if you have solved this dilemma, could you give a struggling, hopeless, alcoholic some insight?


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Postby Dallas » Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:53 pm

Hello carbonunit, welcome to the site.

I understand about the Higher Power and Faith deal.

A few weeks ago I started watching some videos on YouTube of this guy named Eckhart Tolle. When I first saw him and heard his voice for some reason I wanted to laugh. I was judging him by his appearance and how he was saying some things. But, after I discovered his story, where he came from, how he got to where he got to, and after I listened to what he had to say... I really got hooked on listening to him. He seems to have a way to say many of the things that I think about -- and he has a profound way of explaining it in a way that I understand. It makes me feel like he's speaking what I've been thinking for many years.

Myself? I can't even adequately describe myself. So, if God is bigger than me... then how could I ever adequately describe God?

I know there is a God. And, I can experience God. But, I don't have a clue as to how to describe God. He (and, I use the word He, to put a name on it, probably because that's how I started doing it many years ago)... is so much more of a Power Greater than myself... I would resign to pretending that I actually know something about Him, other than He is.

When I was told that I had to find a Power Greater than myself -- I picked one that was so great -- that I'm like an ant looking at a fighter jet... I can feel and experience the vibrations of the jet... and I know something is there... but, all I know anything about is my little ant hole, and my brother and sister ants. It (God) is so big that it defies explanation.

For most of my life that has bothered me. I used to have serious conflicts over it. And, for a while, I didn't want anything at all to do with God -- because it seemed as though, to me, that He was revealing Himself to other people... with precise details of information... and I would get uptight because I would try and try and try to use some logic with the details... and wonder why "Well... if we're all God's kids... then, why does God favor some kids and let them know so much about Him... and me, He treats like an Orphan child and don't tell me nothing?"

And, when I would hear people tell me "God spoke to me..." I would get all ticked off at God, because He wasn't speaking to me like He was speaking to them.

Then, I discovered that this isn't a God problem. And, it isn't a Dallas problem. It has no meaning to me and it's none of my business what anyone else says or experiences with God as they understand God.

If I go to others... trying to get and use their definitions... it doesn't do anything for me except to confuse me.

So, I stick with my own understanding. And, that's good enough for me.

I believe there is a God. And, I believe that God cares about me. So, what else do I need to know? :lol:


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Postby gunner48 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:54 am

I came to AA very confused about God. I wanted to believe but didn't. I would recommend reading the first 4 chapters of the big book. Not only read them but take the time to understand what they are saying. When I slowed down and really took the time to understand the book I started understanding the message. Let go of reglious beliefs for a few days. After understanding the first 4 chapters read and understand 5-7. I found that a spirital experience was "when I could no longer do something I use to do without thought" example ( I use to throw the plastic wraper of my cigarette package out the window of my truck without thought-one day I reliazed I was no longer doing that but putting them in the floorboard instead. Not something I decided to do but something that happened without thought. I can still throw it out if I wish but the problem is I get sick to my stomach if I do. Something changed in me . I started looking at other things and found I no longer was craving a drink, I could sleep all night uninterupted, I wasn't lying about stupid stuff, I was friendly toward people I normally would not have been, I was concerned about my children.
Yes lack of power was my dellima. I had to find a power by which I could live. How was I to find it. Well that is exactly what the big book is about. To enable me to find that power. Nowhere do I read that I have to believe in God to do this program. All I have to do is be willing to believe in the possibility of a power greater than myself.
I have seen a lot of people play around with AA over the years by picking what part of the program they do (I call them 2 steppers, step 1 and step 12), but I have NEVER know a person who did everything outlined in the big book that did not have a spirital experience as described in the book.
If I could reach through this computer and take away your pain and discomfort I would not do so, for I would rob you of the great opportunity that lies ahead.

Peace and Love

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Postby tim-one » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:42 am


RELAX ! My best advice. You're trying too hard, waiting until someone else says something that floats your HP boat and it's all just turning into confusion, debate, and fear. And all that won't keep you sober.

"Bill's Story" and "There is a Solution" say several times that honesty and willingness are all it takes to begin. And that's right. Read Appendix II. And read story #5 "The Vicious Cycle". (Purportedly the guy responsible for the words "as we understood Him".

You may not know who you're talking to right now, but talk. Clear your mind of all that junk and ask HP to introduce Himself to you however He wants to.

Then pay attention as you work your steps. We have "a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps", not before. We don't need to know Who we're talking to - only to believe that One is there to hand our lives over to. (Look around any AA meeting. The proof is there in the thousands that He's there to help.) That's just contact ... not awakening.

Being honest enough to admit you don't know and being willing enough to let HP introduce Himself however He decides, your understanding will grow through the steps.

Sceery, huh? RELAX ! Try thinking about it as "as little as I understand Him."

(Note: Like Dallas, I use "He" as the gramatically correct designation for a sensient being when gender is unknown or generically applicable in context. Doesn't matter to me. To my understanding, HP is an asexual Spirit who sometimes is Mother [nurturer. comforter, sustenance], sometimes Father [teacher, provider, discipinarian] ... however He treats me according to my need from moment to moment.)

Just my thinkin' on the God thing. Didja notice even GOD decided to remain anonymous in this book? He doesn't care what you call Him as long as you call Him. That's all He wants. He decided sobriety shouldn't be limited to this believer or that believer or non-believers, but to all who suffer. How kind of Him. Ya think?

He just wants us to know He cares and can use the unlikely to help the hopeless. (Not to mention showing the "righteous" a thing or two about humility, grace, and gratitude.) NOBODY understands those things about God better than a sober alcoholic.


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Postby Dallas » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:45 am

Thanks for your sharing, Tim. It really reached inside and touched me. Imagine that! :wink: I appreciate reading what you shared.


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Blind Faith

Postby crazylion » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:21 am

Here is my problem with what Tim and Dallas are saying. And I do not claim to have an answer to the question of " is there a god?".

But from the age of 2-16 I was raised in a cult which said we were the only ones going to heaven and we talked to "god" everyday.

Now I am still as messed up now as I was back then, just now I am legal enough to drink and expose the demons through what I have no control over. I am powerless over alcohol.

But the program does contradict itself by using the word "god". Then in the same breath they say pick a higher power "as you understand him".

If we don't think there is a "god" how can we understand him?

That might seem black and white, but its hard to find gray on this issue.

For those of us who are in "faith" shock and refuse to follow a blind tour guide it is hard to trust. Yes we can see that our meeting peers are remaining sober so we come back cause the sharing helps with our recovery.

But to be honest the "god zealots" are a real turn off.

Help me understand.

Thanks for letting me share.

Brian (alcoholic)

Then, and only then
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Postby Then, and only then » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:52 pm

Yes, the riddle. Is there God, then if there is, who is He? For normal falks, church is virtue, it seems. They go to church from the goodness of their hearts or some high level hungers. I stopped going to the church, but I seek God everyday for my survival and by my basic desire. For a drunk like me, it is quite simple, not easy, but simple.

No one knows, but I feel. There is no other faith but blind one. No logic, no intellect, but experience. How do you explain the beauty of Grand Canyon to a blind man? Can you smell the Grand Canyon? No known theology or particular denomination knows. Churches and schools teach their understanding and teory, which seems quite useless in everyday living.

I don't have any insight or advice on the matter of HP. It seems you feel left out and hurt by your previous experiences. It seems we are given a desire to seek, but He would never be found. Maybe, it works the other way. He finds us.

For me, there was that leap. Unknown, does not make any sense, can not comprehend and all that. I took that leap because all my score cards read zero, my self reliance failed utterly and I was dying. Even then, it took me a week long soul searching.

Then, and only then, the Sunlight of the spirit entered to my soul. I was no longer dying, but living. Now, He works in my life despite of me. If I choose to, I can drink again. And the book does say He will let that happen.

Without that blind leap, it is pointless.

I do not believe there is Hell, I do not believe the church knows Him any better than I do, I do not believe life is a series od tests or lessons, I do not believe God is Good Orderly Direction, I believe in the Jewish Carpenter, I believe He is love and forgiveness, I believe He is very personal, I believe He works in my life. But I dunno why and how. I am just another Bozo riding this wave. I don't have to know. I simply don't know, but It really works.

May you find Him now, my friend.

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Postby Toast » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:29 pm

I for one believe there is a hell and its called 'finding out too late'. And i know that to be true cause i've been there twice. Once sober and once drunk, and i dont want to go back. 8)

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Re: Higher Power

Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:45 pm

You did great Keith!
btw: I noticed that I had left the instructions out of that announcements post -- and I added it -- AFTER your comments. So, it wasn't your fault that you didn't read it -- I discovered that they weren't there for you to read. :-)

I'll join you here a little later w/ some Higher Power comments. :-)


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Re: Higher Power

Postby Toast » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:56 am

Well for what its worth that earthquake we got caught in happened at 3.30pm. The mosque behind our apartments gave out the call to prayer at 5pm. Never seen it so busy and was sorely tempted to join them!

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