Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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m0rl0ck
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by m0rl0ck » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:31 pm

Viscid wrote:But can't it be said that someone who is submitting themselves to a 'higher power' is, in actuality, expressing self-control-- albeit using a new, radical psychological strategy to do so? They are necessarily convincing themselves that the agency responsible for their addiction (their 'self') is no longer in control, and that some greater entity (which in actuality is still their self, however it is now viewed unburdened by its historical poor decisions) is going to guide them towards sobriety. It's an effective, pragmatic self-delusion which can still be said to be the product of reason and self-control.
Sounds good to me. Where does the self end anyway? Surrender to a self of no perceivable boundaries and unknown territory and intent. Its no wonder people choose to torture themselves instead :)
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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JeffR
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by JeffR » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:30 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
daverupa wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:If you really want to learn about alcoholism from the experts you need to go to a meeting.
Is it the case that experts attend, exclusively attend, and always attend, AA meetings? This can only work if you define an "expert" as an "AA attendee", which you're quite close to doing...
:jumping:

Geez really? How cute.

EDIT: ok jsut in case you were serious, i would define as expert an alcoholic who has some years of good sobriety under his/her belt and who has maybe sponsored a few people. You run into people like that at meetings.
M0rl0ck,
There is a problem with your statement. Although there are experts at meetings, not all of them are there. They may be experts on working the AA steps (which were developed with the intent to "bring the alcoholic to god"), but for every alcoholic expert at the meeting (who have found sobriety), there are another 3-4 who could NOT find sobriety through AA. There are people who get over alcoholism in other ways, including meditation in the eightfold path. Or is an alcoholic defined as someone who needs AA to recover and the rest just had a heavy habit? I need to know your definition of an alcoholic if you disagree.

The problem with AA is that society has bought into the sales pitch that it's the only way to get sober and if it doesn't work for someone than it's because that someone isn't "doing the steps".
Therein what are 'six (types of) disrespect'? One dwells without respect, without deference for the Teacher; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Teaching; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Order; one dwells without respect, without deference for the precepts; one dwells without respect, without deference for heedfulness; one dwells without respect, without deference for hospitality. These are six (types of) disrespect.
:Vibh 945

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mirco
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by mirco » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:37 pm

JeffR wrote:The problem with AA (and NA) is that society has bought into the sales pitch that it's the only way to get sober and if it doesn't work for someone than it's because that someone isn't "doing the steps".
Yes, many people do think so. But the anonymous way it's only one spiritual path of many.

:coffee:
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." - Bhikkhu Anālayo

danieLion
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:04 pm

Hi m0rl0ck,
m0rl0ck wrote:Most alcoholics before getting into recovery make multiple attempts to control or stop drinking and cant.
I agree that those who have or have had addictions often display patterns of attempt and failure, but are you aware of any research that supports your use of "most" here? I know of lots of research that contradicts that. I might be wrong, but for now I'm siding with the research that suggests most people quit by themselves and stay sober through their own efforts.
Kindly,
dL

danieLion
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:16 pm

Hi Viscid,
Viscid wrote:But can't it be said that someone who is submitting themselves to a 'higher power' is, in actuality, expressing self-control-- albeit using a new, radical psychological strategy to do so? They are necessarily convincing themselves that the agency responsible for their addiction (their 'self') is no longer in control, and that some greater entity (which in actuality is still their self, however it is now viewed unburdened by its historical poor decisions) is going to guide them towards sobriety. It's an effective, pragmatic self-delusion which can still be said to be the product of reason and self-control.
I agree that the higher-power phenomenon is an expression self-control, but I'm careful to distinguish between the Buddha' not-self teachings and a healthily functioning ego, as Thanissaro puts it (see his essay, "Hang On To Your Ego" and the threads here where this has been explored ad nauseam). Furthermore, REBT, CBT etc... is neither new nor radical. Ellis founded REBT in 1955, and Aaron Beck developed CBT at about the same time, leaving plenty of years for such modalities to become "mainstream." Additionally, in REBT and CBT, we do not focus on changing the-so-called-self (to use Ellis' phrase), but to change our dysfunctional, destructive and delusional thoughts, feelings and behaviors (see, e.g., Ellis's essay, "REBT Diminishes Much of the Human Ego"). In this model, sobriety is achieved and maintained by actively disputing delusion.
Kindly,
dL

danieLion
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:19 pm

Hi all,
Compulsive Drinking: Don't Swallow the AA Brew by Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:25 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi m0rl0ck,
m0rl0ck wrote:Most alcoholics before getting into recovery make multiple attempts to control or stop drinking and cant.
I agree that those who have or have had addictions often display patterns of attempt and failure, but are you aware of any research that supports your use of "most" here? I know of lots of research that contradicts that. I might be wrong, but for now I'm siding with the research that suggests most people quit by themselves and stay sober through their own efforts.
Kindly,
dL
Actually the only data i have is anecdotal and gleaned from my experience and what other alcoholics have told me, but if you can control your consumption of a substance, you are, by definition, not addicted to it. Addiction is about denial and continued use despite consequences up to and including death.

If i were going to amend that "most" i would actually amend it to "all" i cant think of a single case where someone had a substance abuse problem, that i know of, that they havent tried to address themselves before admitting that they needed help.

Another thought occured to me. There are character defects displayed by most addicts and any recovery strategy needs to address those as well as the actual substance addiction.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:46 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi Viscid,
Viscid wrote:But can't it be said that someone who is submitting themselves to a 'higher power' is, in actuality, expressing self-control--
Its more like self surrender imo.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:47 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi all,
Compulsive Drinking: Don't Swallow the AA Brew by Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D.
Kindly,
dL
That link isnt working for me.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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mirco
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by mirco » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:34 pm



@ m0rl0ck: here

:rofl:

"Three Minute Therapy".

Maybe it takes three minutes to get the wallet out of the pocket to cure the author's chronically being broke.
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." - Bhikkhu Anālayo

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JeffR
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by JeffR » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:37 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Another thought occured to me. There are character defects displayed by most addicts and any recovery strategy needs to address those as well as the actual substance addiction.
This is were I feel the eightfold path trumps AA and any other clinical or spiritual approach. I don't know of anyone who has been to AA, with or without success, who has been asked to address the underlying issues which led to the addiction.
m0rl0ck wrote:Most alcoholics before getting into recovery make multiple attempts to control or stop drinking and cant.
I don't think this can be researched; lots of people quit without "treatment", how do you count them?
M0rl0ck's definition of an alcoholic being someone who can't quit makes some sense but doesn't cover all addicts. Long ago I had a friend who was addicted to more than alcohol, the alcohol and drugs controlled him, not the other way around. His addiction ruined our friendship. He was able to quit without treatment and spent several years seeking various spiritual paths to get him through and did get a life eventually. Along with the process of seeking spiritual paths, to my knowledge he did deal with the underlying issues that led to his addiction; I had at least one heart to heart with him on that topic.
Therein what are 'six (types of) disrespect'? One dwells without respect, without deference for the Teacher; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Teaching; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Order; one dwells without respect, without deference for the precepts; one dwells without respect, without deference for heedfulness; one dwells without respect, without deference for hospitality. These are six (types of) disrespect.
:Vibh 945

danieLion
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:43 pm

link fixed

danieLion
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:48 pm

Hi m0rl0ck
m0rl0ck wrote:...if you can control your consumption of a substance, you are, by definition, not addicted to it. Addiction is about denial and continued use despite consequences up to and including death....

Another thought occured to me. There are character defects displayed by most addicts and any recovery strategy needs to address those as well as the actual substance addiction.
Your'e right that control implies not being addicted, but that's more to my point--"once an alcholic always an alcholic" is not supported by the current evidence nor is it compatible with Buddhist practice. Please elaborate what you mean "defintion." Which definition of addction are you going by? Do you believe there's only one definition? Plese also specify how you know "most" addict need to address their "character defects" and explain exactly what you mean by "character defects."

Control can be acquired. I could be mistakken, but addicts are not powerless, don't have a disease, don't need (but might be helped) by the 12 Steps and the groups they accompany to acquire said control.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

danieLion
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:53 pm

Hi mirco,
mirco wrote:@ m0rl0ck: here

:rofl:

"Three Minute Therapy".

Maybe it takes three minutes to get the wallet out of the pocket to cure the author's chronically being broke.
You're right that therapists aren't the richest people around, but I don't see how monetary status and financial achievment are relevant. Correct if I'm wrong, but this seems ad hominem. Could you be more spefific by what you mean by this? I might be wrong, but I doubt you know anything about the author's financials. In the case of AA, the financial incentives of that organization and its founders are well documented. Perhaps I'm in error, but I suspect AA would cease to exist if these monetary incentives were not involved.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:25 pm

Id like to refer any further questions to the dictionary for a definition of addiction and to the Big Book of AA for other questions. Good luck :)
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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