What Is Spiritual Malady and How Do We Become Well?
If you know anyone, or are yourself involved in one of those 12-Step recovery fellowships that specialize in helping people lose their fascination with substances like drugs and alcohol, then you might also know that these organizations are not support groups.
They are spiritual societies. They were spawned eighty years ago among a bunch of awakened, God-conscious, ex-problem drinkers who discovered a way to recover from what they termed as spiritual disease, subsequently losing their obsession with alcohol.
Those folks went so far as to say that, “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”
Is this not a brazen statement? What gall! But, so true.
They proposed that the remedy to all obsessive states, at that time alcoholism, was primarily to become spiritually well, after which all of their mental and physical issues would be miraculously resolved. That was their experience. They’re still at it today.
Among their membership, the ones who experience victory, who lose their obsessions with alcohol, drugs or sex, are those who commit to discovering how and where to find God.* For this reason, some people are turned-off to the 12-Step societies. They seem to come too close for comfort to being a religion.
There is after all, a lot of God talk in those meetings and in their “Big Book,” Alcoholics Anonymous. God is the main feature of the 12-Step approach to substance abuse. And some of its member do have a culty reliance upon one another, rather than God. So, if you consider that, it’s a fair assumption when made from afar.
But still, calling it a religion is mostly conjecture and not at all based in a thorough examination.
In their book, not only do they talk about alcoholism, they also touch upon Depression, Anxiety, Suicidal Ideation, PTSD, fatal illness, poor health, business failures, non-working/dead personal relationships – a whole array of issues still bedeviling folks today. And they claimed a solution.
The hook in their presentation was an answer to their alcohol problem, of course. But their blessings did not end with that. Virtually all their problems were resolved via spiritual awakening and they predicted that the fortune would continue as they experienced subsequent growth going forward in life.
Unfortunately, the snapshot of consciousness taken of them in 1938 didn’t last. The clamors of the world proved too much for the majority and they just couldn’t keep it up. Most abandoned the spiritual solution they had found in favor of religion and other dubious spiritual movements or philosophies. They came to tragic ends.
But of the few who kept up with the God-consciousness proposal, improving it through prayer and meditation, life was amazingly productive and full of peace. They developed mastery over resentment, became free of anger and gained courage through the defeat of fear.
This is as true today as it was then.
Everyone can take a lesson out of the spiritual principles of this organization. And although not everyone has a problem with drugs or alcohol, every person reading this right now is touched in varying degrees by some form of obsessiveness affecting them in very negative ways. It is disturbing their lives and holding them back from full peace and security.
It might be with food, sex, gambling, or even something as nebulous as procrastination or a compulsion to gossip. Perhaps it’s an obsession with nicotine, using cigars, cigarettes or vaping devices to self-administer that powerful, psycho-active drug. Regardless of the name of the substance or vice, all bad habits stem from brokenness that is directly tied to the emotional energy spun out of a dark force called resentment.
Can you see now what "spiritual malady" means?
It means being disconnected from God’s vision and will by living instead in an unconscious trance, allowing Something horrible to take control.
Can you also see how spiritual wellness translates into wellness all around – both in body and mind?
There is one decision that we make, that leads to a continuous unfolding of decision-less choices on the path of life. That path is always right, and there are no wrong turns – just different experiences.
To experience this wellness, one only needs to wake up and then remain awakened, continuing to practice being mindfully conscious, and then, from that objective perspective, simply going forward into the stream of life as God-connected and divinely disciplined beings.
*AA is so good, that even atheists and agnostics or anyone who cannot at first bring themselves to acknowledge a mysterious “Higher Power,” are still fully welcomed to make a beginning with the 12-Step method offered, since during the process they drop any aversion to God. Then, they too have a spiritual awakening as the result of the 12-Step method and recover, no longer abusing whatever anesthetic products to which they’ve become so fixated. The 12-Step approach isn’t just some amateur homegrown psychology of going to meetings, sharing your troubles so that you feel a little better and so not drink alcohol anymore. There’s a metaphysical element and the mental obsession to drink is actually removed though attaining consciousness.
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