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December 14 2007

DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Heretics Here, Heretics There!

Two Meetings And A Smile Or Two

I am smiling tonight. Emails from friends far away and nearby. All to the good. It can be very difficult when we have been in low and sad times to hear praise or read words of support. And in truth its always tempting to push away compliments, simply as we feel there may be some mistake and why are people so complimentary? Low self esteem can walk with us hand in hand as well as we being confident and happy that we are appreciated. Indeed I do appreciate and feel more resolute that when we do compliment others in our confident moments so too others can feel the same.

Feelings Never Lie - Our Thinking Often Does

We are complicated thinkers often, and feelings are pretty straightforward. Almost like our minds worry at where and why, and what does it all mean? We make can simplify and be happy with words said, and it need be our sincerity which we can keep safe always. Truth ‘will out’ always, if we are open in our feelings and responses. Our reactions often full of denial and ‘I can’t believe it’ moments.

Two meetings AA [ All about Recovery]

One at lunch and talk of step one of the AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] how we are powerless over alcohol and life is unmanageable when we are in the thick of drinking. And it is some years now, not many, enough though for me to know I need not revisit olden times where life overwhelmed me and drink was my friend. Drink in its friendly grip of me, near did me in, indeed I had been so badly beaten by my "friend" I wonder sometimes how I ever survived. If the statistics are anywhere near true, I am a survivor of one of the most pernicious confidence tricks known to mankind. That alcohol is good for us!

Step one meetings like today, with a strong share from the chairperson on their experience strength and hope and then good sharing generally in our meeting made feel comfortable and ok. I said nothing, simply I am very full of a cold and talking was not an option.

My Mum

Has had a tooth out today! [ now yesterday ] Not so good, but it was done and I popped in to see her, with some pain killers, paracetamol. Not so bad to have the odd tooth retired, and a new one on order. A singular event in many years service.

Spiritual Awakenings and the Twelfth Step

So tonight the second half of the twelfth step was read out. And a great humorist doing the principal "chair share." I am enjoying the programme more every day simply because the twelve steps are a living experience for me.

Heretic - I Am To An Extent

Much of the steps of AA is simply very practical application of process to make life secure and as it can be, either happy or sad as life is.

Life is a whole bunch of life experience and understanding and gaining wisdom is the way we humans learn to live. All to the good.

God - For Me God is Truth, or Truth is God as Ghandi suggests

So how does truth help me with the twelve steps of AA? Simply we all seek truth about this one present day we have, even down to the one present moment. If we have found truth, we are likely to understand and have the right approach to our circumstances.

Happy or Sad

Life is like the curate’s Egg "Good in parts!" And like anything which has a start a middle and an end or many middle experiences, we can live to the good and the sad of life, sort our feelings out and be assured life goes on.
Or it ends as abruptly as it started, we are of nature after all.

Spiritual Path

I have a spiritual path, in the moment of now. It is not bliss as such for every emotion we have makes us able to make sense of life as we know it. Spiritual and bliss as some seek may not be compatible bedfellows, some seek joy only and reject the sadness. However can we learn the difference if we only have half of the life experience?

Obviously we cannot live in joy all the time, or live in sadness either through ignorance we might construct as life in the light offers utopian qualities never present in our world or the Universe.

Truth

We humans can find truth and still we can bend truth we have to suit our outlook and deny much of life we cannot accept.

Acceptance is a Key

December seems to be very much about acceptance for me and friends all over the world. And acceptance is the hardest lesson some of us learn over and over again, until of course it sinks into us if we have time to learn.

Gift of Life

Sometimes the gift of living seems almost without meaning at all as life deals hard blows. This year has been very sorrowful for the loss of friends and also my sisters partner who was a friend to me. At the same time relationships which might have blossomed, foundered and quite rightly for me. Truth was scarce and made for misunderstandings and actually I made assumptions way ahead about integrity and other situations and circumstances. We can assume often that people we know operate and live in similar ways to us and then we find their values and outlook quite different and far from safe to engage. I learn over and over the lessons of simplicity.

Joy

Joy has its rightful place in our living.

Sorrow

Sorrow has is rightful place in our living.

Truth is the Path Preferred by Me

And truth works, it does not help us find bliss as is often desired. Truth provides the background the template for a more fulfilling existence.

God and Truth

In a simple and practical way. An exhortation to truth is good for me and my conscience. So I may find more courage faith and confidence in living.

Devil and Lies

The devil in us, that we can try bend our outlook to be true, to be able to turn our outlook preferred is often a deception which we make so. And others can join in and the devil in this is we live to delusions of comfort and safety which have no root or grounding in truth..

My Secular God [ Truth as we come to understand]!

Truth does not dismiss the purpose behind life and this Universe. Truth does not deny or confirm a God we may understand. I can merely suggest my progress and understanding as it is today. I am a scholar of living experience and not easily persuaded by the Metaphysic inside me these days. We witness and live life, tell stories, embellish and liberate fantasy to help us digest that which cannot be consumed… the unknown beyond our present ever present experience.

So when I say the serenity prayer today with good intent and good conscience for today

God [ my exhortation to truth]

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Truth present perfect, imperfectly present always in this spiritual moment of now. Amen!




Daily Reflections

REACHING OUT

Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his
inspection. Show him how they worked with you. AA, p. 95
When I come into contact with a newcomer, do I have a tendency to look at him from my perceived angle of success in A.A.? Do I compare him with the large number of acquaintances I have made in the Fellowship? Do I point out to him in a magisterial way the voice of A.A.? What is my real attitude toward him? I must examine myself whenever I meet a newcomer to make sure that I am carrying the message with simplicity, humility and generosity. The one who still
suffers from the terrible disease of alcoholism must find in me a friend who will allow him to get to know the A.A. way, because I had such a friend when I arrived in A.A. Today it is my turn to hold out my hand, with love, to my sister or brother alcoholic, and to show her or him the way to happiness.

Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The way of A.A. is the way of service. Without that, it would not work. We have been "on the wagon" and hated it. We have taken the pledge and waited for the time to be up with impatience. We have tried in all manner of ways to help ourselves. But not until we begin to help other people do we get full relief. It is an axiom that the A.A. program has to be given away in order to be kept. A river flows into the Dead Sea and stops. A river flows into a clear pool and flows out again. We get and then we give. If we do not give, we do not keep. Have I given up all ideas of holding A.A. for myself alone?

Meditation For The Day

Try to see the life of the spirit as a calm place, shut away from the turmoil of the world. Think of your spiritual home as a place full of peace, serenity, and contentment. Go to this quiet, meditative place for the strength to carry you through today's duties and problems. Keep coming back here for refreshment when you are weary of the hubbub of the outside world. From this quietness and communion comes our strength.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may keep this resting place where I can commune
with God [Truth of Now]. I pray that I may find refreshment in meditation on the Eternal.

As Bill Sees It

A Mighty Beginning, p. 298

Even the newest of newcomers find undreamed rewards as he tries tohelp his brother alcoholic, the one who is even blinder than he. This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him.

And then he discovers that through the divine paradox of this kind of giving he has found his own reward, whether or not his brother has yet received anything. His own character may still be gravely defective, but he somehow knows that God has enabled him to make a mighty beginning, and he senses that he stands at the edge of new mysteries,joys, and experiences of which he had never before dreamed.

12 & 12, pp. 109-110

Walk In Dry Places

The best of the Past

Living today.

We're told that we should forget the past when we come into AA. Since we can't change it, we should not waste time and energy reliving it. Let's be careful, however, not to take this advice too literally. There was much in our past that was good, even when we were drinking. We have a right and a need to treasure these important things. The real dangers of living in the past come either from brooding about its mistakes or from thinking that our best days are already behind us. We can think of the past as a foundation for the good we expect today and in all the days ahead. I'll preserve the best in my memories of the past, knowing that these helped bring me to my present state of recovery.




14th December 2006

Here, There and Everywhere

Yes it feels like this tonight (written last night), I did try to get out and about today. Its always a judgment call with the old "dogs", my feet that is. The "dogs" have been barking like mad today. I sometimes wonder what will happen as time goes by, will the pain go away as nature and age takes its toll, in this case aided by type 1 diabetes kills off the nerves in my feet. Sooner or later these changes will happen and at the best of times now, the pain is continuous and does not let up.

So to Hinde St, a bit of a trek? Not really for the able bodied. But with dogs like mine the excruciating pain comes back just after getting off the tube at Bond St. And I am slow and shoppers are fast on their pins. Its like a challenge and a torture these days. I got there just about in time for the mid day share in our fellowship of AA. Recovery is a tricky business for anyone and with a couple of things thrown on top, well it does mean sometimes I am unable to make it as I might wish. Powerless over things like diseases. We learn and that of course acceptance is the key.

Acceptance

And getting about as best I may. And it was worth turning up, recognised one or two people I know from other places. And of course listened quite interestingly to the sharer today. A person still at odds with their will and how things have happened and where they are now. There was bravado and solace and all sorts of comic moments as the share went through every twist and turn to avoid that truth we come to accept, that we are alcoholics and we best get wise to what this means for us.

And acceptance is the key to my recovery today. I had a good morning with much to change to make my words more accessible on the internet, then to Hinde St and a very careful journey home as I was jostled and found I was mostly in the way. Its not good sometimes to look ok when in fact there needs to be a sign which says "please pass" slow moving pedestrian. I got home and wondered where the day was going, too much time to go and get back it seems. A quick wash and brush up and this time on the bike to Fulham and for the evening meeting.

Travelling by bicycle, strange but true, the exercise and the pressure is less on my feet, and I can get around reasonably, and with less pain than walking. Odd it seems to me, that one form of movement causes extreme pains and another less so. Just as it is. And the eyesight of course is affected as it is, its like which sets of pains and deficits can I make do with today and still get about.

Tonight

Sharing with a friend on matters connected to diabetes, it was not quite as I expected but helpful nonetheless. And with some sharing of the conditions and some understanding gained it turned out as good as a fellowship meeting in many respects. Its always good to share what experience we have, what makes us able to anything and hope for better managed days. We live and we learn.

Earlier

The meeting in Hinde St helped me see the mistakes made as to what we really mean about many of the foggy issues we have. For those like me, who realise the spiritual connection is to now, it seems so odd that its complicated and made so incredibly mystical. If it were supposed to be as hard as this to understand, that we have to believe in a creator and all sorts we cannot perceive. And in the truth as we find as we journey along, the true spiritual path lies straight in front of us and nowhere else. Its merely this passing moment we have.

As demonstrated with aplomb our sharer today made clear he had been diligent and had gone to the ends of the earth to find his nirvana just to find he was still there. As his search covered years and many terrains, he had ambled along as if he was searching for his Holy Grail. And as we all find with sobriety, the Grail resides in us, it’s simply the moment we have right now, and then another experienced as we may with no aid but our conscience and our comprehension as we move along.

The road to spiritual enlightenment is quite simple, we learn as we go, wherever we may wander its always with us as we see with clarity and without denials the world we can perceive, just as nature and providence make possible to greater degrees. With wisdom of course. We make better contact to the moment of now.

Any sage, or wise person, a guru or cleric, all will set to testament one simple truth we can share, we live just this moment and another and another as we go. And what we see without filters or deniable mysteries is what we can connect to right now in the ever present moment where we feel this life flow.

Simple as we let go nonsense and metaphysical dreams and engage our mind’s eye to where we are simply now in this day. And as we may or may not, experience its truth, as witness to the ever present, present moment of now.

I am home safe and happy to report, nothing in this world need ever be too big to handle when we have fellowship close to us. And when we don’t understand or try will things our way, let go and make good with what we have and change ourselves as we may. We cannot and may not change anything, or place, or situation from what is right now, just move and make good choices as we learn what works in our lives, and work hard as we can, because after all we are all worth it, as we find our true path to serenity. And serenity is always in the moment of now, it is as elusive we may feel as any perfect state, for its in the imperfect perfect that we find what we create, serenity is in acceptance in all respects as life is today.

December 14th 2005

An Eye For An Eye

very old testament

"Former gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams has been executed by lethal injection, 24 years after he was convicted of killing four people." testament: a covenant between God and the human race I have argued for all forms of vengeance over the years. From no vengeance to revenge in all its gravity. From forgiveness to an eye for an eye. I fall into the forgive everything category presently, and I hope I can maintain my view. How do we keep to the track of forgiveness, and how do we keep to our track of an eye for an eye? Both propositions are based in tragic events, prevention of catastrophe on personal and global proportions. Both are applicable and inexplicable to our rational world. And both are rooted in our emotional reaction to events most often outside our control. So we get to blame, redemption and execution of our will. Tookie Williams, a man I have never known is executed today and I am moved to wonder if we have seen justice. Justice for lives lost and the loss of this life.

When I look at the sparse background and information I can see the law is the law, it has put him to death and the state and the people justify the outcome. I find it harsh and against my principles and values and still I can accept the view taken of punishment to fit the crime. Or do I? How would I feel, as the victim, as the bereaved, as the instigator, the murderer? Our world has moved toward forgiveness and redemption, yet we are pushed backward to vengeance and punishment.

It is the very nature of this world to survive, to get ahead, to push forward and be strong. It is no wonder that violence is never far away, our nature both offensive and defensive. We are a merely a few generations away from a violent past where humans were no more than animals wandering this planet. And our testaments of old make clear the covenants of life

and death, written not long ago, where life was of questionable value, depending on birth and strength. We are evolving, we are learning, we are becoming more human. And we are equally caught by our nature and nurture. We hold fast to our emotions and feel as we do, and our nature and nurture do not evolve at the same rate across our world. We live in a world of catch up, developing at our own pace. As individuals, societies and cultures we are growing one way or another. We have modernism and traditions, principles and values, folklore and law, a higher power and our power. We are evolving.

And what I understand in freedoms of spirit and mind becomes a better way of living as we learn, grow and accept our world, our lot and our place in it. When we take our reckoning, our own inventory and put it to our test of principles, values and life lived, we find our meaning and our value. For any individual who has caused wilful destruction, there are many outcomes, at their own hand or that of others. There is denial and justification, or there

is acceptance, and the consequences are what they will be. Destruction of another will impact on everyone according to his or her code. We learn the code from our fellows and we deliver our outcomes. How we live as a consequence, or die because of it, is our personal journey and our society. In my country with no death penalty, the consequences are I suspect, as fearsome as those who excise an "Eye for an Eye". The impact is felt differently and the consequences may offer no peace to those who grieve. And for those put to death by our laws, their suffering is done. When we look at societies caught between and betwixt, we challenge our morality and our humanity at every turn. We learn from experience as bitter can be. Our journey to forgiveness and acceptance is as long as life itself and maybe eternity...

December 14th 2004

Personal Protection Plan

When I am faced with pressures, a loving attitude towards myself will protect my peace of mind.

We need to remind ourselves that we are good inside. Sometimes life and circumstance shape us to do or say things we live to regret. We cannot take things back once some expression has been made. We can change that expression to something else and put right harm done from harms way.

And sometimes we express a thought or deed so difficult to unravel, it would take a lifetime to put right. A lifetime is just for this day, how we express ourselves and make good our conduct, and make good for ourselves our expression and motive.

If ever we cross the path of another where we felt wronged or the wrong within us got the better of peace of mind, share if practical a new outlook and move on, careful and understanding of the possible.

-/-




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You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.































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