“It’s against my programming to impersonate a deity.” – C-3PO, “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”
In the Star Wars fiction, computers were fitted with a safe guard that prevented them realizing singularity and attaining a God Complex. Imagine C-3PO with a God complex. Scary. Now imagine an alcoholic with one. Its as bad.
As a drunk I did not believe so much in God as I acted as if I was one. I had to be able to control people, places and things and I didn’t get my way I would get resentful and angry.
The God Problem
Many of my friends and associates are Atheists and very few, if any, are religious. Spirituality is not something that is openly discussed. The God topic is something to be avoided.
I was also unsure of where I stood with the whole “God” thing for many years. As a child I had rejected the notion of an all powerful Deity as suggested by my religious teachers in Catholic school. Quick to detect hypocrisy I rebelled and refused to attend Church or any of its ceremonies.
Along the way I adopted a sort of agnosticism that grudgingly conceded I may be right or I may be wrong about it. I kept the “reserve” card handy in my back pocket just in case. Sort of like an emergency hip flask in case I needed a shot of “God” when things really got bad. Seems most people only turn to God when they have no other options available.
Alcohol becomes a surrogate to God for many alcoholics. For other people it might be money, sex, work, ambition, power, family or nationalism. The one overwhelming and dominant factor in your life can become “God like”. Religion in its self is not “God” unless you happen to be religious. In that case your chosen religion becomes central to your life and value system and “God” becomes central to that. For me Ego and Booze was “God” over the years. If there was a redeeming God it certainly felt it had abandoned me.
When I found my recovery I found a “Higher Power”. I knew intuitively that it was there, in me and everywhere. The problem was I could not define it or even conceptualize it. I spent a lot of time and effort trying to visualize and rationalize my “Higher Power”. The word, “God” did not sound right. I mean after all, wasn’t “God” the deity which had made me feel like a worthless sinner in Father Duffy’s Bible study class. Confused, I entered in to a period that swayed between elated Faith to stinging doubt and back again.
My mistake was trying to rationalize something that cannot be rationalized. I am a scientist after all. My background is critical inquiry. I ask questions and I investigate and in order to arrive at a judgement about a thing I seek evidence and where there is no conclusive evidence I experiment. Failing that I simply turn to Philosophy and think it through. You can’t “think” or “quantify” the spiritual through.
Obviously what was required was a complete departure from all previous concepts. I chose to cast aside all ideas and notions I had about “God”. Whether they had sprung up during my early recovery or were religious relics of my childhood I decided to let them all go. I decided to “Let Go and Let God” and just let things happen as they would. At last I stopped trying to run the show and control everything. I started to attain Emotional Sobriety.
The important thing is that I was accepting a spiritual basis in to my life. I didn’t need to do anything more than accept that willingly and have Faith. This is the true meaning of surrender.
The easy thing for many is to dodge the “Higher Power” aspect of the Steps. Many in the Jedi community I have come to know over the last three years also choose to either ignore the concept of the Force or avoid discussion about it. They feel that the Philosophy has no room for a spiritual aspect let alone some “hokey religion” called Jediism.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” – Han Solo ‘Episode 4: A New Hope”.
No matter what your view is, most can agree that an individual’s spirituality is a personal choice. Some people choose a religion and lead a pious life, others are far more secular. Working among scientists I find that many are atheists, some are “moderate” in views and others are militant emulating Richard Dawkins. I would suggest that having an “open mind” is the hall mark of a Scientist and a Jedi.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
– Hamlet (1.5.167-8)
If there is one lesson I have learned after the years in recovery it is I am not God. Yes I am a spiritual being having a human experience; I am an aspect of the Divine, a part of the whole. I believe that the Force is everywhere, it flows through this plane and the next and that I am part of it and shall reunite with it when I die. However I am not God.