Archive for October 3rd, 2006
I have no direct knowlege of AA, but I do think that many get help there as well. Never the less, what I react to is the idea of putting all your guts on the table. To maintain some privacy is important if you hope to do any thinking for yourself. Heaven knows we are encouraged to turn everything over to a professional somebody, all our lives these days. But it seems obvious that Bob Whitaker still thinks, in spite of having hit the wall in his life. I have sympathy with not being able to ” let go” of things that I think are important but I can’t actually solve. ” Found that true in my own life” as the cliche goes. Don’t think that is ALL ego either.
Comment by Shari —
Let me say again, everything I write should INTERRELATE. To ME, the program interrelates to our basic points: Things that WORK. Your comment made me get on that point and get off talking about the program itself, about which Joe knows more than I do.
What stimulated me on this point were your words, ” Heaven knows we are encouraged to turn everything over to a professional somebody, all our lives these days.”
Before Bill W founded AA he tried professionals to save his life from alcohol. At that time there were two top psychiatrists on earth, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. He actually went to Carl Jung and Jung was honest enough to tell him flatly that he, Jung himself, could not help him.
Bill W was very fortunate that he went to the goy psychiatrist Jung. If he had gone to Freud he would have ended up spending endless hours trying to admit that his drinking was because he couldn’t admit to himself that he wanted to rape his mother until he died in a Viennese alky ward.
Jung told Bill W that he had tried to deal with many, many alcoholics, and he had failed. He added that the very few survivors he knew of had found something in THEMSELEVES without his help that saved them.
Joe, you know all about this. But can you imagine any specialist in alcohol and drug recovery today who would be that HONEST?
I keep saying that Wordism leads to an attempt to make the world fit into a book. The book is important. Wheter it works or not is something the true Wordist must overcome. So I observe that white skin makes ALL the difference. Whether that is high class thinking or good theoretical thinking or superficial means nothing to me.
By the same token, even in the shape I was in, the first thing that gave me faith in the program’s real success was its theoretical failure. The professionals in the field were always puzzled at the fact that they simply could not find the THEORETICAL underpinnings of the program. It had just grown, on its own, with desperate amateurs trying to save themselves.
In other words, there was no theory. It was a group of people trying to find things that WORKED. To me, that is the key to the kingdom, be it substance abuse, race, propaganda, or anything else.
When you professionalize it you theorize it, and when you theorize it you fail. One scientific test is worth a hundred expert opinions.
AA is the result of millions of bottom-line TESTS.
Let me emphasize that Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by DESPERATE people. You and me both know that none of the bullshit you hear in a nice safe sociology classroom would be listened to in a serious situation. So Bill W and Dr. Bob found that if they talked to each other, they could SURVIVE. They did not then consult the dictionary for definitions or try to develop a theoretical basis for their discovery. They were busy SURVIVING.
Dr. Bob’s last words to Bill W, on his deathbed, were “Keep it simple.” Those are my words to you about everything.
Simple, not EASY. I have seen far too many war heroes die of substance abuse to think it is EASY to survive that curse.
So I went into a program that made the best sense in the world to me.
On the importance of DESPERATION to program success, and how that interrelates to a general world view, let me give you an example. There was a television program written by specialists on how to minimize your chances of being mugged or attacked out in the real world. They had good guidance on practical matters like having your car key ready in your hand to open your car door, being aware of what is around you, and so forth.
Then came the theoretical horseshit.
Remember that the whole program was about PROBABILITIES. They certainly never said that if you have your car keys ready when you reach your car you are absolutely guaranteed safety. They said you had a better PROBABILITY of not being attacked if you were aware of your environment.
Then came the bhullshit in the form of a question-and-answer. They asked whether, if you are a woman getting into an elevator late at night, you should notice, the RACE of the person you were getting on with.
Needless to say, the answer was NO! They then pointed out that all ethnic groups commit crime, so there was no GUARANTEE that a woman was safer getting on an elevator alone with a white man than with a black man. But Jesse Jackson told a black audience that he was ashamed to admit it, but when he heard someone coming up behind him on a dark street, he was relieved if he looked around and saw it was a WHITE man!
In the real world, if you are in a SERIOUS situation, all the crap goes out. If you are a white woman and you are about to get on an elevator alone with a man late at night with no help in sight, you damned well BETTER make sure the man is WHITE, and everybody knows it.
That is why it was so important to me that AA was founded by a group of people who were DESPERATE to save THEMSELVES.
Carl Jung was honest enough to tell Bill W the truth. But fifty years later the Betty Fords got into
the act and recovery became fashionable and it began to PAY. Now the theory is kicking in and the program is going downhill.
Joe says he is rigid and out-of-date. You’re damend right he is. If you have alcohol problems, Joe is the
man to go to. Why? Because Joe can’t AFFORD bullshit.
Back to how everything that is basic INTERRELATES. There is an old saying, “Nothing concentrates the mind like the realization that oneis to be hanged at dawn.” Take it from me, gang, what Joe faces is a LOT worse than being hanged by a nice quick rope.
But the difference between Joe and other people in the program is that he relates that to his whole world view. It is almost unbelievable for me to sit around people in the program who are rigidly results-oriented and realistic there and to hear them go right into the empty-headed theorizing on everything ELSE that they wouldn’t put up with for a minute if it was applied to their own survival in their own desperate situation.