“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

     So what links us to God is love. I should remember that when I feel shut off from Him or from others. But the act of genuine love is perhaps the most healing force that exists, and thus it is simultaneously the act which brings us closest to God.

     Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to always be careful and aware of how we are loving. In Peace is Every Step, he sums this up beautifully.

     “We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we only know our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs, aspirations, and suffering of the person we love. This is the ground of real love. You cannot resist loving another person when you really understand him or her. 
     From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, ‘Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don’t want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy.'”

     We must ask ourselves if the way we are loving is the way the other person wants to be loved or simply the way we want to love the other person. To make this distinction is to separate true love from false love.

     Of course, when we are genuinely and authentically loving ourselves, others or God, we will surely know it, for it is a feeling of wholeness that resounds loudly throughout our being. Pure love will resonate with all beings who surround us. The effect on self and others is quite real and dramatic, as we are lifted up inside. It is physically noticeable as we become aglow with Spirit. The glow of love and the glow of God are inseparable. It is the same glow. And once we find it, we must work tirelessly to cultivate this ability, and to be able to access it at will.

     Truly, it is my capacity and ability to love that will save me. To turn away from love is to turn away from God. Boy, do I need to work on that. Addicts are sabotage artists, and we will destroy anything in our way for no apparent reason at all. This is why bad, chronic addicts really don’t get better and stay better unless we remain close to God, which means action and love. This is about so much more than our brain disease, our physical illness of addiction. The majority of our problem is most certainly spiritual, and without spiritual principles, without love, and without God we are truly lost.

God, please teach me to expand my capacity to love, and in doing so remain close to You…

God Isn’t a Concept

     God is not a concept. God is/was before any of us.

     I think where we went wrong and where God became so loaded is when He became a concept of our selves – our separate, worldly selves… our false selves. In fact, the concept and belief that we are all separate is killing us. God is not an extension nor a creation of ours. God is not born of self but rather we are born of God. And I’m quite sure that all those who curse God wouldn’t be cursing Him if they died, for they would see that God is beyond human concept. Because those who curse God are not really cursing God but rather cursing someone else’s conception of God, which isn’t God at all.

     I don’t think we can even come close to conceptualizing or intellectualizing God. In fact, look at what happens when we pursue Him as an extension of self. When we define God from the artificiality of our limited, conscious minds, we do nothing but get further away from Him. We become clouded such that real contact isn’t even possible.

     The Power which is God is so beyond the reach of us and of our faculties that it’s a fruitless endeavor to try to define or symbolize Him. This is why we fight. Religious wars are not over God, but just over differing man-made conceptions of God, which have nothing to do with HIM.

     Holy wars are quite different, and that is between good and evil, both of which exist in our world. But as Thomas Merton says, “…instead of hating the people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” –Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. 

     Man, I wish I could do that.

     But anyway, I’m quite sure that if we were to die, none of us would have the attitude or certainty we have while living in our individual selves, our separate bodies, our fabricated identity driven by ego. Perhaps we should just act, act right, act based on spiritual principles and leave conception and imagination to drug addicts and crazy people.

     From a previous post, Knowing God vs Having God: Truly there is a difference between knowing God and having God. To know God we simply have to believe, or read some doctrine, or perhaps drop by Sunday service and potluck. But to have God we have to perform. We have to take actions that bring God into us and expand His actual presence.

     And once again, from Merton: “Nothing could be more alien to contemplation than the cogito ergo sum of Descartes. “I think, therefore I am.” This is the declaration of an alienated being, in exile from his own spiritual depths, compelled to seek some comfort in a proof for his own existence(!) based on the observation that he ‘”thinks.” If his thought is necessary as a medium through which he arrives at the concept of his existence, then he is in fact only moving further away from his true being. He is reducing himself to experience, directly and immediately, the mystery of his own being. At the same time, by also reducing God to a concept, he makes it impossible for himself to have any intuition of the divine reality which is inexpressible.” Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. 

God, please give me the wisdom, strength and courage to have You, not just to know You, that I may rest beyond concept in Your love and power…


     I write about the Steps and living spiritually but I have demons, I have darkness… it’s all in there. That’s exactly why we must put God first about all else, above every person, above all personal ambitions or comforts or fears. We addicts must do everything we can to align with God’s will.

     If not, the darkness will eat me alive, it will eat all of us. The most dangerous people on earth are those in power who are corrupted spiritually. If we abuse false external power, we are evil incarnate. If we cultivate real internal power, we are comforted by God. His presence frees us as opposed to tortures us.

     This is why doing the wrong thing is agonizing for those who know they are doing wrong. If we know and feel what’s wrong, then we know God exists. Knowingly turning our back on God is hell. Do we want to feel like absolute shit inside, or do we want to feel okay?

     I’ll take okay. That’s why getting better from addiction was really the only option. There are no other choices.

Um… General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

The Solution is God

     The reason I can’t take credit for becoming permanently recovered is because I know exactly what happened to me. I was touched by the hand of God. It happens. It’s real. And it had nothing to do with me. A mere dusting of God’s power was enough to change me forever.

     Unfortunately, it is impossible to fully understand or even explain something if one hasn’t experienced it oneself, especially if we’re talking about a mystical event that lies outside scientific theory. Do I have evidence that I was touched by God? Sure. My bio-chemistry was instantly restored, and from that moment on I no longer suffered from any number of illnesses such as clinical depression etc. But I have no brain scans to show you and therefore people who haven’t felt God or witnessed a miracle just refuse to believe me.

     The best evidence is my life – after living chained, a slave, a chronic, hopeless, emaciated, chain-smoking, scumbag drug addict/alcoholic/severely depressed selfish asshole for 15 years, the moment that God flowed through me I haven’t had the slightest urge to self-destruct. That and I am unrecognizable to the man I used to be, or man-child rather. My life has blossomed into a great and wonderful adventure. Anything is possible. And yes, I have suffered, lost, been the object of scorn and lies… and no urge to self-destruct. Sure I have darkness and demons… but drugs and alcohol? Not a problem. Never will be.

     Therefore, I cannot take credit for something that I couldn’t even come close to doing on my own for all of those years. And I know this because I earnestly wanted to and desperately tried. I know for a fact that God is, that God saved me and restored me to sanity. I know this because I felt Him. I know this because He came from outside of my body. The energy that restored me that night came from above. No, I’m not shitting you. It was a flow of energy that came down from the Universe.

     I know, I know, and the answer is yes, I did eat lots of acid, but no, I wasn’t on acid when I read my 4th Step and prayed earnestly in the middle of the night up North in treatment.

     I think you’re starting to get the picture. There is a solution for addiction… and that solution is God. Give yourself to Him now or continue to suffer and hurt others. The choice is yours. Selfishness or Grace.

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…