Why do we tend to marvel at a person’s length of sobriety and place them on a pedestal? Does the length of sobriety equate with wisdom? If we believe that it does do we adopt their beliefs in the hope of achieving the same results? Are we aware that we are re-creating a new self-centred, albeit a sober one, using others’ beliefs? Are we aware that the new self-centre is really the old self-centre in disguise? Do we see the futility of this? These are the types of questions explored throughout this third book of the Deeper Reflections series.
Is the gift of sobriety enough for a human being when the energy from the freedom of alcoholic drinking is redirected to fulfilling the material, spiritual and psychological desires of the ego regardless of the conflicting struggle it might produce in relationships and within oneself?
Cloaked by sobriety the self-centre seeks to progress its safety and security through programs and practices. It develops techniques, methods, and explanations on how to get results. It claims deep spiritual experiences and awakenings that prove its path is the right one to follow- anything else is dismissed.
In believing that it has accumulated spiritual knowledge and experience the ego gains strength and power as the years pass by. It revels in the respect shown inside and outside of the rooms for being sober. It grows and expands as it divulges its knowledge and experience to others. The newcomers are its best ally. Having had many service positions the ego knows best how recovery works. It delegates, advises, and suggests out of helpfulness to the many, and disregards the few that challenge it.
The ego believes it has developed a personality that is opposite to what it actually was and still is- the old behaviours still exist but are ignored and denied. It continues to live in denial and attempting to shape the mind of others in the hope of perpetuating its security.
The essence of this book is that the non-drinking self has not broken out of its conditioning. It thinks it’s free but it’s still operating under the dictates of its old methods of suppression, discipline, control, and holding onto unexamined beliefs. If the purpose of recovery is to set us free of self-centredness we must recognise that the mind which is rooted in the past can only repeat past actions. When we are able to observe ourselves as we are in action in the present, the mind opens to the possibility of seeing ‘what is’ without bringing in the past as a reference.
I hope this book starts to set the mind free from the grip of ‘self.’