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Universal Consciousness

Twelve-Step Spirituality: Part Two

Universal Consciousness
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Step Ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. [1]

Wisely, Step Ten does not emphasize a moral inventory, which becomes too self-absorbed and self-critical, but it speaks of a “personal inventory.” In other words, just watch yourself objectively, calmly, and compassionately. You will be able to do this from your new viewing platform and perspective as a child of God. “The Spirit will help you in your weakness” (Romans 8:26). From this most positive and dignified position, you can let go of and even easily “admit your wrongs.” You are being held so strongly and so deeply that you can stop holding onto or defending yourself. God forever sees and loves Christ in you; it is only we who doubt our divine identity as children of God.

Whenever we do anything stupid, cruel, evil, or destructive to ourselves or others, we are at that moment unconscious—unconscious of our identity. If we were fully conscious, we would never be violent, even in our thoughts, toward anyone. Loving people are always highly conscious people. To rely on any substance or habit is to become unconscious.

To be fully conscious would be to love everything on some level and in some way—even our mistakes. To love is to fall into full consciousness, which is contemplative, non-dualistic, and includes everything—even “the last enemy to be destroyed, which is death itself” (see 1 Corinthians 15:26). That is why we must love. Only love is stronger than death.

Didn’t Jesus tell us that we must love even our enemies (Matthew 5:44)? AA says at Step Ten, “we have ceased fighting anything or anyone—even alcohol.” [2] When we can on some level love even our sins and imperfections, which are our “enemies,” we are fully conscious and fully liberated. God, who is Universal Consciousness itself, knows all things, absorbs all things, and forgives all things—for being what they are. Since Jesus commands us to love our enemies, then we know that God must and will do the same. Yet the vast majority of Christians still believe in a punitive God and a pathetic notion of retributive justice, which is totally unworthy of God. This false and toxic image of God normally only recedes if we have an inner life of prayer, which is the next step.

What hope and joy a God of Infinite Love gives us all! Among many other things, it takes away all fear of admitting our wrongs to God, to ourselves, and to others.

References:
[1] “J,” A Simple Program: A Contemporary Translation of the Book “Alcoholics Anonymous” (Hyperion: 1996), 55.

[2] Ibid., 78.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (Franciscan Media: 2011), 90-92.

Image credit: La Soupe (detail), Pablo Picasso, 1902-03, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: These were moments when it all made sense and we knew we were good, God was good, it was all good. We were in touch with our true source of power, our spiritual desire, the indwelling Holy Spirit. —Richard Rohr
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