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More On The Sober Dance of Life

A day or two ago, I was writing On The Sober Dance of Life and mentioned the fact that nothing happens until the power we are given by the Higher Power is put into motion. I find I need to expand on that to gain a more complete understanding....

We each are given power at birth, what I shall call the "inherent" or "natural" power to exist, to do with as we will, for good or for bad. Natural power too must be put in motion, but that is accomplished with little thought or effort on our part, and people do accomplish a broad spectrum of states with it, from extremely good to extremely bad.

But the power of which I speak is "Spiritual" Power, and that is only given us as we become spiritually cleansed through the diligent practice of Twelve Steps over time.

Long ago I wrote

"Before we came to A.A., in our worldly drunken view, we were severely limited in what we could do. By ourselves, we could do little or nothing except drown out the bleakness and frustration of life. A man without power, as I was, is nothing. With POWER, however, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. That POWER is, of course, SPIRITUAL POWER . . . man needs power, lots of it, to survive. This means getting in touch with the SOURCE of power . . . so that every act becomes a spiritual act, every day a spiritual day. It is thus that we come to live a COMPLETELY SPIRITUAL LIFE."

"Through the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of A.A., we come to the full realization that the visible world is but a part of a greater spiritual world, and that the spiritual world and the visible world are one reality."

I also wrote "From my experience, seeing into the nature of God does not lay in scholarship, philosophy, in doctrines, and not even in meditation . . . It lays in one thing alone, namely seeing into the God-nature that is in each person and thing."

It is this that the Twelve Steps bring to us, the ability to see into the God-nature of all things (ourselves included), and from whence the Spiritual Power derives. It is the Higher Power working in and through us.

Most people think that to do and build great things is what really counts. But the greatest and only lasting privilege that we have is that, in spite of some of the things we think, say and do, the Higher Power is still willing to work through us, to be his mind, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, hands, legs and feet here on earth. What could be greater than that?

The spiritual power, which sometimes feels like energy or an electric moment, when it is moving in and through us, is a distinctive kind of knowledge that opens the door or throws the switch, that starts the energy moving. It is the special insight that we need to break up the log-jam in our thinking and knowledge to which we have been so long accustomed. It begins with the "Moment of Clarity", that moment of experiencing the Higher Power's Grace.

We may have gathered the same amount of information that others had, but we, as drunks, couldn't get it moving. We went nowhere but down, because we had not been able to call in the power and had not been given the key or switch to turn it on, until our "Moment of Clarity" and the admission to our innermost selves, that of ourselves we were lost, that we were indeed real alcoholics.

All of us have had experiences where we have gathered a vast body of information about something, and were unable to do anything of value with it. We thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it, and nothing happened. . . And then, one day, the great 'Ah Ha!' instant came when the light comes on, and we are given the way to go . . . everything takes off.

So, spiritual power is not an all-the-time everywhere present energy, it is the prime-mover, the key insight, the "Moment of Clarity" given us by the Higher Power.

Before the moment of clarity, we were like sewerpipes clogged with junk and other deposits that we had put in the Higher Power's way when we had asked him to help us. Things like Judgement, Unforgiveness, Doubt, Guilt, Reluctance, Fear, Selfishness, Self-pity, Self-righteousness, Self-bullshit, telling the Higher Power our will for him, how to carry it out, and when it should be done. With that attitude, spiritual power cannot be put in motion. Not until we got rid of all the crap, until we had emptied Us out, flushed Us so to speak. Not until we have completely abandoned and surrendered our will to his, and become hollow pipes through which his power could flow.

A paradox, but that is the name of the game, surrender, Surrender to Win.

Even though we have received power, it doesn't go into action automatically, it does not move on its own. Something more is required of us. We must show faith and commitment by doing the things the Higher Power has placed before us, the Twelve Steps, which our sponsors teach us to do. We begin by letting the Higher Power know that we are willing to become his servant and the servant of others in our Third Step Prayer and then we search within ourselves, seeking to find all those things which are blocking us, so that we can live and walk this way of life. These we find and relinguish to the Higher Power as we continue our step work. The Tenth Step is most valuable in checking up on ourselves that we are walking the pathways of our "Sober Dance of Life." And we gain assuredness that this walk does not stop until we die. The important thing is that we let the Higher Power know, in our Eleventh Step that we are continually willing to let him lead our way, and then wait patiently in our meditation for the answers, which are sure to come.

Sometimes the gift of power, of insight, is not always right away. Sometimes we need further help to get ready to receive the answers, so that when they come, we will be able to make the best use of them in helping ourselves and others.

With time and experience, it becomes clear that the dynamics of spiritual power are simply extraordinary. As we become more and more the servant of the Higher Power and others, we find that rather than becoming of no consequence in the servant role, every ability and quality that we have is added to and called into motion. The utmost is made of us. Our self-esteem and sense of personal value rises to its zenith and beyond!!

To summarize the foregoing about spiritual power, God's plan is for man to learn the lessons of Love, upon which the universe is based. We are each given natural power at birth. We are also surrounded by spiritual (or supranatural) power, the spiritual knowledge, including the knowledge needed to obtain and set the power in motion.

All human beings and other life and non-life forms are born with the natural power to exist, each has its own spirit, but if we wish to go beyond this and have accomplished in and through us such spiritual wonders as the healing of seemingly hopeless states of mind and body, with freedom from fear, love and tolerance of others, sanely responding to life in all its many aspects, we must totally entrust ourselves to the Higher Power, and then call into ourselves, by the continual practice of the Twelve Steps, his power to be added to our natural power to exist. In the continued practice of the Twelve Steps, we receive not only the knowledge we need to understand what we are given, but the ways we need to follow to set the power in motion.

We can only learn these lessons by giving love to our neighbor, for the regiving and return of that love by our neighbor. Service to one's neighbor is the highest principle of life. The value of every man to every other man is the greatest source of mankind's happiness and prosperity. Peace and happiness can only be acquired by the realization of man's asset value to man, and the conservation of that value by mutual service, one to another. No house can be divided against itself and survive -- be it one house or a world of houses.

The Twelve Steps and our Higher Power are healing that division within ourselves as we set the spiritual power in motion, and now, as servants of our Higher Power we carry the message forward to others, that the world may be healed, and the Circle of Fellowship, the Sacred Hoop, of Unity, of Service, of Recovery, be completed.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO

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