Rabbi Simon Jacobson addresses how to access a higher power, a part two of his live discussion on addiction while in quarantine.
Accessing a Higher Power | Addiction Part II
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I am very familiar with the 12 step program. I can only share my own personal experience and nothing beyond that. But the first 3 steps encapsulates the basis for dealing effectively with addiction. But it only works if there is a 100% surrender to Step 1. There can be no lurking reservations in the back of one’s mind that if they are an Alcoholic, they can go back to having a small sip of Alcohol for example. You can’t be 98% powerless over the Addiction and yet have a 2% control over it. You are either 100% powerless or not. A reservation tucked away in the back of one’s mind, is all that is needed, for a relapse. That is why Addiction is so “cunning and baffling and powerful” as they say.
There then needs to be a realization in Step 2, that you need a Higher Power to restore you to sanity, in relation to the insanity of addiction.
And then having come to the realization that you have been insane, and that a Higher Power can restore you to sanity, you proceed to Step 3 and hand everything over to the Higher Power. This includes the Addiction and one’s will and life. That then is the launch pad into the rest of the 9 Steps.
I was lucky when I was younger that my Higher Power revealed itself, to me in a number of mystical experiences. These were supernatural experiences of light and ecstasy. That is one reason why I am so interested, in comparative religions these days. Essentially I was given the gift of faith. That made recovery so much easier to know the Higher Power is real. I have since then experienced, coincidences and synchronicities, that reaffirm that the Higher Power is still there and is running the world.
I dont believe I am deserving of that gift of faith, because I still have so many issues, that haven not been entirely resolved. I feel like I’ve made, in some ways a poor return on the investment, the Higher Power has made in me. But on the other hand, there have been massive amounts of personal growth. But there still remains a lot of work to be done.
I remember talking to a guy in the program and he said his greatest fear was that there is ultimately no Higher Power. I identified immediately with him on that point. If there is no Higher Power and the ability to make sense of the enormous amount of evil and suffering in the world, then it leads to a very dark nihilism. If there is no ultimate meaning to anything, then you can see how people get to a place where the abuse of substances becomes an attractive option.