Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Resist Not Evil

Went to what I thought was a good meeting Monday night... my How It Works Group home group meeting. I haven't been for about a couple months or so.

Gary chaired on the topic and related it to Step 10 where we have ceased fighting anything or anyone... even alcohol.

In other words, the steps don't tell me to quit drinking. "I've not even sworn off. Instead the problem has just been removed"...

Now one of our other members was called on to share and went off about how we DO resist evil and so on.

What does "Resist Not Evil" mean to y'all?


  1. Lessee, "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." At least that's what my Big Book says. I'm not quite sure where the "quit fighting" comes in here.

    And this business about resisting evil/Memorial Day/Hitler/etc is all fine, but what the fuck does it have to do with alcoholism?

    My Step Ten work involves taking a continuing inventory, correcting my defects on the spot if I can or maybe working a 4th and 5th step on them, promptly admitting to others when I'm
    wrong and then doing something to make amends for that wrong.

    "Resist not evil" to me means that I don't resist evil; rather that I succumb to it. But I do resist evil, and more often of not this evil has nothing to do with alcoholism. I resist the temptation to steal, kill, commit adultery, commit blasphemy. None of these things have anything to do with alcoholism If it's a moral issue that could relate to my alcoholism. then it's a 4th step issue.

    But cease fighting anything or anyone? Where does that come from? I fight temptation daily, I fight morons who spout bullshit in meetings, i fight complacency, I fight anything that may lad me back to drinking.

  2. Read your 10th Step promises sometime.

    May be you missed em.

  3. I think that when it says that we cease fighting that's what it means. To paraphrase, we aren't fighting it (booze) nor are we avoiding it,we are neither tempted or afraid. That's my experience.

    Now have I given up fighting entirely? No, because I still have an ego that needs to assert itself and defend its position. But I find myself seeking peace more and more these days.

    Most of the fighting I do these days goes on in my head. But when it says cease fighting anything or anyone, it means myself too, it means my own character defects. Why fight them? Just makes them worse and perpetuates the cycle of too much self-esteem to self-loathing.

  4. “All the greatest and most important problems in life are fundamentally insoluble… They can never be solved, but only outgrown. This “outgrowing” proves on further investigation to require a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the horizon and through this broadening of outlook, the insoluble lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded when confronted with a new and stronger life urge.” – Carl Jung

    I read somewhere that life can't be proven in the sense that you can prove a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. It can only be lived, not figured out. It goes on to say "Imagine were life nothing but pure reason. It wouldn't be life." I can't think my way throgh life. I can only live it and experience all it has to offer, all the joys, all the disapiontments and sorrows, all the mistakes I've made along the way. What great news!

    Then there is the human condition. Now that is something I don't believe can be outgrown nor solved. But it is a intergral component of the experience of life. Some people liken the human condition to something called the bedevilments, like the human condition is something that tortures and torments you. It can if you are trying to avoid the human experience. But it is not something that can be solved or avoided. I spent years trying to improve on, add to, or fix That which I was made to be, and it damned near killed me and hurt a lot of other people in the process. And when I found I couldn't do anything to improve it I attempted to avoid it. So it can't be solved or outgrown. It can be transcended and transformed. Teilhard de Chardin said that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience but that we spiritual beings having the human experience. Chuck Chamberlain said "Lose yourself in Life and find yourself in God." So the very thing that I sought to avoid is the experience I need to have.

    These days, I've found that those "bedevilments"-relationships and the problems I sometimes have with them, making a living, usefulness, emotional nature, etc., ebb & flow in the human experience. My experience is that it isn't so much about solving them as it is being OK with them in the middle of them the way they are right now without having to avoid or fix them. That is where the growth happens for me.

  5. I stand corrected. I misunderstood what you wrote. I got wrapped up in the Hitler/evil thing and got focused on fighting evil rather than what the Big Book talks about.

    The points Jim makes are good ones. I would simplify it to say as the BB does,sanity will have returned. As he says too, it isn't so much about solving shit as it is accepting things as they are.

  6. Ditto Jim.

    Joe, you've got to realize that I can only post here on my cell phone now. Sorry for the brevity. My computer got kicked off our blog or something.

    Oh, and Joe... don't accept the unacceptable; for example... you see yourself wallowing in self pity and enjoying it. To even have the awareness and honesty to see it is a gift, is it not?

    When you're in the middle of the street, you don't stop. You don't analyze... you don't accept... you just move.

  7. ... or as you Navy Dawgs would say, "Do something... even if it's wrong."

  8. Marines do it even if it's wrong because eventually it will be right.

    Jim, no one could have put together two more thought out posts then you did. Much to think about.
    I like Dr. Carl Jung

  9. I agree, Patrick. Never accept the unacceptable. It's unfortunate though, that sometimes we have to do just that.

    For example, I consider child molestation to be unacceptable. I also feel the same about any man who hits a woman. But I know that these things happen. I read about them every day. I have to accept the fact that they happen.

    It goes back to the Serenity Prayer, and alludes to what Jim is talking about. There are things I cannot change, and thus must accept them as they are at the time. There are also things I can change - like not stopping in the middle of the street.

    Now, I could fight those things that are unacceptable to me but nonetheless have no power to change, or I could (as Jim said) be OK with them without having to fix them. So these things I have to accept.

    Those things that I find unacceptable and can change? Most of that category is me. And here's where the 10th step comes into play. Continue to take personal inventory....

  10. Now if my computer happened to be kicked off this blog, I'd find that unacceptable and would probably be busting my ass trying to change that....

  11. Well it's about damned time.

    Joe; child abuse and wife-beaters aren't even on my radar.

    I do know this; I was from a dysfunctional family... because I was in it.

  12. And we put the fun back into dysfunctional...