Saturday, September 13, 2014

What Are The Twelve Steps?

     The reputation that the Twelve Step program often gets is sad and disturbing, to say the least, but this is primarily because most people have no idea what the Twelve Steps are.

     Some call the Steps and AA a vicious cult, hell bent on brainwashing and controlling you with religion. Some call it an abject failure that is completely outdated and wrong in the way it attributes addiction to moral failure. Some just dismiss it arrogantly because it fails the test of new age science, quack psychology and intellectualism. Some call it unsubstantiated because there is no clinical data to back it up, which clearly must render it useless in the field of addiction treatment. And some of the worst are today's doctors, often products of the brainwashed status quo, who believe they know everything and that we are just a bunch of uneducated imbeciles who need to be told what to do.

     In fact, that attitude sort of reminds me of every single morally relative, collectivist academic I know, which seems to be increasing by the day. Right, all of us who support ourselves and start businesses are morons but my friends with over $250,000 in student debt with no job in sight and who forgot to check what exactly can be discharged in bankruptcy court are absolutely brilliant. Lol.

     But the one thing often misunderstand is that the Twelve Steps don't really have anything to do with alcohol and drugs. No, I'm not an idiot. I understand the Twelve Steps were originally conceived to help alcoholics, but with what? Most people think they exist merely to address an alcoholic's drinking problem, but that's not true. Remember that this is a program of action based on the same universal principles that we see at the core of every religious tradition through time. Why is that? What are the Twelve Steps really trying to do? It's a good question for all of the above bashers to ponder.

     So what do you think they are?

     It's a good question to ask yourself.

     I actually don't quite understand why the true purpose of the Twelve Steps is lost on so many, but whatever. The truth is that the Twelve Steps are not really about alcohol and drugs but about clearing a way and delineating a practical path to God. They are simply one of many ways to get to God, to establish an appropriate relationship with Him. They are spiritual tools based on universal and timeless principles that open a door to our Creator. That is the purpose of the Twelve Steps.

     The point is that anybody interested in growing spiritually may engage in this program of rigorous action. I'm thinking about writing another book that breaks down the Twelve Step process for anybody. Why should this gem of a program remain hidden from most of the world, and especially from the parents, spouses and families of addicts and alcoholics?

     Trust me, if you haven't actually done a thorough and fearless Twelve Step program the way its laid out in the Big Book, you truly have no idea what it really is. It is an unfathomable amount of work and it is a life-changing process. The things you have to do, the depths you have to plumb, the faith and trust you must have, believe me, it is stomach churning, mind-bending, and ultimately soul-freeing. It expands your world and allows your consciousness to crack open and experience a new dimension of existence. It is mystical and it induces miracles to occur. It taps into the greater power and intelligence that exists, which is God.

     And that is the beginning we need. From there, everything else is possible. From there, we can grow with the Lord and glorify Him in all that we do. 

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