MY SEARCH FOR HIGHER POWER AND SPIRITUALITY
By: Alan L.
I have searched all my life for my place in the universe with regard to God and religion. I gave up on religion many years ago because I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy I witnessed from those who practiced most religions. I still continued my search for belief in God because I simply couldn’t understand why it seemed I was the only person who could not believe or understand in the concept of God. As it turns out I am not.
The image I have of God is that of a supreme master who is in some sort of human form and manipulates the earth and all its living and non-living things as a puppeteer would. God is referred to as Father or Lord and by the pronoun He and sometimes She. This God is very powerful and a lot like us with emotions. He can be angry, loving, or jealous.
The AA program and Alcoholics Anonymous places a huge importance on the fact that in order to recover from alcoholism one needs to include God, or God of their understanding, a spiritual experience, or a Higher Power in their program of recovery. My desire to remove my self from the dark depths of alcoholism, to which I had plunged, was overwhelming. I was truly ready to go to any lengths including believing in my feeble conception of a higher Power. Had it not been for AA’s teachings, I would have given up the God concept long ago.
On page 12 of the Big Book, it asks: “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?” I have always had a huge problem accepting the intangible that most people referred to as God. To my knowledge, no one has ever seen God, some have said they heard God, and then there were others who said they had spoken with God. To me, listening to them was like hunting for Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster. All three were equally far fetched as far as I was concerned. However, I continued to feel pressure for the need to have a Higher Power in my life, so I chose the doorknob in my room during treatment and subsequently changed it to the chair because I thought it would be more plausible. Both were equally ridiculous to me, but at least I had a Higher Power, even if I really didn’t believe in it. The main thing is the fact I was able to acknowledge that I knew I was not God. But I also felt there was the possibility that somewhere out in the great universe there just might be something that fits the bill. However, the void still remained within me
So in spite of my skeptical thoughts, I was able to remain sober for well over thirty years. I proved to myself that one could stay sober without a belief in God, but it just didn’t seem right to have a door knob, or a chair as a Higher Power, so my search continued for something that was conceivable and made more sense.
I read, asked questions and shared my thoughts and frustrations at meetings, but could never come up with the answers I needed. To my surprise, the more I shared my reservations, the more I found people who had the same thoughts, feelings, and doubts about the God concept as I had. This didn’t do much for helping me find the answers I needed but it did give me the confidence to continue my search. Most importantly, it also gave me the comforting feeling that I wasn’t alone.
How many times have I read something in the Big Book and on the last reading it was as if I have never seen it before? On page 46 there is an example. It says we need not consider another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient and as soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence or Spirit of the Universe, we would have the support of a new power. Somehow I managed to grasp that power and I believe it is with that power that I have been able to continue my search for the answers I needed.
To be continued…(part 1 of 3)