Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spiritual or Philosophical Development

One thing that is absent in the steps but many of us have found necessary for continued development is a ongoing commitment and effort to develop spiritually or philosophically. Step 11 suggests that we need to work on improving contact, but nowhere is there any suggestion that ongoing development is necessary, until we read the book, or AA comes of age, and then we see that the whole program is about spiritual development. The steps are just the starting point.

For those of us who do not profess to follow a god, we must learn something of what a god would have us do and do it, because it is simply right to do right. We may subscribe to doing what it is natural for us humans to do, or what we may define as our purpose inside the greater purpose of humanity.

It may be the purpose of humanity to grow and prosper, to create and support creation, but we are also rational beings. We should accept that there is a limit to growth given finite resources, and we may be beyond sustainable, without shortages. There is likely poor, good and better ways of doing things, of relationships, of speaking, of acting, and of making a living. There are as likely wrong, better and best known ways to thinking, of knowledge, of intents, and attitudes. And to go along with this, effort, concentration and attention or mindfulness.

Some thing are up to us and some are not. Our judgements, opinions, volitions, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, values and the like are up to us. If we are a highly rational person, our desires, expectations, delusions, aversions and like are up to us. That which is not up to us is beyond our control and is therefore none of our concern. Our bodies are beyond our control, but we do have influence over what we put into them, but not over physiological cravings. We can use our volitions to leave the scene of eating when necessary, and hide out elsewhere, as a last resort to eating, while learning other methods of handling the problems.

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