About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

'Seeing through a glass darkly': Limits of reasoning. Unknowns and Uncertainties. Projections.

Needing to be be reassured by some kind of reasoning to make sense of reality is very limited as most of our reasoning, no matter how plausible and cogent, is really at best only a half truth. 'we see through a glass darkly' as they say.
As for being uncomfortable with unanswerable questions and uncertainties. well that would be problematic too, as life is quite simply chock-full of those!
Acceptance of the unknown and uncertain is invaluable if you are planning on being comfortable in your own skin for very long.

It's ALL just our 'projections' we see. NOT reality.
It would be a VERY different world if we could see things as they ARE, instead of how we THINK they are.
Trust me. We'd ALL get a few surprises! To say the least.

We see, not what is in front of us, but pretty much what we WANT TO SEE. Basically ALL perception is HIGHLY suspect. We end up filtering reality, so that what we see only confirms our pet theories. It takes a brave soul to question perception and maintain awareness of our biases in relation to what we WANT to see.
The pet theory is a VERY strong mindset. We all have our own cosy little ideologies of some sort or another. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong in a completely disastrous way. And most of the time we cannot tell which is which. In hindsight yes. But certainly not before.
So all I'm saying is don't be so sure that the approach you are using and the beliefs you are using as benchmarks are right, or reliable. They may not be.

Delusion is a BIG part of the mind and we NEVER outgrow it, so its no big deal. Denial and delusion is kept alive ONLY by dishonesty. Which is effectively a SELECTIVE interpretation of events, in favor of our own (usually ego feeding) pet theories.
All bias is a form of dishonesty, and denial is an extreme position of bias. We are seeing things ONLY as WE want to see them. Regardless of how glaringly obvious it is to everyone else that we are out of touch with reality!
Unfortunately denial is an 'invisible' weakness to whomever is suffering from it, so they will have NO idea they are in denial. Even if everyone else can see it. 'Its a disease that tells you you don't have it'.

I think this is why the big book tells us our greatest weapon against 'grave mental and emotional disorders' is HONESTY.
Honesty works against both delusion and denial, and enables us to see things slightly more clearly. no matter how uncomfortable that reality is. I don't think we would have the courage to see things like that without a higher power. I know I couldn't. My higher power is a rock amongst all this uncertainty and delusion. At least one of us has a clue what's what!

I only thought of this as I was explaining to a former Sponsee the other day that its actually very healthy to see how WRONG we have been about things for so long. Needless to say, she wasn't experiencing very 'pleasant' emotions at the time!, but I think she could tell, deep down, that what was happening to her was actually very healing, even though it felt uncomfortable. I call these moments 'Step one moments', when 'more is revealed'. Its very humbling!! Very ego puncturing! And often just sad. Thank god a lot of this happens only after step 9! `I just don't think people are ready to see this stuff till then, and certainly without the support of a comforting and informed step 11 practice.
This is why I say in the opening bit 'about me', that I am COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.

I promise I WILL get round to cheerier subjects at some point!! I only mention this because I have been encountering this with people at the moment!! That's all! I COMPLETELY forget about these little jigsaw pieces of my recovery to date, until some person jogs my memory about something I haven't got round to explaining on this darned blog, that's all..

3 comments:

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Thank a lot for your wonderful comments. Oh boy, I've got it wrong all the time. Thank you for setting it right.

I'm using your comment in my next post. I hope you don't mind.

I've still a lot to learn. I'm hoping that you can teach me a thing or two on My Journey To Recovery. I shall appreciate it very much.

Anonymous said...

I think that my denial and delusion is self lacerating rather than ego feeding i.e seeing things/myself in a negative light. Maybe that is something peculiar to women? At the same time i know I have a tendancy to arrogance. I am only just beginning, after step nine, to see some of the positive things about myself. It's ironic though, as I am putting myself in situations which inevitably lead to rejection but I seem to be learning to take it. Former sponsee.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Heheh. Cool. I always say 'The truth will set you free'. if it doesn't feel 'free', then it simply just ISN'T the 'truth'. Self lacerating can be seen as ego feeding as well, as it creates DRAMA, and BIG DEALS, and is essentially a move AWAY from 'ordinary'. I see ALL drama as ego feeding. I see ALL judgment (towards others or toward OURSELVES) as being terribly ARROGANT. So basically all judgment stems from the belief that you know better than god. God doesn't judge. In my opinion anyway..

As for habits that place you in positions to be rejected. Well rejection doesn't stop occurring just because you complete the first 9 steps! You are not exempt from LIFE, just because you've had a spiritual awakening!
So rejection will occur after step 9, along with everything else! What is different is (hopefully) how you DEAL with it.

I think its IMPOSSIBLE to build a new life for yourself after step 9 without risking rejection. That's very healthy. The important thing, like you say, is that you are learning to deal with it (like other normal people do)

Poor social skills may be what is helping cause rejection. But also it could be your ability to 'stick with the winners' which is lacking. But even if you HAVE those skills, you will STILL make GRAVE ERRORS OF JUDGEMENT from time to time. Meaning you may think you 'know' someone, who you THINK likes you, to find they don't. Or the other way round. Both are just as bad!!

See post called; You don't stop making STUPID mistakes after step 9. Under topic called 'After step 9'
Also the post called "Consequences. 'Luck'. 'The little things. There's nothing bigger, is there?' Protection."
Which explains how to protect yourself from your own (very human) stupidity.

Self critical thoughts are themselves just a habit. All I know is it is MUCH harder to say nasty things to myself than it was before. But I can still do it. Again, I'm never really sure if these things occur LESS, or I have just stopped making a BIG DEAL of them. Either way, they just don't feature on my 'radar like they used to.
I can still in a careless moment be shocked at an inconsiderate, cruel thought I have had about myself though. In fact I think I am probably MUCH more sensitive to them now, (which is probably why I do them less), they are so cruel sometimes I weep, when I realize how NASTY some of those commenting thoughts can be. I would never in a MILLION years think of speaking to another person like that, so I find it quite shocking when it happens. I think it's just SO much much easier to make truly wounding digs at oneself simply because we have so much personal information at our disposal which we can use as ammunition. I think my cruel streak, knows it has no outlet in the 'real world', but sort of thinks it can 'get away' with saying cruel, personal, punishing things to myself. That's the 'shadow' as I call it, and bits of anger left rumbling around the system, looking for expression of some sort I reckon. If you don't deal with this stuff, it deals with you!

In my case I would say that in the same way that people curse or swear when they are frustrated and exasperated, that these callous unkind comments I hear myself saying to myself sometimes, are a way of 'smashing something up' like you see people do in films when they are angry. You know when they fling everything off the desk? Well outwardly, all my roads of harmful expression are blocked. Also the type of personal work that brings about this kind of exasperation, is 'invisible to the eye'. M 'battles' are nearly always personal and internal. So I think the 'invisible' source of the 'battles' PLUS the fact that all roads of negative self expression are BLOCKED, means that my carelessness tends to result in this inner 'flinging' of deliberately unkind words toward myself. Realizing the error of my ways can be terribly sad, once you grow a conscience!

The weird thing is, is that I do it so much LESS than I did it before, but I just never really noticed it before. It seemed 'normal' and didn't even register. Which is sad too. But most of us are TERRIBLY TERRIBLY UNCONCIOUS. Its SHOCKING seeing this, the longer you are sober and the more you see about how you actually think, to see how crappy our habitual thinking can be. I started to se how crazy it was when I first started going on retreats, but now I have a much more heartfelt appreciation of how mean and cruel some of those thought are, so it impacts on me more.

Heheh. Once I start I can't stop!!