"For the most of us the secret of man still remains to be mastered. What has lain dark in the earlier centuries remains unrevealed. . . . The majority of men will die without caring and without knowing whether man has something divine in him or is a mere skin-bag of flesh, blood, bones nerves and muscles. They are strangers to their own selves.However, to reap the blessings that recovery offers, it is essential that we work to attain the higher levels of "God-consciousness" that are available within us. The 12 Steps require a concerted and daily practice of prayer, meditation and self-examination to do so.
(Paul Brunton, "Discover Yourself," page 133.)
While prayer - like self-examination and, particularly, meditation - is 'good in and of itself' and "can bring much relief and benefit," It is when meditation, self-examination and prayer "are logically related and interwoven" that they provide us with "an unshakeable foundation for living." ("Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions," page 98.) We begin the process of "self-examination" by writing out a 4th Step moral inventory, and continue to (or continuously) take a "fearless moral inventory" through application of Step 10. In Step 11, both prayer and meditation are required.
Without consistent and persistent "self-examination, we are blinded to the spiritual reality that we are far greater than, and separate from, that "painful inner dialogue" of our egoic "self." If we are to establish and build a channel to our higher consciousness (or "God-consciousness," as the more religious call this inner resource), we need to discipline our apparent "self" so that it may be "reduced at depth."
Remember the cautionary warning we are given in Step Three of the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions," pp. 39-40: "More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a happy and contented life."
" . . . (N)ot one in a million can think of anything other than phenomena. To the vast majority of men nature appears to be only a changing, whirling, combining mingling mass of change. Few of us ever have a glimpse of the calm sea beneath."
* * * * *
The alcoholic addict in recovery is truly a blessed person . . . and all our suffering was just a blessing we could not see at the time!