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Spirituality

Spirituality doesn't come overnight, it starts subtly. The beauty of it is that as I progress in my
spiritual maturity I have clearer thoughts, ideas which strike me as somehow 'successful', but this
is not by itself unusual. It can happen whenever one is quiet, focused, attentive to one's inner
dialogue. The first real sign that the journey has begun is the somewhat familiar sense of true
peace and assurance. It is like a mist is falling within my head, muting and distorting the distant
input of the senses, yet amplifying the much closer stimulation rising from within the body and
most importantly from God. It is at this stage that I realize what I have gotten into -- and that there
is no good reason to contemplate turning back. This is a moment of pregnant potential, filled with
hope, curiosity, and trepidation. And then gradually, wetly, the carnival of my spirituality heaves
into view..

My spirituality is like a guided tour at the brink of the Abyss. My desire to find God leads me to the
cliff, and points, and commands me to look. To be sure, there is a guard-rail, and a concession
stand, the guide cracks jokes somewhat lamely. It can be banal, even silly but the brochure
guarantees that there is no danger of falling off the edge. But when you look into that lightness,
see the stirring of great forms within it, hear the pounding and buzzing which echoes in its depths,
you remember why you have come. You stand there, gazing over the edge of Life, gazing into
that beautiful bright light, and something rises up before you. It breaks across the flimsy railing,
and touches you right where you are Human. You see all life pouring past you over that
trembling, aching lip, pouring back into the Mystery, receding into Truth, never slowing, constantly
renewed. And you understand that someday you will stand at this precipice again. On that day,
the concession stand will have been boarded up, the railing will be rusted to the ground, and the
brochures will have long ago blown away. Then the only guide will be a familiar, quiet voice which
beckons to you gently from the depths of your spirituality.

By far, mortality is the overwhelming theme of the my spirituality. All else is commentary. Issues
of life and death arise like idols before me, demanding sacrifice. It is a kind of reckoning. My mind
is led directly to the instant of life's fleeting, without the crutches of distraction, addiction and
numbness to which it is accustomed. There I am confronted with the things that make one take
life very seriously -- issues of conscience, sacrifice, responsibility and love. I behold with a
shudder that I am living on borrowed time, and that the things I love most in life are all busied in
their own passing. We are living on borrowed time, and how acutely now I feel that urgency! I
write, 'Recovery is a call to responsibility: to live, to love, lest it end in tragedy.'

Capturing my spirituality catalyzes the ability to look at life -- at my life. The ground of human
experience is that it is filtered through the perspective of the individual Self. But as long as we
live, this subjectivity is all we know and have, even as we strive to transcend it through art and
action and love. There is no other way for me to transcend Self other than God, as I understand
him. When I forget this, when I forget that this life is not my own, I lose sight of its value, I ignore
its impermanence, and I become complacent, buying time until the reaper calls.

But understand also that we do not exist in isolation from God. That is an illusion, a trick of our
sophisticated mind. Our life, our perspective, is unique. It is the mechanism of creativity. Yet we
are all one substance, changeable. A mirror merely shows the universe presenting itself in a
particular way, as with all things. Where is the distinction between my body and the world? Truly,
the only distinction is in language. It seems to me that differences in shape and color and
chemistry are superfluous creations of the linguistic mind. We are animate bits of a great
cohesive Whole, rising and falling like waves. The Buddha has said this all before, and better.

My spirituality is daring me to BE. God is not impressed with idle speculation: God is truly the
voice of conscience. It is the inner voice, so rarely acknowledged, challenging me to go beyond
myself. I hear it almost taunting me, laughing at my pretensions, waiting to see if I have the
courage to act, waiting to see what I will do. I sense the expectation of the world, waiting for me to
make sense of it -- but not waiting for long! There will come a reckoning through my spirituality,
even within my own heart, where my life will be seen for what it has been. When that time comes,
will I be ready? And what if it were to come today?

I sense the potency behind everything: I perfer to call it God. Others call it Death, drawing us in.
But are we not also drawn to our destiny, more or less willingly, by some strange attraction? The
part of us that is Human yearns for something beyond itself: our life is a sense of longing --
stormy seas, the pangs of guilt... We have been drawn forward towards something bright and
irresistible, like a glittering jewel which we follow like children through veils of increasing
complexity. Along the way we suffer terribly, but most terrible of all would be losing sight of that
newfound light and being lost in darkness again. So we follow that light wherever it must take us,
and we call it Hope.

Change is in our nature. We are at our most Human when we transform ourselves in the act of
creation. So we must make our peace through spirituality, with the inevitability of change. There is
much talk of the need for unity, of the appreciation of the species, and of the planet, as a whole.
Yet we watch in horror as global culture is reduced to the lowest common denominator: an
infantile and chilling homogeneity which colonizes and kills the very diversity which typifies our
species. Is this the unity we seek, devoid of drama, emptied of color and hope? This is not the
way of God. We are not here to simply merge indistinguishably into one another and vanish. To
truly live we must introduce harmony into the world, to add our voice, just so, to the song of the
universe unfolding. This is the creative act, and it is the jewel in the crown of Humanity. In
creation we can introduce harmony where there was none before. It is the key to my spirituality. I
relate this alot to my understanding of the 12th step of A.A.

Stories of light and dark, of history, and of Love, of a little boy who became engulfed in an
overwhelming addiction... We are nothing but stories in the void. Life is a narrative creation. Its
body is made of language and memory; experience is its food. Henry Ford once said, 'experience
is of supreme value in life.' It is not forms which last, not deeds themselves, but the enduring
drama of a particular life or event, as dramatized for others. The mark of a great life is that it is
story worth telling. The value of a deed is in what it provides for the memory of others. There is no
scale to which this does not apply. Famous or obscure, we are ultimately responsible for
determining how we will be remembered, if at all and I'd hope everyone here would like to be
remembered as having found sobreity and spirituality in their life.

But where to find those stories? I now understand God wants me to find words in the living of my
life. Language -- storytelling -- it is the externalization of internal dramas, and as such, it is one
portal by which novelty, spirituality and God enters the world.

The voice within me says clearly, 'be grateful,' and surely I am now that I have found a way out of
my addiction. The only other option, when confronted with one's own mortality, is panic and fear,
and the choice is mine. I am thankful for the blessings of family and everyone here at DP whom I
regard as true friends, for the love that is shown to me, and which is accepted from me in return. I
am thankful for the godlike abundance that keeps me nourished, for the pleasures of new and
diverse experiences in soberity, and for the simple things in life that we're once overlooked. I give
thanks for all that there is, vanishing like a mystery.

I contemplate the importance of fellowship and friendship. How magnificent are the achievements
that are made possible by a friendly bond, how sweet are the joys! But also how poignant is the
tragedy of being in the world without friends. I count my blessings, and vow to be more open to
offers of comradeship. Without comradery and fellowship how would I make it in sobreity?... I
simply wouldn't. Perhaps because of this safe, sober enviroment, this sense of gratitude is what
has stuck with me, beyond all else. Continual thanksgiving is an antidote for the ego's fear of
impermanence. I want the knowledge of how to better practice Gods will rather than mine lest I be
caught unaware when fortune changes. So I give thanks for all that there is, vanishing like a
mystery.
I approached this oppurtunity at sobreity hoping to clarify where I must go with my life. At first it
seemed my question had been ignored. After all my work in developing my spirituality and finding
God, God showed me what I truly need to know, not necessarily what I wanted. But I realize that I
have received ample clues to guide me. First, the sense of urgency at the passing of time, then
the role of gratitude in overcoming fear, guilt and resentment. Then I was focused on the mystery
of true spirituality. I have always thrilled at the challenge of trying to put the idea of my God into
language, and doing it well. There is that moment of searching, and then the mysterious
satisfaction when words come, condensing from some inscrutable source. There is the
satisfaction of having those words acknowledged, knowing that they have inspired or provoked. It
is in the skillful telling of stories that we are remembered, I have seen, and I want to be
remembered as Good.

My time in recovery lead me to God, as I understand him and has shown me what I must do --
though it remains for me to find the way.

Mwah,

Tybear :)