Table of Contents
Principles of Sacred Consciousness
Addiction, Recovery, and Purification: A Paradigm for Transformation
Hope for a better world is sustained by our deepening experience of the reality of God as we seek to return to the oneness from which we came. Addictive process plays a sacred role in this return, as it offers us the opportunity for using our human crises to deepen faith and to open to grace in the presence of pain and suffering. It also allows us to build on the learning gained through the experience of recovery, and to enter the process of purification which takes us to a new level of relationship with self and God.
In this way, addictive process offers us a choice, one that is symbolized by the biblical golden calf that people built and worshipped at the foot of Mt. Horeb while Moses received the Word of God at the top. The choice that we face is to wait in faith for a revelation from God to come to help us, even in the presence of doubt, or to act out of fear, impatience, and faithlessness – to strive for a life built on self-interest alone, a life that negates the need for sanctity.
This negation of the need for sanctity is what we call 'darkness.' Darkness, or the negation of the divine, can take the form of addictive process and must be met within each of us in the emotional context in which it surfaces. Both recovery and purification are based on our honesty in naming the emotional currents which take us out of a state of waiting and trusting in God. When we are willing to face ourselves honestly, motivated by our great yearning to have hope and faith and to seek a true relationship with ourself, we begin the process of recovery and learn to penetrate our ego's defenses of denial and projection.
Denial and projection are the primary mechanisms of our psyche that arise out of fear and the mistrust of life experience, and they can be formidable, dark, anti-growth energies. Denial creates separation from truth and from God by refusing to accept experience. Instead, it pretends that what is, is not. Projection creates separation from the self and from God in a similar fashion through its refusal to see emotional experience as having an internal cause. Rather, it attributes emotional difficulties to an external agent, usually in the context of blame. Both denial and projection come into being as ways of coping with feelings that seem too difficult to bear in the absence of sufficient hope that these feelings can be faced and relieved.
Since God turns all things to good purposes, however, even denial, projection, and the choice to act out of fear and faithlessness can ultimately become the basis for healing.
With respect to active addictive process, this choice involves a decision to live in the illusion of wholeness, while it is true wholeness which the addicted person really seeks. Because of this underlying seeking the healing from addictive process can take place through a deep experience of God which the soul is longing for, if this longing is accompanied by a commitment to recovery.
The pattern of willfully taking control of our lives due to the absence of hope and the fear of waiting in trust is the common thread of addictive process, regardless of the form it takes. The movement toward control results in chaotic lives built on despair and untruth. Many of us have found ourselves in the rooms of recovery, raw from the inner battle with an energy that only the highest force of light can penetrate. Admitting powerlessness and surrendering control creates the basis for the steps of recovery and begins the healing of anger and despair. A powerful foundation is then laid for further choices toward God as our spiritual journey continues.
The pervasive presence of alcoholism and other forms of addiction on the planet, despite their negative consequences, can also be seen as a spiritual catalyst for the evolving receptivity of humanity toward a greater acceptance of God's will. In this context, addiction serves as a powerful vehicle of human learning through pain or suffering. It offers us the potential for healing and transformation, not just on the personal level, but within major areas of society where addiction plays a profound role in a whole host of medical, economic, and social problems.
The first compassionate, healing response to the illness of alcoholism began with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. In this setting a poignant model was offered to us of what was possible in the recovery process. Through the use of this model, we witnessed the growth of individuals from their beginnings in extreme doubt, to a gradual readiness for the remembrance of their divine essence. This model has become a light for many, pointing the way toward greater spiritual awareness.
Principles of Sacred Consciousness expands upon the recovery model, taking it to the next level of its development. It does this in several ways: through extending the meaning and definition of addiction; through incorporating new principles of spiritual growth into the teachings; and through revealing the relevance of these teachings to humanity as a whole. As connections have been made over the decades between alcoholism and other forms of addiction, people with an extraordinary range of diverse experiences and backgrounds have come together in the willingness to share their pain and to identify with one another through the language of the heart. Principles of Sacred Consciousness, founded on principles of purification, contributes to the growth of this community, enabling it to extend far beyond the borders of alcohol and substance abuse to the coping mechanisms by which humanity as a whole has sought to deal with the problem of its perceived separation from God.
Within these new teachings we come to understand the pervasiveness of addictive process, seeing it as an energy that is fluid and unpredictable. We see how this energy weaves its way into the fabric of our lives, affecting our interactions at every level of experience – from our most intimate encounters with loved ones, to relationships within and between families, communities, and nations.
The readiness of people to respond to the larger meaning of addiction in all of its forms serves as a platform for the next stage of our collective spiritual awakening. Now, at this critical turning point in our history, principles and practices of recovery and purification hold the promise for unlocking doors to sacred consciousness. As these doors open, we will be progressively led to heal the deepest layers of darkness and pain within us. This becomes possible through the light of God, increasingly accessible to our expanding awareness. As we receive this light and incorporate it within us, it forms the basis for an ongoing process of transformation. This light liberates us to move into our true identities as spiritual beings – one with God, and one with life.