I've been thinking about forgiveness lately, mostly because I will be doing a workshop this Sunday in Davis on the subject. If you are in the area I would love to see you! Here is the information for that workshop.
While forgiveness is not specifically mentioned in the textbook of AA, I've discovered that it is a huge and important benefit to doing an inventory. And forgiveness is one of the most powerful spiritual practices we can do. It frees us up to live life freely, without the limits we place on our lives because we've not forgiven others or ourselves. ...continue reading →
I was having a chat with another New Thought minister the other day. She had this to say about the book, "This book answers the unanswered questions." I had to agree with her, it does. What are the unanswered questions?
Here's just a few:
How does a New Thought person, who isn't powerless, address the first step? It isn't about powerlessness, it is about recognizing the need for and desire for change. Instead of fighting what is destined to be a losing battle, we focus on what we wish to be and embody. Turn the focus from what you don't want and put it on what you do want.
How does a New Thought person, who believes that God is everywhere present, address the implication in the traditional wording of the steps, that God is something separate from us? In the Text book of AA, it tells us that we found the Great Reality deep within. It is referring to God. In New Thought, we teach that God is everywhere present. Don't let the wording scare you off. Over and over again we are told to find some sort of God as we understand it.
How then, would someone turn their will and life over to the care of that something? Again, this is about focus, and asking ourselves how we would like to be. And, if you can't find anything else as an ideal, I suggest you use this process. Move through it, commit to it completely, and when you are done I'd be willing to bet that you will then have an understanding of this concept that works for you.
How is one supposed to approach the 4th step, with it's emphasis on character defects, and mention of the seven deadly sins, when in New Thought we don't believe in sin as it is traditionally defined? In New Thought, we go to the original language in which the Bible was written, and we take into consideration that the people who were alive during the time the Bible was written taught in metaphor. The Bible mentions sin quite a bit. But if you go to the original definition of sin, a totally different perception emerges. Sin was an archery term. It meant that one missed the mark. Picture an archer, poised with bow and arrow, aiming at dinner. Perhaps the aim was a bit off, or a gust of wind came up just as the archer released the arrow, or perhaps the target moved. The archer sinned, or missed the target. So in terms of the 4th step, what we are seeking is not where we have sinned, but where we have made mistakes. This removes all the shame from the process.
These are just some of the most commonly asked questions, and some brief answers. In future posts I will go into more detail on each question. You can subscribe to updates to the right of this post if you are on a computer, and below if you are on a mobile device.