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Addictions & Spiritual Transformation


Complete Table of Contents

Respect and Dignity

Begin at the Beginning
(from Chapter 1)

Walled Up Consciousness
(from Chapter 2)

(from Chapter 4)

The Monumental Shift
(from Chapter 5)

The Five Spiritual Principles
(from Appendix II)


Note: There may be minor editing differences between the excerpts shown here and the book. The footnotes, indicated by [ ], are at the end of this page. The author is greatly indebted to Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. for their generous permission to quote at length from their published material. The material quoted and excerpted from Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and other published material they hold copyright on is used with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to use this material does not mean or imply that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this work, nor does it mean or imply that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of recovery from alcoholism only: use of their material in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after AA, but which address other problems, or in any other non-AA context, does not imply otherwise.

Addictions & Spiritual Transformation

This book is for people in twelve-step programs, and for interested family and friends, educators, and health-care professionals—for anyone who wishes more insight and clarity regarding the nature of addictions, twelve-step recovery, related therapy concerns, and spirituality. The book is a detailed examination of:

(439 pages, soft cover)

  • the complex, subtle nature of addictions and poly-addictions;
  • the myths that surround and defeat recovery;
  • the structure and intent of each of the twelve steps;
  • the pitfalls and traps that prevent complete recovery;
  • the related role of appropriate therapy;
  • the underlying spiritual philosophy of each step;
  • the importance of the five spiritual principles;
  • what being recovered is and what that entails; and,
  • how the perennial philosophies of healing and spirituality are a crucial part of twelve-step recovery.






The Table of Contents
In order to present a clear idea of how much material the book covers, the complete Table of Contents is reproduced here.

Prologue: The Manner of Presentation, 11

1. Begin at the Beginning, 13
  The Origin of This Book, 14 – Therapy and Twelve-Step Work, 15 – The Sphere of Human Health, 16 – Abstinence-Available & Abstinence Not-Available Addictions, 16 – The Ubiquitous Nature of Codependence, 19 – The Ordinary Alcoholic: Fact or Fiction?, 21 – Principles Before Personalities (maybe), 22 – Why Bother?, 26

2. Step One, And Many Other Things, 29
  Walled-Up Consciousness, 29 – Myths and Misinformation, 33 – The Two-Part Step One, 34 – Drama & Pain, 35 – Is it Really Relapse?, 37 – The Manageable Truth About Unmanageability, 38 — Step One “Guides”, 39 – Rights, Freedoms, and Values, 46 – Addictions Prohibit Spirituality, 49 – Elementary Truths for Addicts, 50 – 811 Facts About “Rigorous Honesty”, 52 – Your Pilgrimage Begins, 55 – Once Upon a Time, 56 – Powerless, Helpless, Hopeless, 57 – My Group is the Drug, 59 – The One-Addiction Myth, 60 – The Doctor’s Opinion, 61 – Symptoms, 63 – Blindness to the Disease, 68 – Honest Misrepresentation, 69 – The Ripple Effect of Irresponsibility, 71 – Old Ideas and the Disease, 73 – The Selfish “Program”, 74 – To Whom It May Concern, 77 – Oversimplification Never Works, 83 – Pity, Self-Pity, and Suffering, 85 – Denial and Newcomers, 88 – Heliotropism & Impatient Step Work, 89 – The Inappropriate One-year Rules, 90 – The Relationship Between Abuse and Addictions, 96 – Multiple Variables and One Phenomenon, 98 – Craving, 99 – Some Important Reminders, 101 – Admit & Accept, 102 – Spirituality Is Attractive, 104 – Re-Education, 104 – Recurring Chaos: Content and Context, 105 – In Recovery vs. Being Recovered, 106 – Multi-programming, 107 – Step One, 109 – What You Actually Do, 110

3. Steps Two and Three: The Specific Direction, 113
  The Phenomenon, 113 – Surviving Calamity, 115 – A Standard of Conduct, 116 – Being Recovered, 117 – Relapse and Obedience, 118 – The Three Dilemmas, 119 – The In-Recovery or Recovered Dilemma, 120 – The Perpetual Excuse, 122 – Pain Induced Willingness, 123 – Please Stop Jumping Around, 125 – There is No Group Experience, 126 – What You Do and Where You Go, 127 – Disease, Clarity, and Health, 128 – Beliefs, Experiences, and Awakenings, 129 – What Makes an Addict Honest?, 132 – The Declarations, 132 – Step Two, 135 – What “Came To Believe” Encompasses, 136 – No Substitutions, 136 – Restore, 138 – Blank Spots, 139 – Spiritual Dislocations, 141 – Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness, 142 – Willingness, Patience, and Labor, 143 – What is How It Works?, 149 – Leading Into Step Three, 151 – Turning Over My Life, Too?, 153 – Step Two (Revisited), 156 – Step Three, 157 – The Step Three Prayer, 158

4. Step Four: How “I” Have Become Me, 160
  Disciple, Discipline, Obedience, 163 – Faith and Tradition, 165 – Personality is Important, 167 – Some Relevant Side Issues, 171 – Nine Steps, Three Columns, 172 – You’ve Got A Broken Ankle, 174 – You’ve Got An Addiction, 175 – Four Big Topics, 176 – Two Views of “Potential”, 177 – Resentments, 178 – Finger-Pointing By Numbers, 182 – Conditions Didn’t Do Anything, 183 – The Buried Treasure, 185 – Depressed or Self-righteous, 189 – A Change in Focus, 190 – There Are Laws Here, 197 – Two-At-A-Time Programming, 198 – Nine Sex Questions, 199 – Morality, 202 – No One is Disgusting, 205 – Sex, God, and Death, 205

5. Steps Five, Six, and Seven: What To Do With Me, 207
  A Few Reminders, 207 – Changing Values, 210 – The Disease and Guilt, 212 – Step Five, 214 – Making The Selection: The Four Conditions, 218 – The Two Big Ones, 222 – Honesty, 223 – The Honesty Police, 223 – The Review, 225 – Step Six, 226 – Willingness, 227 – Survival Skills, 229 – The Objective, 231 – Old Ideas, 232 – Prerequisites and Observations Regarding Step Seven, 233 – Humility, 234 – The Gift is the Opportunity, 236 – The Monumental Shift, 237 – Step Seven, 239 – The Principles Aren’t the Steps, 242 – The President and The Janitor, 243

6. Steps Eight and Nine & The Promises: Social Re-Entry, 244
  Lingering Obsessions, 244 – Why Don’t I Belong Here?, 246 – The Return, 247 – Passion, 250 – Misalliance of Commitment, 251 – The New Mandate, 256 – How am I doing? I’m not sure., 258 – Amends to Yourself?, 259 – Contracts & Reciprocity, Forgiveness & Covenants, 261 – Relationship Contracts, 263 – Expectations of Perfection, 264 – Reciprocity, 265 – Forgiveness, 265 – Guess Who’s Late For Dinner?, 265 – The Forgiveness Transaction, 266 – Covenants, 267 – The Idea of Debt, 268 – The Forgiven, 271 – Getting Beyond Forgiveness, 272 – The Foundation for Step Eight, 274 – The Administration of Step Eight, 275 – Sensitivity and Awareness, 278 – Don’t Apologize Or Be Sorry, 280 – Apologize by Numbers, 280 – Inappropriate Compensation, 283 – Spiritual Reasonableness, 283 – Regeneration, 284 – Step Nine, 288 – Please-Sorry-Thank You, 289 – Living by Consensus, 292 – Discernment, 293 – Compassion and Self-Awareness, 297 – The Promises, 298

7. Being Recovered: The Spiritual Life (Where This Ends Up), 305
  Being Recovered: The Preliminaries, 307 – Some References to “Recovered”, 308 – “In Recovery”: The Mediocre Solution, 309 – Recovered and Step Two, 311 – One Item of Twelve-Step Jargon, 312 – Six Perspectives of Being Recovered, 313 – Responsibility in Spirituality (Being Recovered), 318 – Are They Good Enough?, 319 – Maintaining a Spiritual Aspect to Life, 321 – A New Perspective of the Maintenance Steps, 323

8. Step Ten: Responsible for Truth, 325
  Observations About Words and Phrases, 326 – The Two-Step Dance, 329 – Humility at Step Ten, 330 – The Mechanics of Step Ten, 331 – The Story of Lee, 332 – Clues to Self-righteousness, 337 – Spirituality in Action, 338

9. Step Eleven: Responsible for Humility, 340
  Observations About Words and Phrases, 342 – The Myth of Ego Reduction as Humility, 349 – Prayer, 353 – Prayers of Petition, 353 – Prayers of Contemplation, 356 – Prayers of Gratitude, 356 – Meditation, 357 – Meditations of Transcendence, 357 – Meditations on Wisdom, 358 – The Instructions for Meditations on Wisdom, 359 – The Example for a Meditation on Wisdom, 360 – Seven Odds and Ends, 361 – An Existential Summary, 364

10. Step Twelve: Responsible for Charity of Spirit, 365

Observations About Words and Phrases, 367 – Saving the World, 370 – The Especially Unique Person, 371 – Sponsorship, 372

Epilogue on “Maintenance”, 376 – A Fable, 377

11. Relapse Prevention: The Routine of Spiritual Commitment, 378
  Relapse Prevention Plans, 379 – The Process of Relapse, 385 – Relapse Prevention: Steps One to Nine, 385 – Relapse Prevention: Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve, 386 – When In Doubt, Start Inside, 388 – More on the Advanced View of Relapse, 389 – Newcomers vs. Old-timers, 390 – Mental Relapse Patterns, 391 – Falling From Grace… Relapsing, 392 – Thought, Form, Fascination, Fall, 392 – Isolation Thinking, 398 – Six “Simple” Things, 401 – Some Odds and Ends, 402 – The Addict’s Secret Desire, 404

Appendix I: Traditions, 406
  Forming Traditions, 406 – Mom’s Birthday, 407 – Guilt and Tyranny Under Tradition, 409 – Faith and Trust, 412 – Values and Tradition, 414 – Addictions and Traditions, 414 – Washington Temperance Society, 415 – The Oxford Group, 416 – Alcoholics Anonymous & Tradition, 417 – Some Specifics, 419 – The Myth of “The Movement”, 420 – Self Supporting, 421

Appendix II: The Five Spiritual Principles, 424
  The Fundamental Qualities of a Principle, 424 – Respect for the Body-Temple – Respectful Self-care, 425 – Veracity, 426 – Humility, 427 – Charity, 427 – Responsibility & Obedience, 428

Appendix III: Self Regulation Therapy®, 431

Appendix IV: The Ego — "I" Am It, 433
  Neutralizing the Self-Attack, 433 – The Premise, 434 – The Problem, 435 – The Ego, 435 – Fill in the Blanks, 436 – Ego Comparison & Character Assassination, 436 – The Only Variable, 439 – The Solution, 439 – Egos & Addiction & Relationships, 440

Epilogue: A Lot Of Work To Go Not Very Far, 441
  For Spiritual Pilgrims, 442 – The Movie Scene, 442 – As for myself…, 444

About the Author, 445
A Note About Facets of Personal Transformation, 445
Index 446

—To Top—


Respect & Dignity
Readers may encounter ideas they disagree with. The intent in writing this book is neither to insult people, nor to persuade them to reject what they believe or cherish. I simply want to put words to the reality that I see around me, and to offer alternatives to people who are foundering, confused, or dissatisfied in their pilgrimage out of addictions. The world is quite large enough for different beliefs, and yet small enough that acceptance and respect are necessary for us to live in harmony.

In alternating between nouns (addicts, alcoholics) and pronouns (you, we), my descriptions of the process that relates to addictions and spiritual pilgrimages are for convenience and grammatical style. Some people who read this won’t be addicts and the pronouns aren’t intended to be accusatory, nor are they intended to include readers where they wish not to be. In anecdotes and examples the names chosen are generic and not representative of any particular person.

—To Top—

From Chapter 1: Begin at the Beginning

I have been asked whether this book is for therapists or for ordinary people getting recovered. First there’s this: Counsellors and therapists are ordinary people. Second: There have appeared two closely related and pervasive myths; not even myths exactly, but a malignant ambiance in the attitudes about addicts and alcoholics. These are that addicts don’t really want to get recovered, and they’re incapable of comprehending complicated things. Granted, there are exceptions, but for the most part, addicts are capable and do want to get recovered. However, this requires a determined and focused effort, over a long time, in a very specific direction. “The unfolding of [person’s] spiritual nature is as much an exact science as astronomy [or] medicine.” [ii]

Understanding the progressive, ubiquitous, and destructive nature of addictions, and how psychology can assist but only spirituality can resolve them, is incredibly complicated. This requires discussion of subtle detail, the use of words that may be unfamiliar to some readers, and hard work. Therefore, this is not an “easy” read. Of those who read the first edition, close to 140 people were kind enough to offer thoughtful comments. Of that group, eleven were therapists, three were doctors, several never completed high school, and about 80% were in twelve-step programs. Understanding the content was well within the grasp of these “ordinary” people. What they had in common was…

Twelve-step programs have been proven to be the most (and some might say the only) effective method for addiction recovery. However, in addition to the long, difficult process of comprehending and completing the twelve steps, there are the addict’s ego defenses, their suspicious and defiant attitude, puzzling program clichés, confusing jargon, various myths and inaccurate information, and (very often) preexisting therapeutic issues. Interventions that support abstinence or the normalizing of addictive behavior (such as in work or sex addictions) often fail because of this profoundly complex constellation of symptoms and issues. What adds to the addict’s struggle is the often-heard, fear-based, blaming statement: “Well, addicts who relapse don’t really want recovery. They don’t try hard enough.”

Since about 1984, there has been a huge surge of awareness in North America about twelve-step groups, and a dramatic increase in the number of professionals and institutions catering to the specialized needs of people with addictions. These changes still can not adequately address the needs of the population explosion around addiction and recovery. The resulting chaos and problems aren’t entirely due to the identification of greater numbers of people with an addiction. It is much broader and more complex than that.

With the advent of an insightful family-systems theory of shame, many therapists have unknowingly acted in concert with the machinations of addictions. They created a decided tendency to shift the responsibility for addictions and getting recovered off the shoulders of the addict and onto community and family.

Additionally, with the restructuring of psychiatric hospitals, the reductions in funding for the treatment of mental disorders and community support programs, and the discharge of so many people from these programs, there came another set of problems for twelve-step groups. Through publicity, easy availability, and promises of support and healing, came a wave of new people. These groups, with their open-armed welcoming of any and all who are (or might be) afflicted with an addiction, and their self-diagnosing rule of membership, received an influx of people who were formerly being cared for in professionally structured programs and facilities.

With the increase of professionals (many with minimal training, with addictions themselves, or serious unhealed wounds) catering to addicts; with the plethora of healing and treatment centers; with the huge influx of new people, some of whom were only marginally appropriate to the mandate of twelve-step programs; with too much publicity and false promises about twelve-step programs being a panacea (they decidedly aren’t); and with insightful psychological theories, there came a disastrous blurring of the boundaries between therapy and twelve-step work. This drastically obscured the spiritual vision presented in the original twelve-step literature. The efficacy and spiritual integrity of twelve-step programs (especially AA and NA[iv]) could not withstand this tidal wave of change. A critical mass was reached and in the mid 1980s, cultural awareness simply exploded. It became trendy to be in AA or NA, or for that matter, any other twelve-step program (except the ones for sex addictions).

Two results are a subtle, treacherous trend within “self-help” groups and within society at large, to marginalize and demean proper therapy, and a dangerous myth that twelve-step groups are a modern therapeutic panacea. In concert with these, many therapists and people within twelve-step groups misunderstand addictions, or see twelve-step groups and treatment centers at odds with a traditional therapeutic mandate. For the most part, neither the therapist nor the twelve-step participant clearly understands how to effectively enroll the other discipline as an ally in the healing journey, and neither are clear on the crucial importance of maintaining the independence of each process. The result of this misunderstanding has been to naively force each process together or to belligerently keep them apart. People are lost in this confusion and too often the consequences are relapse or death.

—To Top—

From Chapter 2: Walled Up Consciousness

Expending the energy to beat yourself into an all-encompassing addictive mess takes a sustained effort over a long period of time. Being a successful addict of any kind is very hard work. In telling about a different type of chaos and pain, Matthew Arnold wrote a poem called Dover Beach. The last stanza of that poem is:

"Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night."

I am of the opinion that this about best describes the confusion people face when they set out on a journey to get recovered from addictions.

Life is dark. You don’t know where to turn. Nothing is certain. Everything hurts. Certainly you’re confused. You hear opinions about therapy and twelve-step programs and God and the medical model of addictions and abstinence and spirituality and self-help books and sharing and your ego and your inner child, and it just doesn’t seem to stop. You hear opinions about Narcotics Anonymous and Emotions Anonymous and Smokers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous and Debtors Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous, and many others.[vi] They’re all publishing their own reference/text books and it just doesn’t seem to stop. There’s Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) and Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA). If it’s a sex-addiction, which twelve-step group should you belong to? Alternatively, is your problem a relationship addiction (which was hidden under the label “codependence”), and should you also attend CODA or ACOA or Alanon or Naranon?

At the core of it all, there’s this thing called Spirituality. What about you and your spirituality? Do you have to deal with the low or the high “perspective” of being an Anglican, or is that Episcopalian if you’re in the U.S.? Are you the Catholic version of being a Christian, and is that Orthodox or Roman? Don’t forget Presbyterian, Alliance, Gospel, Unity, Baptist, the all-faith churches, Unitarians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the United Church (only in Canada). What exactly is Christianity, really? What about Buddhism? Being Sikh? Being Jewish? Being Muslim? Being Wiccan? Shamanism? Hinduism? Jainism? Baha’I? Of course there’s God (which is more specific than a Higher Power), and The Goddess, Tao, Allah, Mother Earth, the Atman-Brahmin, YHWH, and many hundreds of other names to choose from.

Is that spirituality with a capital “S” or a small “s”? Is it spirituality that is apophatic or kataphatic? [vii] What about meditation—is it transcendental, mystical, or the kind described at Step Eleven? What exactly is Step Eleven meditation? Is the Step Seven prayer petitionary, as opposed to contemplative? Which style of prayer should you be doing? Does it matter? Are you praying in the style of whichever tradition that you may or may not be temporarily attached to? Maybe you’re angry at praying in the tradition you were raised in, or feeling guilty for not praying before you go to bed. Do you have to?

All of this is dark, confusing, and threatening to people in twelve-step programs; it can’t not be. It’s so threatening and overwhelming that most veterans of twelve-step groups barely scratch the surface of spirituality. People aspire to only the absolute minimum so they can appear “devoted” while they, themselves, remain lost, confused, and preoccupied with fornication and shiny things. This is dangerous, for they are the sponsors and role models of spiritual commitment.

The point lost in all of this is that the original twelve-step literature is very specific…

—To Top—

From Chapter 4: Morality

You’re creating new values and incorporating spiritual principles into your future sexual conduct. Neither of the AA texts subscribe to any religiously oriented moral position. They do, however, subscribe to spiritual principles that are to become foremost in all areas of your life.

We each have different desires and preferences for how we express our sexuality. Some people like oral sex, and some don’t. Some people prefer missionary position sex; others don’t. Some people like to have sex only in the bedroom and others enjoy different places; some like tickling and giggling; some don’t. When you answer the first eight questions. you identify the problems that arose in the way you conducted yourself sexually (not necessarily in your sexuality, but in your conduct). Question nine identifies what you should have done instead. This creates your own standards for a spiritually based sexual relationship.

Too often problems in sexual conduct are incorrectly lumped in with problems in orientation and sexuality. The elemental, instinctual nature of sexuality, which is similar to the elemental nature of spirituality, requires that it (and spirituality) embody a quality of attracting problems into it, which are unrelated and don’t belong there. This often renders Step Four (or therapy) ineffective when problems with sexual conduct (competition, greed, betrayal), aren’t effectively disengaged from issues of sexuality (orientation confusion, incest, fetishes). And: In as much as Step Four is about conduct, ethics, and spirituality, there is the related and horrendously complicated phenomenon of sex addiction. Sex addiction immediately shreds into an almost Gordian Knot, the already complex issues of conduct, sexuality, culture, and spirituality. After establishing abstinence, it takes a minimum of 2 or 3 years of on-going regular cross-over work in therapy, with continued abstinence, to extricate a recovering sex addict from the self-annihilating mess of sex addiction into a comfortable awareness of self-defining choice.

—To Top—


From Chapter 5: The Monumental Shift

Humility, partly because of the cultural disparagement of Spirituality, and the deifying of greed and power, is routinely discouraged as a desirable attribute. Initially, entering a twelve-step program is always motivated by fear, shame, humiliation—the consequences of your addiction. At Step One you are forced into your first rudimentary exposure to humility which, at this stage, closely resembles humiliation only because you are beaten into it. Nobody comes to humility easily, not even the saints. The process I am about to describe is crucial to spiritual success, and takes you directly into the second most important value shift in getting recovered.

At the outset, you were beaten into humility by acting out, which is only the external tip of the problem. The acquisition of humility is initially evidenced by a subtle and constantly increasing inner motivation to do the steps while you are in fact doing them. However, if you haven’t followed the instructions thus far, you cannot lay the foundation required for the monumental shift that I am about to describe.

The initial motivation to become abstinent is from shame, and fear of insanity, death or punishment. At Step Two you believe that spirituality is the solution. The motivation changes slightly from “all fear” to include some small portion of a desire for spirituality. Through Steps Three to Five, fear is further reduced, with a coincidental increase in a desire to be spiritual. At Step Six, where the task is to acquire willingness to lose your defects, you are now (or “should be”) primarily motivated by the desire for spirituality. You are now beginning to believe that spirituality is inherently good for its own sake, which is remarkably different to the Step Two perception that spirituality is good because it’s going to save your life. This means your view of spirituality is changing from something imposed by fear and shame to something desired. This shift is the essential prerequisite to Step Seven.

Should you have done the these steps meticulously, there’s an underlying fundamental shift happening in your world-view—humility and honesty are becoming intrinsically good unto themselves, and are willingly pursued personal attributes…

—To Top—



From Appendix II: The Five Spiritual Principles

Principles, unlike values [or rules], are objective and external. They operate in obedience to natural laws, regardless of conditions.”[viii]

A spiritual principle would be an authentic truth, and hold within itself a universal theme, that is applicable beyond personality or culture. It would also be the foundation out of which arise beliefs and attitudes that would enable a person to rise above (be spiritual), or descend below (be soulful), the ego-constructions of self-serving convenience—beyond psychology and the related, limited vision of personal insight. Additionally, a bona fide spiritual principle would be universal enough to embrace all of the generally recognized virtues, regardless of the folk-tradition through which they are perceived, and include (in this instance) whatever virtues recovering addicts would evince to be recovered. And finally: A spiritual principle would have to be authentic enough to hold up under close scrutiny.

The general chaos and confusion around spirituality occurs most often when people take something as fundamentally universal as “spirituality” or “God”, cant interpretations to cater to their coveted prejudices and insecurities, then claim that their own personal interpretation is superior to others’ interpretations. Spiritual principles must be broad and flexible enough to be available to everyone at a deeply personal level. Therefore, to allow some guideline to qualify as a spiritual principle (as opposed to a rule, which is secular and limited) is no mean feat. Each spiritual principle is exactly what it is because it is:

Universal enough to accommodate and embrace all spiritual endeavor, beyond the narrow limits of culture;
Respectful of any personal symbolism of deity;
Broad enough to encompass the generally recognized virtues;
Restricted enough to exclude the more universal vices;
Tested enough over the centuries to be trusted;
Simple enough to comprehend;
Complex enough to perpetually require attention;
Demanding enough to require continuous effort to evince it;
Idealistic enough to be always worthy of respect, and just out of reach, to keep people humble in their pursuit of it;
Specific enough that it can be approached with confidence;
Achievable to a degree that people can demonstrate or realize personal progress; and,
Profound enough to be above pettiness.

The five principles I recommend each satisfy each of the twelve qualifications noted above. Additionally, because there are only five, there are few enough of them so people can apprehend their interrelatedness. These principles are:

  1. Respect for the Body-Temple / Respectful Self-Care
  2. Veracity
  3. Humility (in both of its aspects)
  4. Charity
  5. Responsibility & Obedience

[A detailed explanation of each principle is in the book.] If you aspire to, or claim to be, spiritual, then you will desire to adhere to these five principles, which are inherent within the maintenance steps of the original twelve-step program.



[i] Edwin Arlington Robinson, Selected Poems, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Penguin Classics, 1997, p. XX.
[ii] Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, Tarcher/Penguin Books, 2003, p. 120. Procrastination and working grudgingly, which are characteristics of an alcoholic/addict (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 49), should not be preemptively interpreted as disinterest. These can be overcome, which is a specific part of the process of getting recovered. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and Alcoholics Anonymous, and this book, are an explanation of that process.
[iii] A Thomas Merton Reader, Rev. Ed., edited by Thomas P. McDonnell, Image Books, 1974, p. 121
[iv] AA and NA refer respectively to the groups Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous .
[v] The Poems of Matthew Arnold, Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 212.
[vi] These names, and others similar to them, refer to the names of twelve-step groups and organizations.
[vii] Kataphatic approaches place a high value on the content and images of spiritual experiences; Apophatic approaches place a high value on the consciousness aspect and argue that content and images are a hindrance. Most popular religions including Hinduism and Buddhism are kataphatic . Zen and many of the truly mystic disciplines are apophatic . For an insightful and detailed exploration of spirituality and psychology read Will & Spirit, A Contemplative Psychology , by Gerald G. May , Harper & Row Publishers, 1982.
[viii] Principle-Centered Leadership , Stephen R. Covey , A Fireside Book, Simon & Schuster, 1992, p. 19.

Duplication and Copyright
No part of this web site, or of the book Addictions and Getting Recovered, may be reproduced, duplicated, transcribed, or quoted in any manner without first obtaining permission in writing from the author. This is a creative, original work fully protected by all applicable copyright laws. © Richard W. Clark and Richard Clark Counselling Services (RCCS), 2003, 2004, 2006. All rights reserved. For information, contact the author through the contact page of this web site.





© Richard W. Clark, 2004.

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