Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alcoholics Anonymous and the bounce from Status

It occurred to me just now that we have two dueling objectives: to be valued, and worthy (and that this can place us on a merry-go-round of status driven endeavors) and (2) to be free of judgments from other people.

Now, I don't think that we can ever really break free of status driven behavior.  I'd like to think that we can, but our social world is all about dynamic interaction. This isn't necessarily evil or bad.  Just think about people who shirk the corporate system (I am at times one of them)--and how they ultimately seek status in a different system.  Anti-_____[insert group] can be as status driven as anybody who is more honest about their objectives.  And part of why we seek status is because it rewards us with stability.  Anyway, everything can get out of control.  But, for the sake of this argument, please accept, for a moment, that we seek high status--all of us.

Second, then, imagine that we simultaneously hate to be judged.  Okay, so maybe we seek high status because we think that we won't be judged if we have high status, or that our high status will make up for our faults.  Whatever it is, nobody really wants to be judged.  Even though some honest appraisals might do us all a little good so long as we could get by it and keep working.  Think about it though: many many people choose their friends because friends agree with them on basic issues.  I've certainly done it.

Third, imagine that alcoholism is a chemical dependency that is simultaneously an emotional problem that has to do with shame and fear of judgment from others.
I don't think this is a stretch, do you?

Now, insert alcoholics anonymous, which basically teaches alcoholics to let go of ego and accept powerlessness and God into their lives as a way to beat a chemical and emotional addiction.

See where I'm going?  Well, God is an entity that should accept you regardless of your status, and, at some level, the pure idea of God is to escape status AND the, you guessed it, physical limitations of our bodies.  We don't like those damn bodies so much!  They force us to do things we would otherwise do if we were just rational minds.  Like drink.  In front of God's eye(s?) we are all equal, though, right?  I.e. God provides a way to escape status.  And, if God provides a way to escape ego, then God provides a way to escape our bodily (physical) and (emotional) addictions/limitations.

God/AA allows us to live in an emotional world outside of human judgment.  To neglect the way the world around us values us, individually.

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