Don’t Get Taken to the Cleaners
I know some of you are involved or at least are familiar with the 12-Step approach to recovery. So I’d like to bring up an experience of AA co-founder #1, Bill Wilson, that I’ve been surprised to discover many members of AA have never heard.
Wilson, of course, was an alcoholic who adopted and practiced certain spiritual principles causing him to turn his life and will over to his Creator, facing and analyzing his past errors, and repenting of them. He was enabled to approach restitution with a forgiving spirit that was free of anger. The result was a spiritual awakening experience into God-consciousness and the subsequent elimination of the obsessive need to find relief through EtOH.
Once that need dissolved, Bill found he could regulate behavior going forward, and for the rest of his life was never again compelled to drink alcohol. The obsession was simply removed, effortlessly. One of the principles he proposed for ongoing freedom was a particular kind of prayer and meditation specifically designed to do just one thing––to improve God-consciousness, that mystical state already having been established.
The problem was, however, that he didn’t know quite how to go about the meditation portion of that prescription. So he did what anyone might do. He experimented. One of his efforts included contemplating on what is popularly called The Prayer of St. Francis. It was beautiful sounding. It certainly contained profoundly spiritual concepts, and had gained tremendous popularity among several religious Christian sects of the day.
Wilson assumed it was an authentic prayer written by an 11th-century ‘saint’, St. Francis of Assisi. He was mistaken. It was actually a reflective petition, or ‘prayer’ to God produced in Paris by a Catholic priest in the early 1900s who printed and distributed it along with some artwork widely recognized as the likeness of St. Francis.
The prayer has no connection whatsoever with Francis of Assisi.
Wilson innocently tried to use it as a meditation mantra. He later reported in his writing that practicing Contemplative Prayer had cast him into depression, nearly taking him “to the cleaners,” to use his own words.
The reason for this needs to be known. It wasn’t the wording of the prayer. It’s graceful magnificence and concepts are strikingly spiritual and humble. It’s how the words were used that was the problem. Contemplative-style meditation proposing deep involvement with thought is the exact opposite of what works.
For meditation to be effective it has to be non-contemplative, uninvolving the practitioner from thinking. This awakens, repairing lost God-consciousness, without effort or involvement in thinking—liberating us from the effects of anger-energy. We are instantly placed in a forgiving, graceful state, reunited with the will of our Father, in heaven.
Done properly, meditation acts as an effective antidote to poisonous crop-ups of negative thinking that would cause harm, filling us with deadly, negative emotions. God-consciousness through the right kind of meditation shields us from this, bringing instant freedom from the bondage of the thinking Self.
But many people aren’t looking for meditation to do that. They’re looking instead for a way to induce pleasurable sensations while holding onto emotionality, anger and the ability to judge—to play God.
They’ll be attracted to meditations that use seductive devices like mantras, sounds, music,
Non-Contemplative Meditation isn’t for people looking for a meditation, who seek pleasure and intoxicating sensations to feel relaxed and to find relief for their anxiety. It’s for those who want to awaken and live consciously, allowing God into them so that His will be done through their lives. They are willing to face some unpleasant facts about themselves as they are revealed in the light of truth.
With this comes all the so-called benefits of meditation—lowered blood pressure, clarity of thought and increased productivity. But those are just the beginning . . . nothing really, when compared to what follows. The cause of all anxiety, depression, mental and physical malady is also met and obliterated through mindful consciousness
Non-Contemplative Meditation™ brings us to a distinct consciousness that frees us from the drudgery of resentment energy, so that we can apply intuitive resources without stressful interference. We are spontaneously released from the bondage of a lower Self, living and working within a realm where understanding amplifies and we can do things and live a quality of life we’d never be able to provide for ourselves.
The restored virtue, boundless energy, and strength positively affect us and everyone in our lives as we experience a life that we could never have dreamed possible, contributing toward a better world.
Why people in 12-Step fellowships don’t know this, I have no idea. It’s in the Big Book. Well, actually I do know why. I’m just finished writing for now. Some other time perhaps.
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