Dear Fellow Travelers,
Who will deliver me from this body of death? St. Paul
When we see that the entire culture has become dysfunctional, from its great institutions of government, business, education, religion, etc., to its core units such as the family, it is no wonder that we began very early to create the "safe place" for ourselves. That safe place, however, could only be maintained by becoming addicted to something. Even the seemingly virtuous codependent is addicted to love -- jump through whatever hoops, be in denial, lie, whatever it takes to not lose the love of the addicted beast(s) I take care of, even though they may do terrible things.
What is this like? Look at government. Politicians are not high on anybody's most admired list, nor are the bureaucrats. Yet the politicians are those elected by the people, and the bureaucrats are selected by the politicians. So we get the government we deserve. The problem is not in the politicians so much as in the society itself.
Our society believes in finite power, one-up/one-down, power over, control, and what it defines as rationality (which is a belief that everything works like a clock, and nothing exists that does not). It creates a certain hierarchy, and promotes those who demonstrate they know how to play the game, those who don't mind lying, cheating, and stealing at least if they can get away with it. There are whole categories. Men are better than women, adults are better than children, whites are better than blacks, rich are better than poor, and being Anglo is probably better than anything (at least in some places). These are all symptoms of a systemic illness, not just an individual situation.
We needed our boxes to survive. They were our only defense. They were, however, constructed out of things society had left lying around, and so our defense was doomed to play into the game. We who had sought only to protect ourselves became the addicts. And what are we to do now?
Culture does not want us to change. Whenever we change, we go beyond its control. It fears recovery, and teaches us to do so ourselves. It encourages a belief that there is not enough power to go around, and that there are takers and givers. We give, it takes. Even if we have a belief in God, this God is somehow either powerless to help us, or like the culture, won't share that power. We go away convinced that there is either no God at all, or if there is one, he doesn't care about our situation.
The culture is soul destroying, denigrates intuition (despite there being a scientific basis for it in neurology -- it doesn't work like a clock). It completely distrusts emotions, especially any negative ones, and suggests that we stuff all feelings somehow. If we can't, find a drug that will.
But suppose culture and society are wrong? Suppose all that is being foisted upon us is a big lie? Suppose that there really is an infinite supply of energy in the universe, and that power belongs to no one, it's just there to use as needed for the common good. Suppose the universe isn't a clock, but a vast field of interrelated energies, which push toward an unfolding of a common and an individual good? Suppose no one can take this from me unless I surrender it? Suppose there may be some kind of Power greater than ourselves that can somehow impact upon our lives and our illness?
In Step Two, we are not asked to have the spiritual awakening. We are asked to consider that there may be an alternative to the situation presented to us as reality that has made us all sick. Just suppose it is true. Act as if it just might be. See what happens when we no longer need to play the games, no longer need to one-up, power over, etc. See what happens when we begin to trust our intuition, and to discover that our feelings may, so far from killing us, present us with useful information about ourselves. Try it.
Suppose it works? We would find a way to lay aside our addictions one day at a time, and we might indeed begin to see the promises of the program fulfilled in us. What do we have to loose, except weight? Not that society wants us to change. Thin is so much better than fat -- so if we stay fat and die or kill ourselves trying to stay thin, culture has the one up.
Who will deliver me from this body of death? Is there another country, not made with human hands, in which there is a Power that is able to do so? Will I try this, act as if it might be, long enough to see whether it is? I have this choice. One is a road to certain death from my addiction. The other is not easy, but it offers hope, gives a promise. And there are these people who tell me in all candor that it has worked for them.
Dare I believe them?
Dare I follow their program?
What have I to lose?
WTS 2001 Study