Archive for January, 2010

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The Big Book is not a Bible. Bill and Bob never asked us to worship AA.

January 26, 2010

I gotta tell ya…. I just don’t get where it was ever intended or suggested that the Big Book of AA should ever be considered a Bible or any sort of holy text.

And in all I have read and experienced in AA, I have never got even the slightest impression from the founders or the organization that the program of AA should be worshipped.

Yet I continually hear and read individuals quoting the Big Book as if it were infallible scripture and deifying the 12 steps and practices of AA.  I also hear and read opponents of AA and 12 step making ridiculous claims about the hidden agenda of the founders of AA.

To me, the Big Book is nothing more nor less than a collection of valuable observations, experiences, and suggestions of a bunch of now-sober alcoholics who found a few practices and way of life that work for them.  These observations and experiences include many self-admitted mistakes in attempts to get sober and help others do the same.  So the notion of the infalibility of the Big Book makes no sense to me.

Similarly, AA encourages us to engage the practices of our faith and to recognize where “religious” people are right.  So I remain unclear and unconvinced as to how this could all be a conspiracy.

Bill W declined many opportunities for personal gain, publicity, awards and accolades.  This is considerably different than many religious leaders of a variety of faiths.  How many religious leaders build huge empires only to become corrupt by their fame, power and wealth.  Yet people of these same faiths criticize AA and its founders.  Many religious leaders could learn a lot from some of what Bill W practiced in limiting temptations of money, property, and prestige.  Maybe he was just wise enough to know that these things corrupt people and their purposes.

To me this all seems like a tempest in a tea pot stirred up by people who are threatened by the effectiveness of AA.  newsflash…. it works for many of us.  Millions in fact. Get over it!  Why not thank God for it?

AA is not, and never was proposed as competition for religious faith.  If anything, AA told us to go back to our faith and beliefs.

There will always be fanatics who take anything worthwhile to an extreme.  Thats why many football fans paint their faces, dawn jerseys, and act like a bunch of morons over whether their team wins or not.

Today, I am clean and sober.  And I have been for years.  A day at a time.  And today, I believe more in God and the Bible than I ever did.  AA just helped me get/stay sober long enough to stay alive so I could believe and serve God again.

Ciao.

Chaz

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A great divorce/breakup song…

January 24, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb_juTPQJUc

Adds a humourous twist for those who are fed up with the whole thing.

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How to control everyone

January 19, 2010

Is controlling others not the most prevalent obsession in our world today? And has it not always been?

Tyranny and coercion are the easy control strategies to spot.  What about manipulation? What about false “kindness”? What about silence? What about avoidance? Or projecting “patheticness”? Or suggestion?

Why do we seek to control?  I believe one reason is so we can feel safe.  If others are doing our bidding, or conforming to what we want them to say, do, or be, are we not then buffered to some degree from whatever threatens us?

If we get them to believe what we believe, does it not help us avoid having to question our own beliefs? Do we create a matrix that we can just plug into?  Instead of being free-thinking and continue to re-test and re-validate or adapt our beliefs in a changing and growing world? 

Does this not describe many cultural groups such as corporations, religious groups, political parties, and many 12-Step groups?  Does this not also describe many nationality groups, marriages and families?

Do all such groups not tend to develop their pet theories, seek to gather support for those theories, then lock into and defend those theories by antagonizing new ideas?

Do many such groups not tend to proselytize and build support, then insulate by creating an “us and them culture”?  Then act surprised when others use the descriptor, “cult”?  Even if it is an overstatement of our insular behaviour?

Is it not human nature to want to control others so we feel secure and are spared the effort of thought and change?

It is tougher to be open-minded than it is to continually think and grow.  I’ve tried it both ways.  Open-minded is tougher.  It is easier to want to control people, places, and circumstances.  For me anyway.  And seemingly for much of the rest of humanity.

Ciao

Chaz

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What chance do you give this one?

January 3, 2010
I met a newly-married couple today.  They left me pondering… “how long will this last”?
 
What first jumped out at me was the degree to which the husband seemed to control the dialogue and relationship.  My meeting with them was in a professional setting.  I was conducting a significant business transaction with them.  There were important decisions to be made on which it is my role to provide guidance.
 
The wife was late 20’s and somewhat naive about the whole thing.  The husband was mid-30’s and had what I experience as “just enough knowledge to be dangerous”.  Kind of a know-it-all who had to show how much he knew, which frankly wasn’t much.  He argued a particular point with me that I know based on years in my profession and have first-hand experience verifying he was not correct.  I did not want to be argumentative and did not want to embarrass him or make him defensive so I just conceded that perhaps he knew something I didn’t and let it go.
 
The next thing to stand out was that the husband came from affluence and the wife from more average means.  They live in a home he owns and pays for in a very expensive part of town.  Comments he made suggested family money.
 
And the third kicker that jumped out at me significantly… she appeared far more “eligible” than he did.  In layman’s terms… she was quite attractive, he was a bit of a dork.
 
So the question bounces around in my head…
 
“In today’s marriage climate, how much tolerance is there in a marriage for…
  • conversational controlling behaviour?
  • financial dependency/control/mismatch?
  • significant “eligibility” mismatch?”
They simply struck me as a couple who would leave anyone scratching their head.
 
In today’s world of easy-out marriages and relationships, I so often wonder if some of these fairly typical but painful dynamics of a relationship that would have been tolerated in generations past, will end up being deal busters (or silent killers) of today’s marriages/relationships.
 
Lets be honest, how much resistance would anyone face in todays relationship culture for leaving a marriage because their spouse was controlling, financially superior, or just plain unappealing?
 
I am not speaking of what should or shouldn’t be.  Nor of what is fair or unfair, moral or immoral.  I am simply speaking of what seems to be the case in the here and now.