Early Privileged Addict Quotes – From TPAQ Chapter 1

 

“Recovery is not a function of time. It is a function of what actions we take and at what frequency we take them.”

 

“Recovery is not an exercise in assessing what others did to us. It is an exercise in assessing what we did to others.”

 

“Achieving physical sobriety is not an accomplishment, it is a requirement.Becoming recovered from alcoholism or drug addiction is not an accomplishment, it is our responsibility.”

 

“Resentments are like acid to the seeing eye. They burn and blind us so that we cannot see clearly.”

 

“We make amends for the object of our amends, not to clear our conscience.” Continue reading

Fearing God Isn’t Scary

     A few entries back, I opened with…

     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

     A common criticism towards this language and type of relationship with God is that our Creator is some scary, punishing God – one to be ‘feared’. I get quite the opposite from this. Sometimes we addicts must step back and suspend all preconceptions… and also be sure not to robotically press the ‘PLAY’ button in our heads. We must stay open and educable.

     My translation:

     Be humble, and in a healthy way, fear doing the wrong thing for the effect it will have on self and others. To fear wrongdoing is wisdom, for we have been blessed with the knowledge of the certainty of cause and effect, a knowledge which better allows us to love ourselves, love others, and ultimately love God. To fear God is also to be vigilant not to become narrow and closed to new ideas and information. Remain a sponge, yet firm in our resolve that God Is. The boundaries of our knowledge rest in understanding and respecting where we come from.

God, please give me knowledge and wisdom, and instruct me how to better do Thy will and Thy work…

Nature Knows Best

     “Nature knows best

       because it doesn’t expect
       anything to come
       except what comes next.”
      – C. Peabody, line from poem Nature Knows Best, 1997
     Truly does the wisdom of nature contain within it the secret to life. Observe nature and you will see pure and absolute freedom. Observe nature and you will see problem-free life. And if we can somehow live by the rules of nature, that is the closest we might come to infinite peace, freedom and contentment. What is the secret?
     Self-help gurus call it non-resistance. Nature is perfectly happy to let whatever comes come, and to let whatever goes go. It does not stand up stubbornly and fight against the forces acting against it. If the wind blows against the trees, they do not refuse to budge, but rather move in the direction the wind blows them. Even if the wind comes strong and breaks a branch, the tree doesn’t run after the lost branch nor does it cry or whine or retaliate in anger.
     When the waves break upon the rocks along the shore, they do not turn around and run the other way. The water simply moves around the rocks, flowing in any direction it can. Some flows right, some flows left, but it’s no big deal. The water doesn’t complain about the rocks being in its path. Neither does the rock complain about getting all wet. They accept each other. They accept the forces acting upon them. They accept whatever happens, whether good or bad, warm or cold, wet or dry.
     And this is the secret. Sure we all have problems. And no, we are not doormats. If we’re being oppressed, we stand up and fight. But most of our problems are the kind we make up in our heads. Sure there are certain real problems such as food, clothing, shelter and money. But what about all the rest? 
     Couldn’t we eliminate a mountain of pain from our lives simply by changing our perception, or changing our response to, say, a non-response? Next time something outside of our control happens, why suffer more than we have to? Why not just accept it? If we gain, we gain. If we lose, we lose. But either way, we’re okay with the outcome because we accept everything and expect nothing. We don’t fight against what is, what was, or what may be. We don’t budge. We don’t resist. We rise to the nobility, the grace, the beauty and the wisdom of nature.
God, help me see that everything is a miracle… 

Tao Wisdom

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets about it.
That is why it lasts forever.
-Tao Te Ching, passage 2

     Acting without doing anything means that we act with nothing attached to it. We act and do what’s right just for the sake of doing it. We don’t have ambition or selfish intention. We don’t try too hard or push and force. We just act without carrying all sorts of baggage. We act unemotionally and unconditionally. And we don’t act if we are affected.

     Teaching without saying anything means that we teach by example. All of that stuff we believe in and desperately want to preach to everybody, we don’t. Instead, we live it. And quietly.

     Letting things come and letting things go is the practice of non-resistance and non-attachment. We don’t fight against whatever arises in our lives, and we don’t hold on to whatever leaves us. And we do this because we don’t need to control everything. We have faith that things are the way they are supposed to be. We let whatever happens, happen. We have faith.

     Having but not possessing means that we don’t care about what we have. Sure we have things but it doesn’t matter to us. We can take them or leave them because we are okay inside. We are at peace. Possessing the things we have occurs when we are clenched, afraid, empty, and without purpose. We need to possess because we feel powerless. Without real power, we look for false power. Possessing is a false sense of power. It isn’t real.

     Acting without expecting is what altruism is. We do things such as helping others without expecting anything in return. We don’t act in order to feel a certain way, in order to appease ourselves or to clear our conscience. We act for the sake of acting.

     Forgetting about our work means that we don’t need, want or ask for a pat on the back afterwards. We don’t need to be seen. We don’t need recognition and praise for the things we do. We are perfectly willing to do our work quietly even if no one ever sees what we did. Needing an award for our work negates our work. Helping someone and then showing off afterwards erases the deed. Forgetting about our work ensures that its essence lasts forever because it hasn’t been tainted by our selfishness. Showing off is like pouring a slow-burning acid over our work. Over time, the work disintegrates and then disappears altogether. Nobody cares what we do when we show off about it.

     Achieve this and we are well on our way to enlightenment. I’ve been sober and taking Steps for more than 7 years now and I’m still miles and miles and miles away from this…

God, teach me to let go, not to attach, resist or expect, to let what comes come and what goes go…