We are rational beings. We use the light of reason to examine our experience and the circumstance of our lives not even imagining that in doing this we are behaving just like the drunk in the story who is found crawling on his hands and knees under the corner streetlamp. When asked what he is doing he replies, “I’m looking for my keys.” “Let me help, where did you lose them?” he is asked. “Down there,” he responds, indicating the dark alleyway beyond the lamp. “Well, why are you looking for them here?” he is asked and comes the reply, “Well, because this is where the light is.”
We look for answers beneath the streetlight of reason applied to experience. This is the ‘evidence base’ that even the scientists have faith in. Perhaps the keys to most of life’s questions can be found this way—the cure for spiritual disease cannot be sufficiently revealed in this light.
In a twofold model we keep figuring out what to do: to control our weight, to make more money or spend less, to stop getting high or to communicate more effectively. In these chronically familiar struggles between our minds and our bodies we are not at ease. We can’t stop figuring out what we should do but then we don’t do it, or we don’t keep doing it or we do it and it doesn’t work and shortly we are seeking once again to figure out what is wrong with us or our families or our relationships. We say we don’t want to blame anybody but…we are obviously not the only ones involved. (“It was that woman you put with me.”)
What if the approach we take to finding a cure turns out to be governed by the cunning and baffling power of our disease? We are constrained by the twofold cognitive-behavioral model of addiction in the same way the fish is constrained by the fishbowl, he only swims where there’s water. We only think what is reasonable (to us) and we only take action on what seems do-able. Are we not still victims of the delusion that we can wrest satisfaction and happiness from this life if only we manage well?
AA’s philosophical founder, William James, pointed Bill in the direction of something beyond reason and experience when he said, “The further limits of our being plunge, it seems to me, into an altogether other dimension of existence from the sensible and merely ‘understandable’ world.” It is in gaining access to this other realm that the key to holistic and life altering transformations can be found.
If millions of people becoming sober is not enough to unlock the fire of your imagination and ignite your innate, intuitive power ‘to handle situations that used to baffle you’ how about the vision of a planet drilling down into the bedrock of an altogether other dimension of existence and tapping into inexhaustible reservoirs of possibility that can fuel the miraculous economics of grace needed to rekindle the enchanted fires of universal love still blazing beneath the despair of global ressentment!
“What we call spirit exists by virtue of itself, a flame that fuels itself. However, because as something existing, it is opposed by Being, the spirit is consequently nothing but an addiction to such Being, just as the flame is addicted to matter. The most base form of the spirit is therefore an addiction, a desire, a lust –” Friedrich Schelling, Stuttgart Private Lectures 1810