Sunday, February 10, 2008

Materialists Anonymous -- Our 12 Steps

I looked over the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and it turns out to be similar to what we as recovering materialists need. I have adapted the twelve steps for our particular situation:

  1. We admitted that we did not have control over our lives. What we thought we were doing of our own free will was actually driven by our desires, impulses and beliefs, most of which came from our genes or environment

  2. We decide to take seriously the idea that there was something out there besides the physical universe as we knew it.

  3. We resolved to devote our lives toward personal experience of this Something Else (hereinafter referred to as "God", but see note below).

  4. We made an inventory of our personal "baggage" that would prevent said experience.

  5. We admitted to God that our baggage was preventing us from experiencing it.

  6. We affirmed to God that we were willing to have a different perception of the world around us.

  7. We asked God to help us do what was necessary to have direct experience of it.

  8. We made a list of all of the things we did and are doing, that are suboptimal as a result of our limited perception, and affirmed our willingness to act differently in the future.

  9. We corrected any deficiencies that were in our power to correct, that resulted from our limited perception.

  10. We continued to inventory and throw out our "baggage."

  11. We sought through meditation to experience God and perceive our world differently.

  12. Having direct experience of God, and having perceived the world differently, we strove to spread the message to materialists everywhere, and to improve our lives with the knowledge gained.

This obviously needs more work, but we must start somewhere. By the way, there are support groups for this sort of thing. You may not have noticed because they tend to call themselves "mystery schools," or something similar. You will probably find one after completing the first or second step

Note: God is a perfectly fine name for the Something Else. The Infinite or the Universe would also work for our purposes. The important thing is, that whatever we call this Something Else, we realize that it is not separate from us.

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