June 5th 2006

copyright© don oddy

~ primary purpose ~

living life and experiencing reality

Fellowship meetings with a particular theme in someone’s mind… Some of our fellowship meetings are beyond the general and try to get specific to whatever happens to be on the mind of most of those attending. Actually we have general meetings always, which get very specific and only a few may stay at a basic level.

One meeting I regularly attend, it is good at teasing out what we want to really talk about. We have a start and then we offer ideas on things relevant to today.

On my way to the meeting I bumped into another friend in fellowship, we have known each other for two years. How well do we know each other? In some sense not all, in one sense completely. Above this I know this person well enough, having heard them talk to know what makes them tick, what makes their world work and what I can share, that would be anything and everything.

We chatted about deep stuff, by deep I mean the way we all view living these days, with truth and honesty for those we know inside and outside the fellowship. Truth and honesty, which makes our heads ache and hearts beat faster as we try to make our outlook consistent with our feelings and thoughts.

How to be with partners came up, and how to be honest. How not to do things because we think and feel we ought to, more to do things which are right and real and consistent with good conscience.

I slide the notion of good conscience in whenever I can, its my firm belief our good conscience is the vessel of our spiritual core, its inside and of us, it is not outside or worthy of worship as a God. Part of me would want to suggest that God is for wimps. For God externalises our conscience into another being. Yet for those with devout belief, God is the connection to a higher power. My belief is the collective good conscience since time began, of nature and nurture, always and forever developing within us and always a part of us. I believe firmly that the collective good conscience of mankind is infinitely superior to my own, this higher power we seek is always with us in the form of good conscience. And if there be a God, he, she or it, of our understanding, through the natural process of good conscience steers mankind to better futures and not to damnation of no conscience.

So we chatter as we go and we both have similar dilemmas with partners in life present and previous. We both have enough mileage enough intimacy to know when we are able to be truthful and honest. And we know when we might be wandering into dangerous territory where we run risks by being compliant to others will and preference. In other words we are both better in the singular, and not in partnership with women who are perfectly good, and yet not right for either he or I. This applies to this moment in time, for there are women in my past who were just right for me, I was just wrong for them at that time, in fact most any of the women in my life were right, I just had so much to sort out I was better not being known. And of course with women, both of us at an age where we hold to the good women bring, and their fair maiden status and to be revered rather than being true partners, in that they are as responsible as us for the working of partnership. To an extent it is a failing in us, not to see women as equals, for we do two things, we worship them and give them higher status than ourselves , we protect them and so undermine their equality and responsibility in the process. And we run the danger of taking too much of the responsibility and blame when things go wrong. It certainly does take two to tango. We love women we agreed and in doing so we need to be sure we make them equal inside our heads and in deeds done as well as tacitly making this so. It does not help when we were brought up in a world where women are not gifted with equality in society or that we have chivalry running through us like guilt, when things are not right.

Still we work at it and proceed to be honest as we can and be right in our dealings. This all smacks of chauvinism and we recoil from this reverie for it undermines the principles that each is equal in responsibility in any relationship whatever code they might live to. Freedom and acceptance is a key here.

Anyway as luck had it we were able to discuss many things and more good fortune for my friend, his topic of primary purpose was voted our subject for debate. He gave a talk for a few minutes to our meeting, fifty or sixty fellows, men and women regarding our primary purpose.

And what is it? Simply to be sober in our outlook and help any other remain sober in their outlook and in doing so, keep our heads clear and on the road of clarity.

Might seem very noble, but as we progress and others talk, we find it is certainly our primary purpose. To be clear in mind enables every other gift of living. And how do we do this? And what happens if we get forgetful?

Simply, we need to be in touch with our primary purpose always. It keeps us in touch with our higher power. That higher power which I am persuaded is our good conscience and others believe is God. I don’t mind if good conscience and God equate to the same thing, for both are about applying our moral codes and best ways of living to be the best we can and really experience all aspects of a good life. Experiencing being the operative word for we cannot get there by thought, we need to get there by deeds, by what we really do in life.

All of us have been damaged by life, roughed up and made to despair in our journey. Not one of us is a saint and every single one of us has suffered at our own hand and found no solace in trying to fix this world through drink or drugs. We all know there is simply merit in being sober and facing the day, whatever it might have in store. And if we deviate and don’t pay attention, we get careless. We get complacent and we put ourselves at risk of falling down.

So many had things to say which demonstrate how we get carried away by circumstance and wrapped in smaller things in life, we get diverted from our self maintenance as life crowds in and makes us spread ourselves so thin we cannot think straight. When we cannot think clearly, our feelings get bent out of shape and we tend to punish ourselves with more things to do and worse look for oblivion in our chosen poison. For our chosen poison deadens the pain of our inability to cope.

And we understand we can face most things if we keep an eagle eye to our straight living, we can deal with most things we take on, on a daily basis when we practice good self care.

And self care means sharing and being open and letting go those things we cannot change, working on those we can and getting more wisdom as we go along. Wisdom is the key and accepting our personal limits to change and influence our surroundings. And realising most often, we can work on our own behaviour, we have power to change ourselves, and equally have no power over anything else pretty much.

There was much discussion of what makes us able to conduct our ordinary lives with good heart, how we can be the best we can with humility and not with sanctimony. That we are the equal of each and everyone we encounter when we keep our heads and hearts clear and look to honest and truthful in our dealings with those we know.

Sounds very altruistic. Yet we know we need maintenance, we can slip away as quick as lightening and fall down. We realise more than most that we work at life every moment and in forgetfulness put everything we work for in jeopardy.

We don’t get a day off from our programme of living, and we need to reflect and meditate on how we will be, just being ourselves. We need our meetings to help us along to remind us of the way. We need the fellowship of others to help us find our own good conscience and develop a practical outlook as well.

We are not high minded and separate, we are the guts of life and trying the best we can. When we forget and don’t realise its not only our own well being which counts, we lose our contact with others. Helping others is intrinsic to our development, and when we get neglectful of our fellows, we may let them slip away. So in friendship we affirm our connection to our good conscience and our higher power, that being most anything greater than we are. And that can be two fellows, or three, certainly more than the one inside who can resort to ego’s drift and wilful behaviour. We know we are equal and we know there is always an inner voice which shouts “what about me” as if we are more than another…

So easy as shared in this meeting, to fall away and become self absorbed if we don’t follow our steps. Steps so simple to produce ordinary lives as complete as any other we might encounter. We don’t see value above and beyond what we are when our programme works to the good. We see our role as equal and important as any other and not less than, just the same in value although everyone’s contribution differs with personality.

So similar are we in all human elements we might appear to suggest we are all the same. Absolutely we are and at the same time, our experiences and living makes us unique and different. Which explains why we need anyone and everyone who is in our fellowship to keep coming back. From all walks of life and from all past experience we learn from each other how best we can live and simply, a day at a time.

Some argued that life itself makes us weaken, that living in the world takes time away from our purpose, and in that folly we find that life loses its meaning, for we forget we need regular and proper maintenance to make life work. We may be sophisticated, yet we are very simple creatures, who respond well when we maintain our primary goal. And we when we get forgetful we get dangerously close to losing our connection to our higher power and well being. And in our good conscience its better we live a day at a time, for to try and live beyond the day becomes a dream or a hope and most often a wish beyond reality.

After all as I came away recognising this simple philosophy of connection and making the world I live in work well for all I encounter, I need be mindful where I might wander if I get forgetful.

So in that short time, just an hour and maybe a chat prior, a whole day is spent in honest pursuits, and my mind is firm in commitment to good conscience, and equal approaches to all who I know.

This talk I had with my fellow traveller so pertinent to me as an ex partner is close by. I feel torn in two about seeing her or not. I know we are better apart. Yet my denial and delusion would wish it were different, that part of me yearns for old times past. And I know with every truth spoken since then old times are long gone and new ways of living will bring the best for her and for me as life goes on. Her outlook so different and mine now so clear, every exchange confirms difference, while love tears away and would wish it were different, and I get to the truth of real living today. Stick with primary purpose and the rest will take care of itself, a day at a time.

We don’t chose who we love, we do chose who we live with, and sometimes our own company is far better than being in the company of a lover and a stranger. I hope she lives well, its none of my business, yet her power is inside me still. Know in good conscience the truth in this matter and with that higher power and purpose I make good my day…

So easy to slip back to wishes and dreams, to hope and forlon times gone by. Better to keep my spirits simple and focussed on living today. Ltting go and making room, not just for myself, but for another as partnerships in my life feel better to me. Letting making room, accepting how things are, and not getting stuck in denial of life.

Who said its easy, I never said it was so, yet the choices are simple and so is letting go. Let go and let good conscience revere and acknowledge as reality bites and makes this day another, just one day at a time…

Copyright © Don Oddy



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