Sandy B. – AA Speaker – Why spirituality is key in alcoholism recovery
I will tell you how the book ends; it ends with a spiritual awakening. That’s the point of the book, Step Twelve. Having had a spiritual awakening as the only result of these steps, we try to immediately show the next person how to have a spiritual awakening so that there it is. So then the next person may say, “Good, maybe I’ll read the book and get a spiritual awakening.” That’s a pretty big deal. What is a spiritual awakening? It’s magic. It has to fit in the category of magic because something happens, but you can’t explain it, and there is really no way to explain it.
The obsession just to drink disappeared. Sounds like a rabbit disappearing, doesn’t it? Is it gone? Where is it? Where did the obsession go precisely? Could you describe for us how it didn’t disappear ,so that we can logically understand the stupid steps that don’t seem to have any relevance for anything? I looked around one day, and it was gone. I forgot to think about drinking last week. I said to myself, “You’re an alcoholic and you forgot to think about drinking last week? How did that happen?” See the Houdini effect in the spirituality of this program cannot be explained. That’s why if you’re new and you read the steps trying to intellectualize them, you will see nothing. Just look at them.
My sponsor told me, “Everything you need to know is there in the steps so go read them again.” I read them again. I don’t see anything in there. I went back to him I said, “Okay, okay, I guess maybe I’m slow, which one of these is the money step? That was the biggest problem I had, so I wanted to know which one was the money step. He said, “There is no money step. These are all spiritual steps you just do. Then something amazing will happen.” And so when I look at the Big Book I now, I look at it like this it’s a treasure map. It’s a spiritual treasure. When you follow the directions closely you get to treasure, which is God. It’s that simple and it’s guaranteed.
When I start with a new guy, I ask, “What is the truth about you? Who are you? What is your true nature? See, truth is nothing that can be communicated, instead it’s revealed. The truth will be revealed to you as you work the steps and continue to try and get closer to your Higher Power. You will see yourself differently. Year after year and you will see the world differently too, and as the world becomes revealed in its true nature, there is certainly no reason to drink. There is no problem that alcohol could fix and if there’s no problem to be fixed, it’s pretty easy to not drink.
New perception and outlook
Sandy does an excellent job of describing the psychic change that occurs when the twelve steps are put in to practice. He points out how thoughts, attitudes, ideas, and conceptions all change due to the path laid out in the recovery process. It is wonderful to see him emphasize the fact that the steps only have one result and that result is a spiritual awakening. The steps do not say that you will become rich; they do not say you will find a relationship, they merely say that an awakening will occur and that something profound will happen. Of course, this is conditional on working the steps, and as Sandy says, the farther you get away from the treasure map, the more likely you are to get lost and not find the treasure.