Having lunch with a fellow from AA, I brought up the idea of inheritance. We were talking about the power of tradition, the sense of belonging and security that comes from long standing affiliation, from communities of faith in particular. The type of tradition that interests me comes from those whose focus is on individual and collective spiritual development, religious traditions even. Soon I would very much like to write about the integration of secular traditions like the state with deep religious traditions because I think we need this… but I have been considering AA more and more…
AA has a strong tradition. Right after the depression AA emerged. From the roots of AA birthed the Self Help movement. AA has flourished all over the world. AA was fashioned upon the groundwork laid out in the Gospels. It inherited the power and insight of William James’ The Variety of Religion Experiences. It is connected to the blessings of Carl Jung’s letters of support, and the stream of wisdom that comes from one alcoholic helping another stay sober. I join multitudes of other sick, demoralized alcoholics and addicts in AA. I join them in a collective effort to build and sustain an “atmosphere of grace”. Our health, recovery, our God consciousness are gifts of our AA inheritance.
My fellow, commented to me that the Dali Lama said that the most important spiritual movement in the 20th century was Alcoholics Anonymous. I experience this truth every time I attend a recovery meeting. Through the confidence of my convictions, I testify to this fact. I find myself saying often that I have never entered a church and experienced the power of God the way I experience God in every AA meeting. I witnesses miracles on the daily. I am surely blessed and exceedingly rich. I count my addiction my strength so that all may know it is God’s power, not my own, that keeps me recovered. All the power of our history, our collective calling to righteousness, the admission of powerlessness, willingness, acceptance, honesty, our practice of action, prayer, mediation, inventory, what has come to be called a “spiritual awakening” – these things frame the power of recovery and lend themselves to open channels through which God’s light might shine.
When I think about my inheritance I consider these things. I think about my Christian legacy. I find myself contemplating the word’s of Christ and the new covenant. I wonder with hope how far the promise of history stretches. Does it reach me? I feel it, and I believe that my inheritance is placed high for the benefit of not just myself, but all beings.
YES, yes.. I know the Bible is both imperialistic and sexists among other things… but that’s for a later blog! 🙂